Seunga (Jasmine) Han, PharmD Student
It’s that time of the year. With the summer coming to an end, many students are getting ready to start school once again, while others are going back to work after their summer vacation. Whether you’re working or studying, stress is something that everyone experiences. But stress impacts every single one of us differently. Sometimes, stress can be good and can lead to increased productivity. However, prolonged stress can have a negative impact on the body, and today we’ll discuss some ways to manage your stress levels.
4 Main Ways to Reduce Stress Levels
Exercising can be hard to fit into your schedule, especially when you have work or school. Naturally, we make excuses to avoid exercising, yet many of us would agree that a good work out does leave us feeling good about ourselves. This is mainly caused by the release of endorphins – a type of hormone that keeps us feeling good. In fact, exercise has shown to help with mild anxiety and depression. While a total of 150 minutes of exercise is recommended per week, it’s also important to start slow and increase the amount incrementally. So the next time you’re feeling stressed, try going for a quick run or walk – even 10 minutes can do wonders!
#2 Deep Breathing2-4
Recall the last time you were really stressed out or anxious. What was your breath like? Rapid and shallow? How about your heart? Was it pounding? These are all part of the body’s physical response to stress. As your breathing becomes more shallow, you naturally take in less oxygen; as a result, your heart compensates by pumping harder to ensure that all of your organs and body parts remain perfused with enough oxygen and blood.
One technique to help reduce these effects is through deep breathing. We’ve covered in depth about deep breathing in a previous article, and how regular use of deep breathing can be effective in managing anxiety and depression. Take a look at this article for a refresher on deep breathing!
#3 Support Networks5
When people get stressed, there is a tendency to bottle up thoughts and emotions. What we often forget is that there is an option to talk to someone you trust. This could be your family, friends, colleagues, support groups or even your healthcare provider. They may not necessarily have the answers to your problems, but just having someone hear you out can go a long way.
#4 Write Down Your Thoughts
As humans, we are visual creatures and often struggle with making sense of everything when we have a lot going on within our minds. What you could try is writing down your thoughts and taking the time to help process things more clearly!
As always, we hope you took away something valuable from this piece. If you have any questions or concerns regarding this article or others, feel free to reach out to us on Instagram, Facebook, or at email@example.com with your feedback. We’d love to hear from you.
- Exercise and stress: Get moving to manage stress. (2018, March 08). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/stress-management/in-depth/exercise-and-stress/art-20044469
- Yu, W., & Song, J. (2010). Effects of Abdominal Breathing on State Anxiety, Stress, and Tocolytic Dosage for Pregnant Women in Preterm Labor. Journal of Korean Academy of Nursing,40(3), 442. doi:10.4040/jkan.2010.40.3.442
- Perciavalle, V., Blandini, M., Fecarotta, P., Buscemi, A., Corrado, D. D., Bertolo, L., . . . Coco, M. (2016). The role of deep breathing on stress. Neurological Sciences,38(3), 451-458. doi:10.1007/s10072-016-2790-8
- Chien, H., Chung, Y., Yeh, M., & Lee, J. (2015). Breathing exercise combined with cognitive behavioural intervention improves sleep quality and heart rate variability in major depression. Journal of Clinical Nursing,24(21-22), 3206-3214. doi:10.1111/jocn.12972
- Stress Management. (2017, December 7). Retrieved August 30, 2018, from https://myhealth.alberta.ca/Health/pages/conditions.aspx?hwid=rlxsk