Dealing with stress can be a daily struggle for many people. Nearly 77 percent of Americans reported experiencing physical symptoms from stress according to the American Institute of Stress. Although many believe stress is always harmful, it can also be healthy and lead to increased productivity. Here are five things you can do to turn negative stress around.
1. Tech for Tranquility
It may seem counterintuitive to use your smartphone as a way to relax, but it can a great tool to destress if you use it right. Mobile apps are beneficial resources for taking time out of your day to meditate, breathe, and disconnect.
2. Nature that Nurtures
Spending just five to 10 minutes in nature can significantly reduce stress. Getting outdoors and experiencing fresh air provides an immediate drop in cortisol levels (the stress chemical in our body). Rain or shine, step outside to get out of your head and into a calmer state.
3. Speak Slow for Serenity
Overwhelming stress tends to jumble our thoughts and speed up our speech. When you’re stressed, practice slowing down your speech. Speaking slower gives you a chance to intentionally choose your words, slow down your thoughts, and react more reasonably.
4. Hydrate to Happiness
While some forms of stress management may seem impossible, drinking water is a simple task you can do throughout the day. Dehydration can increase feelings of anxiety, so no matter where you go, bring a water bottle along to stay hydrated.
5. No News is Good News
Humans are naturally empathetic, so simply reading the news can increase our cortisol and stress levels. Cutting back on watching TV or scrolling on social media can help fend off causes of unnecessary stress.
Keep in mind, everyone experiences and copes with stress differently. Give these five stress busters a try to find what’s right for you. If stress is an obstacle in your daily life, visit a Baylor St. Luke’s Medical Group primary care physician to discover the underlying cause, receive a course of treatment, and find ways to overcome it.
MedicineNet.com | Eight Immediate Stress-Busters
The American Institute of Stress | Daily Life