All lives have their ups and downs and some stress during the more difficult times is a normal part of life. However, too much stress can have a negative impact on your physical and mental health. It can lead to headaches, stomachaches, muscle tension, anxiety, depression, and worse.
There are many different ways to relieve stress and tension. Some of the most effective methods are supported by scientific studies and are worth considering.
Exercise is one of the best ways to relieve stress and tension. It releases your body’s “feel-good” endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. Exercise can also help to take your mind off of your worries for a time as you focus on your health. Later you can come back to deal with your problems with a fresh perspective.
A study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that just 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise three times a week can significantly reduce stress levels.
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment without judgment. It can be practiced through prayer, meditation, yoga, or simply taking a few minutes each day to focus on your breathing and muscle relaxation.
A study published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry found that mindfulness-based meditation can be effective in reducing stress and anxiety.
Spending time in nature
Spending time in nature has been shown to have a number of health benefits, including reducing stress. A study published in the journal Environmental Science & Technology found that walking in a forest for just 20 minutes can significantly reduce stress hormone levels. It can help just about anyone to take even a short walk in the park or woods, breathe deep, and enjoy the outdoors.
Social support is another important factor in stress management. Having close friends and family members to talk to and rely on can help you to cope with stress more effectively. If you are part of a church group, hobby club, or other regular gathering, you have access to more support through difficult times.
A study published in the journal Psychological Science found that people with strong social support networks have lower levels of stress and better overall health.
Other stress-relieving activities
There are many other activities that can help to relieve stress and tension, such as:
- Listening to music
- Taking a hot bath
- Getting a massage
- Spending time with loved ones
- Doing something creative
- Learning a new skill
- Getting out in nature
It is important for everyone to find stress-relieving activities that you enjoy and that fit into your lifestyle. Experiment with different activities to see what works best for you.