4 Simple Techniques to Manage Stress
1. Breathe Deeply
When people get angry or stressed, they tend to breathe from their chests. In practice, People should try deep breathing from the belly to reduce tension and stress. This is known as “belly breathing,” a technique that steadies and calms the body. This type of breathing is used during meditation. Research shows that deep belly breathing activates the parasympathetic nervous system, which works against the fight-or-flight response. Deep breathing involves inhaling through the nose for 3 seconds as the belly inflates and exhaling through the mouth for 4 seconds as the belly deflates.
Exercise is an excellent stress reliever and is great for overall health. Exercise triggers the release of “feel good” chemicals in the brain, known as endorphins, which can help calm the mind and body. Intense exercise is not necessary to enjoy the benefits; taking a long walk or going for a bike ride is equally effective.
3. Practice Gratitude
Practicing daily gratitude is highly effective for putting life stressors into perspective and reducing stress. Writing down three things in a daily gratitude journal helps to focus the mind on blessings rather than stressors. It can be something as simple as watching the sunrise.
4. Talk with Someone
If stress is extreme and interfering with everyday life, it may be best to talk about it with a close friend or a health care professional. Talking through stress helps individuals release their emotions, learn coping skills and realize they are not alone.