You are sitting at a desk either in school or at work, and you are given an assignment that has to be completed on time. You work on the assignment, but you realized you are getting closer to the deadline faster than you expected. Perhaps you procrastinated, or the work took longer than you expected. You felt your muscles tense up and your heart beat increase. You have just been diagnosed with something we call stress.
Stress is a normal part of life. Whether you are in school or employed, there is a strong chance that you have been stressed at some point. If you are suffering from stress, you are not alone. According to the Global Organization for Stress, 80 percent of people in the United States suffer from stress because of their job. Stress often affects high school students. 77 percent of Americans reported that stress affects their physical health, and 73 percent reported it affects their mental health.
Even though stress is a normal part of life, it is important to not leave it untreated. Suffering from stress daily can lead to negative effects on your health. Stress can lead to headaches, anxiety, and insomnia. Stress can affect you physically because it can have a negative impact on your immune system, muscular system, and reproductive system. Unfortunately, some people attempt to reduce stress in destructive ways by using drugs that are detrimental or becoming an alcoholic. Even though stress is an inevitable part of life, fortunately there are healthy ways of dealing with it. Here are 5 ways that you can reduce stress.
Tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world and has been around for thousands of years. Tea dates back to around 3000 BC in China. There is a variety of teas in the world. Each type of tea has its unique herbal ingredients and level of caffeine, so the effects on your body can differ wildly. If you want to use tea as a remedy, to reduce stress you should drink decaffeinated tea.
Green Tea – Green tea has ingredients that help with stress. Green tea contains Epicatechin which has been proven to help your body relieve stress and increase your memory. Instead of drinking coffee during your work breaks you should drink decaffeinated green tea.
Black Tea – There is a lot of evidence that black tea reduces stress. There was an experiment done in London where there were two groups of people that were dealing with stress. One group was given black tea and the other group was given a false substitute for tea, however, both groups believed that their cup of tea was real. When the experiment ended, the researchers concluded that the group that drank the black tea had a faster rate of stress reduction than the group that drank the false tea. This shows that black tea contains ingredients that can help to increase the stress reduction process.
These are just a couple of teas that reduce stress because there are many other honorable mentions, such as Peppermint tea, Lemon Balm tea, and Passionflower tea.
Waking up early
A free method to reduce stress that everyone can do is wake up early in the morning. A good time to wake up in the morning is 5:30 AM. This is not a simple task if you are used to waking up late in the day, but a suitable method to help you wake up earlier is to go to sleep earlier in the night. This is to ensure that you still get at least 7 hours of sleep.
- Early start on work – One benefit of waking up early is that you have time to start your work early. It is often quiet in the morning, and there aren’t distractions that can cause you to lose focus on your work. This environment allows you to focus on your work with 100 percent of your concentration.
- Exercising – During the day whether you are at work or at school assignments often take longer than expected, and sometimes you receive unexpected work. This can cause you to miss your workout routine in your schedule. Exercising is linked with reducing the human body’s stress hormones. If you wake up early in the morning, you can exercise before work or school, so that when unexpected situations arrive you already complete your exercise routine.
- Hobbies – If you wake up early, this leaves you with extra time to work on your hobbies. Doing hobbies is a good way to reduce stress because a hobby is something that you enjoy. Whether your hobby is reading about history, painting, or singing, this will leave you with extra time to do it. You will have an easier time fitting your hobby into your schedule.
Looking at the stars
There is nothing as relaxing as nature. If you go to the park early in the morning or at night, it is often quiet with good scenery that helps people relax. A good way to reduce stress is by sitting down and looking at the stars. Try to avoid doing this in cities, or towns because the light pollution will block you from viewing most of the stars, and the noise might make you lose focus. Here are a few places you can get a good view of the stars.
- Your Backyard – The most simple option is to sit in your backyard to view the stars. If you live in the suburbs, it is probably quiet at night, which helps you relax. If you want a little noise, you can listen to meditation music.
- The park – this is a good place to view the stars because there isn’t as much light pollution. The buildings, street lights, and houses often produce so much light that it blocks people from viewing the stars. The park is a good way to avoid light pollution, however, each park has a different level of light pollution. If you go to a park in a city, your view will still be affected by light pollution. If you go to a park that is far away from a city or town, there will be less light pollution blocking your view. A good example of a park without light pollution is Yellowstone park.
Yoga is becoming increasingly popular in the west. According to the survey done by the Yoga Alliance and Yoga journalist report, the amount of Americans practicing yoga increased by 50% during the mid-2010s. Yoga has techniques that produce positive effects on the mind and body. One of the effects is stress reduction. There are multiple yoga techniques that you can choose. Different techniques work for different people, so choose the one that best fits you. Here are ways that yoga helps to reduce stress.
- Breath regulation – Yoga often deals with breath control, which can aid in the stress reduction process. Breathing is such a normal part of life that we are often unaware that we are even doing it. Our breathing changes with our mood. If you are calm, you breathe slower. If you are scared, angry, or anxious, your breathing will have a faster pace. The process can work in reverse too. If you change your breathing, you can change your mood. Through yoga, you can learn to focus on your breath and regulate it to decrease stress.
- Clear mind – When we are stressed, we often have a lot of thoughts that clutter our mind. This often leaves us with a headache, which makes the stressful situation worse. Yoga has techniques that deal with calming you down and clearing your mind. A clear mind is crucial because a clear mind will allow you to think about your situation in a relaxed and organized manner generating better results.
It is guaranteed that there will be times in life when something doesn’t go our way. For example, you might get fired, you might get rejected from a college that you wanted to go to, you might be in a large amount of debt. The possibilities are endless. One of the principles of Buddhism is the loss of attachment. It is important to accept that you are not in control of everything that happens, no matter how much you plan ahead.
One way to relieve stress is to not get too attached to something to the point that you can’t live without it. This doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t plan ahead or that you shouldn’t care about anything that happens. It means that if something doesn’t go your way, even though it is hard, you accept the situation and move forward. If you lose your job it can be stressful, but you should accept it and make the most of the situation. For example, you can look for other jobs and make more connections. If you get rejected from college, you can look up other colleges that are a good fit for you.
Acceptance isn’t easy, and it takes time to build up this skill. The more stressful situations that you are put in, the easier it gets to accept it. It is important to not blame yourself over something that happened in the past because it will only block you from moving forward. To help with the process of acceptance, you can try meditation. Listen to music that is relaxing, such as meditation music.
These are five methods that you can use to reduce stress. What do you think about these methods? Would you use some or all of these methods? Let me know in the comments below.
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