We all experience stress, but letting it get the best of us can have disastrous effects on our health. Here are six easy ways to keep stress levels in control.
As much as we try to avoid it, stress happens, and it sometimes can be motivationally useful in small doses. Chronic stress, however, can be a huge problem for both our minds and bodies. According to WebMD, about 43% of adults suffer from adverse health effects caused by stress, and it’s actually one of the main reasons people visit their doctor each year.
Luckily, managing our stress on a day-to-day basis can be as simple as laughing at a joke, or turning on your favorite song. Most importantly, learning to listen to our bodies and take a break when we need it will help us avoid the risks that accompany high levels of stress. Here are six of the best ways to reduce stress and start living well today.
Whether it’s pumping iron or taking a vigorous walk, working out helps reduce stress in two ways. It not only decreases our levels of cortisol and adrenaline, the hormones that cause stress, but also releases endorphins that make you feel happy and relaxed.
The next time you feel anxious or high-strung, go on a walk, practice yoga, or work out your frustrations on a punching bag. It’s a constructive release for your anxiety that’s proven to work.
Studies suggest that daily meditation not only reduces stress, but actually alters brain functions for the better, as was reported in the Washington Post. Meditating helps sever the links between the brain’s assessment center, which tends to take things personally when you’re stressed, and its bodily responses.
When we encounter stressful situations, our meditated brains handle the tension without inciting a physical reaction or duress.
3. Listen to Music
Research published in Stanford News shows that listening to soothing music can affect the brain as much as meditation. Listening to songs you enjoy while you’re in a stressful situation is an excellent way to cope with difficulties. Even if your favorite genre is death metal, you’re likely to find refuge and a sense of calm in the music.
We all like to laugh, but did you know that there’s a scientific reason why? Similar to exercise, laughter releases those feel-good endorphins and lowers our level of cortisol. Escape the anxiety by watching your favorite comedy or catching up with a funny friend.
5. Talk About It
Bottling up your feelings can have dire consequences, and talking things out with a close friend can help provide some much-needed perspective in difficult situations. If stress is wreaking havoc on your life and the above methods haven’t eased the impact on your mind and body, it may be time to talk to a professional.
A trained counselor will listen to your story and provide specific yet objective advice and coping methods based on your habits and personality.
6. Sign up for Healthcare Coverage with SingleCare
With so many things causing you stress on a daily basis, don’t add anxieties over healthcare coverage to the list. SingleCare connects you with top quality medical professionals at affordable rates, even if you don’t have insurance.
Plenty of people experiencing stress do seek out help from a mental health professional, but many insurance plans either don’t cover these visits at all or limit coverage to a select few. SingleCare can be used in conjunction with your existing coverage to schedule mental health appointments at a reduced cost.
With SingleCare, there are no pesky monthly premiums or high deductibles, so you can put your health first without sacrificing your state of mind.
(Main image credit: Calibe Thompson/flickr)