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Ways to Lower Stress

Published on Sep 05, 2022   -  4 min read


Stress is any change in the environment to which our body reacts differently and takes time to adjust. It is a feeling of emotional or physical tension.


The human body is designed in a way that it can experience and react to stress. There can be positive as well as negative stress. Stress can be harmful if neglected and not treated. The body reacts to these changes with emotional, mental, and physical responses.

What Is Stress?

Stress is ubiquitous. Stress is the response of the body to any change or demand. It is a feeling of any physical or emotional tension that can be due to any event or thought which makes one feel angry, nervous, or frustrated. Stress can be positive as well as harmful. Stress can come from positive changes in your life, for instance, if one is promoted at work or after having a baby, and also from negative changes like loss of job, death of a loved one, divorce, and so on. Having stress has adverse effects on the body. So stress management is critical.

How Does the Body React to Stress?

As we know, the human body is designed to experience stress and react to it. The autonomous nervous system controls breathing, vision changes, and heart rate. The fight or flight response helps to face stressful situations. Most people deal with stress every day. They have work, family, health, and financial issues. There are different physical and mental symptoms of stress:

The physical symptoms of stress are

Stress's emotional or mental symptoms are

  • Feeling irritated or frustrated.

  • Anxiety.

  • Depression.

  • Panic attacks.

  • Feeling sad or angry.

Often, people manage stress by engaging themself in harmful and wrong activities like

  • Drinking alcohol.

  • Smoking.

  • Using drugs

  • Gambling.

  • Wasting time on social media.

  • Binge eating.

  • Binge-watching.

  • Tobacco use.

These substances do not relieve stress; they cause more stress and cause more problems.

What Are the Methods of Relieving Stress?

  1. Engaging More in Physical Activities - Regular exercise helps relieve stress. One can try aerobic exercises, zumba, or some sort of dance. Many studies have shown a decrease in stress after engaging in physical activities, which helps improve mood and reduce stress. While having a sedentary lifestyle can cause more stress and disturb the mood and sleep.
  2. Minimizing Phone Use and Screen Time - Nowadays, smartphones, computers, laptops, and tablets are unavoidable, and people find it difficult to live without them, especially young adults and kids. Using these devices too often can lead to an increase in stress. Spending too much time on it can affect mental well-being. People should try to minimize these devices and use them only when needed.
  3. Practicing Self-Care - Practicing self-care is very important, and doing it daily can be beneficial in reducing stress. Practical examples of self-care include:
  • Take a hot shower.

  • Going for a walk.

  • Exercising.

  • Reading books.

  • Getting a massage.

  • Meditation.

All the above are self-care methods.

  1. Eating Healthy - Diet affects every part of your health. Not eating enough or having any deficiencies can also affect the mood, causing stress. Minimize processed food intake and focus more on eating healthy and nutritious.

  2. Practicing Yoga - Yoga has become a popular method to relieve stress in all age groups. Yoga can help lower blood pressure, heart rate, and stress.

  3. Cuddling - Cuddling can help in releasing oxytocin and lower cortisol. Cuddling is proven beneficial in reducing stress.

  4. Spending Time With Family and Friends - Spending time with your loved ones positively affects the mind, making us happy and relieving stress.

  5. Spending Time in Nature - Try to spend more time in forests and parks. Engage yourself in camping or trekking. Spending more time in nature keeps us refreshed and eventually reduces stress.

  6. Having Supplements - Certain supplements help in reducing stress. Nutritional deficiency can affect your mental health. Supplements like B vitamins, magnesium, and Rhodiola. One should consult the physician before taking these supplements.

  7. Practicing Breathing Exercises - Meditation and breathing exercises help to calm your body. Practicing this daily can be beneficial.

  8. Reducing Caffeine Intake - Caffeine is a chemical found in tea, coffee, chocolate, and a few energy drinks. It stimulates the central nervous system, which makes you feel anxious. Overconsumption can harm the sleep cycle, which will increase stress.

  9. Avoid Negative People - Try avoiding negative people and thoughts.

  10. Laugh Therapy - Laughter improves mood. Laughter helps to release happy hormones.

How Is Stress Diagnosed?

