We all know that stress isn’t good for us. The effects of stress can be debilitating, and for millions of people, stress leads to all sorts of symptoms and ailments, including headaches, muscle tension, difficulty sleeping, irritability, and lowered immunity. Chronic stress suppresses the body’s ability to regulate the inflammatory response, which can promote and advance disease. With demanding, hectic schedules, you may not always be able to control what happens in your daily life, but you can practice healthy habits to manage stress. Here are six stress management tips to cope with stress mindfully, brought to you by top physicians at One Medical Group.
1. Take a Breather
Ever notice yourself responding to a frustrating situation with a deep sigh? A deep breath from your abdomen can stimulate the parasympathetic nervous system, resulting in a sense of relaxation. In stressful situations, take a minute, or a few minutes if you can, to breathe mindfully. Deep, mindful breathing can be a simple but very effective tool to help calm your mind and refresh your perspective. Practice mindful breathing on your commute, at your desk, or while waiting in a long line. Focus all of your attention on your breath while you take slow, deep inhalations and exhalations. Consider this exercise in stress management your natural “reset” button.
2. Go Outside
Go for a walk. Get some fresh air. Gain a new point of view. The point is to stimulate your senses and shift your awareness to something other than the stressor. A little break from your current environment and some fresh air and sunlight might be just what you need to refresh your mindset.
3. Help Others
Volunteering has been proven to relieve stress. It can be an uplifting way to change how you feel about your life, and at the same time positively impact someone else’s life in a profound way. In fact, “people can experience a ‘volunteer’s high,’” says One Medical Group’s Kristen Scarlett, LMHC. “This is also seen with random acts of kindness. Volunteering helps people find a purpose and builds self-esteem too!”
Read on for more ways to manage stress.