3 simple strategies for stress relief – Harvard Health

Read Time:4 Minute, 57 Second

Magnets, sound, and batteries: Choosing safe toys
5 numbers linked to ideal heart health
How can mindfulness practices help with migraine?
Navigating a chronic illness during the holidays
Gift giving for family or friends in assisted living
Saturated fat and low-carb diets: Still more to learn?
Tinnitus: Ringing or humming in your ears? Sound therapy is one option
Naps: Make the most of them and know when to stop them
Making holiday shopping decisions quicker and with less stress
Yoga for weight loss: Benefits beyond burning calories
Harvard Health Blog
The last few months of any year, with deadlines and holidays, often create a harried pace. The beginning of a new year can give you a chance to exhale. But even if you experience a few serene days or weeks, tight shoulders and tension are never far off.
Family stress. Work stress. Daily life stress. Self-induced stress brought on by scrolling through the news. As it turns out, stress is almost impossible to avoid. So this year, instead of waiting for your most recent stressful patch to ebb, take a different approach. Teach yourself to stay grounded and calm — regardless of what’s going on around you.
It’s important to manage stress, because it’s not only emotionally taxing, but it’s also bad for your health. When you are under stress, the levels of a hormone called cortisol start to rise in your blood. Over time, chronic stress that results in higher than normal levels of cortisol can wreak havoc on your metabolism, spurring weight gain (particularly around your middle), and causing dangerous inflammation inside your body. It can affect your blood sugar levels, your blood pressure and heart, and even your memory.
To lessen the effects of stress, try three simple strategies to help you reset.
Take a new approach. Much of life’s stress comes from how we view the various situations we encounter. For example, two people may take on the exact same task, but only one person may find it stressful. Some of this has to do with personality, but it also has to do with your inner narrative — how you frame things in your mind. Aim to change your perspective, and you can often reduce the number of stressors in your life.
Burn off tension. Physical activity can reduce cortisol levels, and help get you on a more even keel. But for many people, sticking to a daily exercise schedule is itself stressful, because they pick activities they don’t enjoy. Instead, choose to do something you love — gardening, taking nature walks, or yoga, which can slow the harmful effects of stress. Looking forward to the activity can keep you motivated, and help you destress and recharge.
Get organized. Ever spend 20 minutes looking for your car keys or trying to find a misplaced shoe? Disorganization and clutter can be stress inducing, and it’s unnecessary. Taking time to set up some systems, such as a set location for your keys, can help reduce these daily nuisances. In addition, plan ahead when it comes to other strategies that can help you manage your stress. Create a time for exercise, to plan healthy meals, and get on a regular schedule to ensure that you’re getting enough sleep. Also, if you know you’re going to be encountering a stressful period — the anniversary of a loved one’s death, an upcoming surgery, a financial challenge — think ahead of time about how you are going to manage it. Having a plan can help to reduce your level of stress, and prevent it from taking a toll on your health.
Whatever strategies you choose, be certain to take time to assess and revise your approach if it’s not working. Sometimes finding the right combination of stress busters can take time. If you are trying to reduce stress on your own and aren’t having any success, talk to your doctor. She or he might recommend a mental health specialist who can help.
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles. No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
Commenting has been closed for this post.
You might also be interested in…
While some stress is inevitable, when your body repeatedly encounters a set of physiological changes dubbed the stress response, trouble can brew. Stress may contribute to or exacerbate various health problems. But it’s possible to dismantle negative stress cycles. This Special Health Report, Stress Management: Enhance your well-being by reducing stress and building resilience, can help you identify your stress warning signs and learn how to better manage stressful situations.
Mind & Mood
Mind & Mood
Mind & Mood
Get the latest in health news delivered to your inbox!
© 2021 by The President and Fellows of Harvard College
Do not sell my personal information | Privacy Policy
Thanks for visiting. Don’t miss your FREE gift.
The Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness, is yours absolutely FREE when you sign up to receive Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School
Sign up to get tips for living a healthy lifestyle, with ways to fight inflammation and improve cognitive health, plus the latest advances in preventative medicine, diet and exercise, pain relief, blood pressure and cholesterol management, and more.
Health Alerts from Harvard Medical School
Get helpful tips and guidance for everything from fighting inflammation to finding the best diets for weight loss…from exercises to build a stronger core to advice on treating cataracts. PLUS, the latest news on medical advances and breakthroughs from Harvard Medical School experts.
BONUS! Sign up now and
get a FREE copy of the
Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness
Stay on top of latest health news from Harvard Medical School.
Plus, get a FREE copy of the Best Diets for Cognitive Fitness.

source

Happy
Happy
0 %
Sad
Sad
0 %
Excited
Excited
0 %
Sleepy
Sleepy
0 %
Angry
Angry
0 %
Surprise
Surprise
0 %

Average Rating

5 Star
0%
4 Star
0%
3 Star
0%
2 Star
0%
1 Star
0%

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Previous post The Road Ahead: Helpful Tips for Success at Rehab in Pennsylvania – Amico Hoops
Next post Yoga for Traveling: Simple, Seated Stretches to Try – Health Essentials from Cleveland Clinic