10 essential tips to reduce stress
Work, obligations, worries... the stress virus is already a pandemic. Until today.
The stress affects many people, and it's no wonder with the lifestyle of Western societies. One of the pioneers in the research of this phenomenon was Hans Selye, in the 1950s.
Since then, many experts have many experts have been contributing more and more knowledge about what stress is and how it occurs, and different models have emerged to explain how stress occurs.and different models have emerged to help people who suffer from it, such as the Demand-Control-Social Support Model by Karasek and Johnson (1986), which states that the source of stress lies in the mismatch between existing demands and the control the person has to cope with these demands, and which takes into account social support as a decisive variable that affects this phenomenon both directly and indirectly.
Stress is a complex phenomenon
Stress is usually a complex phenomenon, especially in the work environment, in which variables of the job and the organization come into play, but also the expectations of an individual and his or her ability to cope with complex situations.
Therefore, in extreme cases, it is necessary to turn to an expert if you do not want to end up suffering from what is known as burnout or burnout syndrome. It is also essential to see a psychologist when stress is the result of a traumatic situation, which may require psychological intervention to reduce suffering and treat the problem at its root.
10 tips to reduce stress
Now, if you are going through a period in which you feel stressed, you have begun to notice that the situation in which you find yourself is too big and is affecting your daily life, in today's article, I will give you some tips so you can reduce the characteristic symptoms of this phenomenon.
1. Manage your time effectively
Poor time management is one of the most frequent causes of stress. Arriving late everywhere, having a full e-mail inbox, studying at the last minute for exams, taking on many tasks and not finishing any of them, etc., are situations that provoke anxiety and stress, are situations that provoke anxiety and lack of control..
Therefore, a correct organization of time is the best way to prevent stress. If you want to learn how to manage your time efficiently, there is a Wide range of courses and workshops to help you keep your agenda under control.
2. Don't be a perfectionist
Perfectionism is the belief that you must achieve perfection in everything you do. This might seem positive, but it can lead to negative consequences, e.g.: being more tense and anxious, not enjoying achievements or being more stressed out..
In an article published in Infosalus, the psychologist Francesc Quer, Secretary of the Section of Organizational and Work Psychology of the Official College of Psychology of Catalonia, affirms that: "The person in a stressful situation is more stressed than the person in a stressful situation.states that: "The person in whom perfectionism causes problems is subject to strong stress, presents anxiety and symptoms that hide high levels of stress".
3. Practice yoga
Yoga is an ancient physical and mental practice that has been spreading around the world due to its benefits for both body and mind. It has more and more followers because is a discipline that seeks wellness, inner peace and involves a lifestyle that commits to healthy habits..
Nowadays, it is not surprising that the current pace of life leads many people to suffer from stress, causing psychological health problems. Many are the studies that affirm that the regular practice of yoga is positive to combat this phenomenon. One of them is the research conducted by Thirthalli and Naveen (2013), which concludes that this ancient practice reduces cortisol levels, a hormone that is released in response to stress, and that is necessary for the body as it regulates and mobilizes energy in stressful situations. However, if we have too much cortisol or it increases in situations where we do not need it, it causes negative effects on the body and mind.
4. Be positive
This sounds cliché, but it is true, because how you think has an effect on your cortisol levels. how you think has an effect on your stress levels.. If you think negatively about yourself or the situation, your body reacts with tension. Regaining your sense of control and adopting a positive attitude towards stress can help you overcome even the most difficult situations. Therefore, try to view stressful situations from a more positive perspective. For example, a difficult situation can be seen as a learning opportunity.
5. Eat and drink healthy
On the one hand, stress often causes us to alter our healthy habits, so in situations where we are stressed, try to lead a lifestyle that is not harmful. On the other hand, an unhealthy lifestyle makes us less resistant to stress..
Eating healthy allows us to be well nourished to cope with stressful situations. It is important to eat a good breakfast, otherwise we may suffer a significant energy slump during the day. Substituting green tea for coffee and avoiding sugary drinks such as Coca-Cola can also be positive strategies. Of course, cigarette smoking should be avoided and alcohol consumption should be moderated to keep the mind clear and thus avoid an easy outlet for stress. Drinking two liters of water daily helps to be more focused and in a better mood.
6. Use humor and laughter
The benefits of humor and laughter are multiple both physically and mentally.. That is why laughter therapy is used for the management of stressful situations and to relieve physical and emotional tensions. Laughter therapy promotes the production of happiness chemicals such as serotonin and also reduces levels of cortisol, the stress-related hormone.
- Do you want to know more about this alternative therapy? You can visit our article: "Laughter therapy: the psychological benefits of laughter".
7. Practice Mindfulness
The practice of Mindfulness or Mindfulness has proven to be effective in reducing stress levels. In fact, there is a specific program called "Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction Program (MSBR)" that lasts 8 weeks and that, according to research, improves the quality of life of people who try it, because it teaches the ability to be mindful and helps to cultivate deeper levels of attention and compassion.. Like yoga and meditation, Mindfulness reduces levels of cortisol, a hormone that is released in response to stress.
- Don't know what Mindfulness is? In our article "Mindfulness: 8 benefits of mindfulness" we explain it to you.
8. Sleep better
Everyone knows that stress can cause sleep problems. But, unfortunately, lack of sleep can also cause stress. Adequate sleep is necessary to keep the mind and body rested.
Feeling tired increases stress, as it prevents us from thinking clearly and can aggravate the stressful situation and affect our mood. Are you having trouble sleeping lately?
- Here are some tips to help you sleep better: "10 basic principles for good sleep hygiene".
9. Practice physical exercise
Surely many of you have gone to the gym to disconnect on more than one occasion, because after a hard day's work, there is nothing better than going to play paddle tennis or kick boxing. In addition to the physical benefits of exercising, physical activity also reduces stress.
Physical exercise increases the production of norepinephrine (noradrenaline), a neurotransmitter that can moderate the brain's response to stress, and produces neurochemicals such as endorphins or serotonin, which help improve mood.
10. Harness the power of music
Music can have a profound positive effect on both the emotions and the body. If music with a fast tempo can make a person more alert, music with a slower tempo can relax the mind and muscles, helping to release the tension of the day.
Therefore, music relaxes and is effective for stress management.. In addition, according to various research, playing an instrument also helps reduce stress and relieves tension.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)