The evil of our contemporary civilization is stress. This occurrence is not fatal! We can all learn to control it to prevent it from ruining our daily life and producing numerous health issues (backaches, stomach aches, headaches…).
Although it can take some time, everyone can learn to manage their stress in extreme circumstances (rush hour at work, test times, family issues, etc.).
We have seen four techniques in part 1. Here are some more stress-relieving strategies and straightforward tips to help you better understand yourself and be more at peace.
Let’s delay no further. Here we go!
1. Watching a horror movie
Paradoxical? Not so much! There is evidence that horror movies are excellent stimuli for mental health.
For example, when a person watches a movie with vampires, the concentration releases energy to neurotransmitters called glutamate, dopamine, and serotonin. The viewer remains “awake” throughout the action, and his brain activity increases.
How does it work?
The signals sent stimulate the adrenal glands, which produce adrenaline.
The released adrenaline relieves the body’s pain like an anesthetic. When the movie ends, the body and brain calm down. The viewer feels a little stronger!
2. A chocolate bar for every crisis
It is common to have a sudden craving for chocolate during a sudden surge of stress (or fatigue!)… Chocolate contains phenylethylamine and serotonin, which transmit vitamin B1 and magnesium to the brain, true anti-stress agents.
- to avoid temporary tiredness;
- to release positive energy to move forward;
- to fight against cardiovascular diseases and certain forms of cancer.
In addition, its action is immediate!
Note: choose dark chocolate.
3. One laugh a day
While children laugh 400 times a day, adults only laugh an average of 15 times. However, researchers have shown that laughter is excellent for your health and impacts stress and even the first signs of aging!
When a person laughs, their zygomatic muscles are activated. Their brain relaxes because it is as if the feared danger has been averted. Sometimes, we may laugh for no reason because the brain releases nervous tension to prevent us from panicking.
Laughter allows us to:
- stay positive;
- release tension;
- massage the stomach and digestive system by contracting the diaphragm and abdominal muscles;
- supply oxygen to the brain.
Do you know about laughter yoga?
4. Take acting classes
What could be better than letting go during an improvisation session or slipping into the shoes of other characters? For shy or easily anxious people, theater teaches how to manage the fear of expressing oneself in public and how to manage stress through several breathing exercises.
- to work on your breath, your breathing, and your voice;
- to laugh and share;
- to master the art of improvisation;
- to deliver oneself in front of other people;
- practice memorization.
Generally speaking, all creative activities (singing, painting, music…) help to divert emotional energy towards achievements.
5. Take care of your sleep
If you spend a third of your life sleeping, it’s because you need to! Nothing is more effective than a good night’s sleep to be fresh and ready the next day. But when you’re stressed, sometimes there’s nothing you can do.
Here are a few ideas to improve your sleep during times of stress or to make your nights more restful:
- Watch your diet: avoid consuming caffeine and theine before going to bed and favor foods rich in carbohydrates that will help you find sleep (bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, cereals, etc.)
- Prepare for sleep: at least one hour before going to bed, turn off the screens, relax, and move away from all sources of noise. A good book, a hot shower, and an open window should help you fall asleep faster than expected!
- Waking up well: don’t neglect the importance of light for an efficient and gentle awakening! Open your curtains when the alarm goes off, and prepare soft music to stretch out comfortably. Hydrate and take the time to enjoy your breakfast.
Note: Still not getting enough sleep? Take naps after your meal, if you can, for 15 to 20 minutes.
Try the 5 techniques above to overcome stress, and share your experience in the comments below. To learn more, read part 3.