Stress is not measurable. It can be diagnosed alone by the person experiencing stress, whether it is present or how severe it is. However, the healthcare provider might use some questionnaires to understand stress and how it affects one's life. One should seek help or visit a healthcare provider. Talk about the things bothering and causing stress. The healthcare provider can help by offering advice, prescribing medicine, or referring to a therapist.

How to Manage Stress?

There are a few methods that will help you to manage stress before it worsens.

Practicing these can help keep stress at bay:

  • Learn to manage your time effectively.

  • Make time for hobbies.

  • Be assertive.

  • Spend time with your loved ones.

  • Do not rely on alcohol, cigarettes, and drugs, assuming they will help reduce stress.

  • Avoid people who stress you out.

  • Do not try to control the things which are not under your control.

  • Do things that make you happy.

  • Prioritize your tasks.

  • Avoid overthinking.

  • Get enough sleep.

  • Try to set realistic goals and expectations.


Managing stress can help reduce stress and make you feel healthier. Work-life balance is a crucial aspect of managing stress. So it is essential to understand the factors causing stress and treat them accordingly.

Frequently Asked Questions


What Are the Top 5 Techniques for Lowering Stress?

Stress has become a part of everyone’s daily life. The top five techniques that help reduce stress are exercising, organizing the day's work, giving yourself time to breathe, meditating, and exploring places. 


Why Do I Become Anxious So Quickly?

Some common factors that trigger anxiety are health issues, medications for congestion, weight loss,  birth control medications, consuming excessive caffeine, skipping meals, negative thinking, financial concerns, and post-traumatic stress. 


How Can I Quickly Reduce My Stress?

The fastest way to reduce stress is to find the sun, take a quick walk, breathe deeply, listen to music, massage your hands, count numbers backward, and stretch your body. In addition, meditation regularly helps you stay away from stress. 


What Are the Signs of Extreme Stress?

The signs of extreme stress are sleep deprivation, frequently waking up in sleep, chronic fatigue, getting sick often, muscle soreness, anxiety, detachment from people and activities, lack of energy, overeating or undereating, poor judgment, grinding teeth, biting fingernails, disorganization, avoidance behaviors, and concentration issues.


What Foods Are Stress-Reducers?

There is a variety of food items found to relieve stress. They are fishes rich in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamin D, eggs containing high protein content, pumpkin seeds and bananas rich in potassium, dark chocolate rich in tryptophan, and yogurt (a probiotic). 


Is Stress a Type of Mental Illness?

Stress is not said to be a mental illness. But it is emotional or physical tension. However, being stressed by the thoughts of events that make you frustrated and nervous can lead to mental health issues later or worsen the existing mental illness. 


How Long Can Body Withstand Stress?

Chronic or long-term stress can make a person unable to regain control over their life. Studies reveal that stress is most commonly associated with lifestyle habits, and modifying them could help relieve stress. However, stress for a long time can lead to health-related issues, worsening the physical and emotional status of the individual further.


Do Bananas Help With Stress?

Bananas help in reducing stress as they are rich in potassium and vitamin B. This is because vitamin B6 and folate content in bananas are required to produce serotonin, which improves mood and minimizes stress. 


Does Stress Harm the Brain?

The brain consists of gray and white matter, responsible for decision-making, problem-solving, and communication. Chronic stress can lead to the overproduction of myelin and can cause a change in the balance between the structural and functional components of the brain, which in the long-term lead to lasting changes in the brain. 


What Are the Consequences of Overthinking?

Overthinking can affect a person’s ability to engage with others, make decisions, enjoy the present moment, and feeling energetic. Instead, it keeps the person stressed all day, depressed, feeling sad, lonely, and empty.


How Can Anxiety Be Assessed?

The prevalence of anxiety disorders led to the development of anxiety assessment tools. They are Beck’s anxiety inventory, the depression anxiety stress scale, the Yale-brown obsessive-compulsive scale, and the Hamilton anxiety scale. Anxiety can be assessed with the help of these criteria. 

Last reviewed at:
05 Sep 2022  -  4 min read




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