Last week we dealt with the causes and harmful effects of stress, now we come to the ways you can reduce stress.
Basically, it's quite simple. The best antidote to fight stress is relaxation. However, what relaxation actually looks like is different from person to person.
There is one method that is useful for everyone: relaxation through sleep. During sleep, cortisol decreases and your body visibly relaxes. Sometimes all you need is a power nap. Be careful though, power naps do not work in situations of permanent stress. Cortisol also makes you stay awake, which sometimes leads to insomnia.
Most people relax when they pursue their favorite pastime or hobby. You may get into the flow of things and forget about the time while enjoying a hobby. This is a state of pure relaxation.
Movement is also a great way to relieve stress. Historically, reactions to stress were mostly relieved through movement (either flight or fight). Here, raised blood sugar is consumed by your muscles, which are better supplied with sugar due to your increased blood pressure. At the same time, anti-hypertensive substances and happiness hormones are released through movement.
To conclude, a few techniques and methods should be mentioned that have a positive effect in reducing stress:
Rest can be achieved through regular meditation. Stress can be both reduced and prevented using meditative techniques.
There are quite a number of Eastern relaxation techniques which often deal with the unity of body, mind and soul. These techniques include yoga, Qi Gong and Tai Chi.
Autogenic training can also bring the body and mind into a relaxed state with targeted concentration. In this method, for example, you repeat certain phrases again and again such as: "I am quite calm and completely relaxed."
The progressive muscle relaxation techniques developed by Jakobson are also easy to learn. This technique targets individual muscle groups that are consciously tensed and then relaxed again. This technique is especially suitable for people who do not have much time.
In the end, a great way to relieve stress is still good old fashioned doing nothing. People these days have forgotten the art of being idle or doing nothing at all.