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19 Exercises To Help You Cope With Stress!

  • 26 Nov 2021

“Taking time to do nothing often brings everything into perspective.”

– Doe Zantamata

What is Stress?

Stress is your body’s way of showing you that you are tired and burnt-out. It can lead to demotivation and a decrease in productivity. There are two states in which all humans can exist — relaxed or stressed. When you are relaxed, your energy vibrates at a high frequency, and your body recharges itself. You heal and replenish your skills during this time.

However, when you’re stressed, your energy gets exhausted and your healing powers slow down. You tend to feel tired and burnt-out during this time.

There is a need to strike a balance between stress and relaxation in our day-to-day lives and that is why we are going to briefly discuss 19 exercises to help you cope with stress!

1. Go for a Walk

Walking increases the flow of endorphins, a chemical produced by the body to release stress and anxiety. An increase in these endorphins will get your creative juices flowing. So, next time you get up from your desk to make a cup of coffee, take a slight detour and treat yourself to a 15 minutes walk!

2. Take Deep Breaths

We have all heard of this one, haven’t we? This is the easiest way to calm your nerves. It helps to release stress in the span of 5-10 minutes. All you have to do is take a deep breath in, hold for a few seconds and slowly breathe out. The 4-7-8 breathing technique is a bonus! This will increase the flow of oxygen in your body and help reduce stress. If you’re not a fan of exercise, this one’s for you!

3. Plan Your Course of Action

Sometimes, all your body needs is a plan of action to get itself ready for what’s to come. You can jot down the activities for the upcoming hours at the beginning of the day and help your brain prepare. It also helps in prioritising important tasks. Make sure these tasks are attainable within the given time frame. This technique can calm your nerves and help you get ready for a much more productive day.

4. Put on Some Music

It doesn’t matter what kind of music you listen to. It is scientifically proven that listening to music boosts productivity and motivation. It de-stresses your body and helps decrease hormones that negatively affect our weight, immune system, and brain.

5. Coffee or Tea? Have Tea!

Coffee has high amounts of caffeine that can increase anxiety and stress. It makes the person consuming it hyperactive. When you’re stressed and need a breather, tea will help you do just that! Tea also reduces inflammation and provides the energy boost you need. So, steer away from that coffee maker and grab some tea packets!

6. Quick Power Nap

Taking power naps while on a break can be just what your body and brain need! These short 15-30 minutes naps not only reboot your entire body but also energise your brain. When you wake up, you will feel more organised and productive than before. Grab a pillow, put on an alarm and let yourself rest for a while!

7. Put on a TED Talk!

TED talks can be highly motivating and resourceful. Not only will you become more productive but you might also learn a thing or two about how everything works.

The best part is that a lot of them are available on YouTube! Turn on your device, open YouTube, don’t let yourself get carried away by the weird wonders and watch some TED talks!

8. Interact with a Friend

Have you noticed how your mood instantly brightens up after talking to a friend? This is because your body releases a hormone called oxytocin that decreases stress and instantly lifts your mood. Moreover, it helps form better bonds with friends! Pick up your phone and call someone you miss!

9. Stretch Your Limbs

Just like walking, stretching your body can loosen your stiffness. It increases blood flow and helps regain energy and motivation. Techniques for neck, back, and shoulder stretching are readily available online. Get out of that chair and treat yourself to some relaxing stretches!

10. Do Something You Love

Sounds pretty cliche, but doing something you love makes your body release serotonin, a hormone that acts as a mood booster and helps you get out of your burnt-out stage. Do whatever makes you happy. It could be reading a book, cooking or even cleaning! Anything that fills you with contentment will help you decrease stress.

11. Work Outdoors

Working outside can help boost your productivity. Studies show that along with improving your mood, it makes you healthier and fitter. Fresh air not only revives energy but also leads to more creativity. The increased demands for outdoor activities like camping and hiking, clearly show the life-changing impact nature can have on us.

12. Meditation

Meditating can be extremely helpful to calm anxiety-induced stress. All you need to do is focus on your breathing and close your eyes while thinking of a happy place. It also helps you increase patience levels and become more mindful of everything you do. Meditation works well if done for approximately 15 minutes every morning. It releases stress for the upcoming day and gathers the energy needed to get through.

13. Clean or Unclutter Your Desk

Sometimes, the mind needs to declutter or be in clean surroundings to calm down. A clean environment helps you focus better and explore your creativity. A study showed that students who washed dishes had more positivity and happiness. Organise your desk and see how it works out for you!

14. Chewing Gum

Studies show that the simple act of chewing gum can reduce stress and anxiety. Scented gum is a plus. Chew it for at least three minutes to see results. Chewing gum produces brain waves that are strikingly similar to the brain waves of relaxed people. Moreover, it promotes blood flow to the brain and lowers anxiety levels.

15. Aromatherapy

This method focuses on reducing stress and anxiety by scents. You can use scents based on your personal preference. Some familiar and relaxing scents are lavender, rose, vetiver, bergamot, roman chamomile, frankincense, sandalwood, ylang-ylang and orange blossom.

16. Laugh it off!

Studies show that laughing, even fake, can cause your body to release endorphins. It decreases stress-causing cortisol and calms down the bursts of adrenaline. “Fake it till you make it” can be true in this case!

17. Sleep Better

We are all subjected to the vicious cycle of lack of sleep and stress. Stress causes you to lose sleep, and less sleep is one of the main factors of stress. This cycle is not suitable for your body. Make sure you sleep for 7-8 hours daily, as doctors recommend. It replenishes your energy and lifts your mood..

18. Eat Healthy Food

We unconsciously pick up sugary and fat-filled foods to lift our moods when we’re feeling low. However, these foods might be the very reason for our stress. You can never go wrong with fruits and vegetables. Omega-3 fatty acids have also proven to calm down stress and anxiety. Plan your meals, and you’ll do much better while coping up with stress.

19. Healthy Lifestyle Habits

The following are a series of healthy habits that help you cope with stress in the long-run:

  • Waking up early and drinking a glass of water
  • Making your bed
  • Taking a hot shower
  • Having three healthy meals in a day
  • Avoiding junk foods
  • Working out at least three times a week
  • Focusing on moving your body and getting as less screen time as possible
  • Reading at least 20 pages a day
  • Going to sleep early and getting 7-8 hours of rest

These tips will not only help you lift your spirits up every day but will also aid your health and immune system in the long run.

 Jess Doshi 

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