Being bothered by stress is no fun, and unfortunately almost everyone has to deal with it. You can even get spontaneously bothered by clammy hands, shallow breathing and a heart raging. Fortunately, there are a number of things that you can initially do yourself to get this under control.
1. Work out
Various studies have shown that exercising is one of the best ways to get rid of stress. Nearly 3000 participants with different medical conditions were examined at the University of Georgia, which showed that participants who exercised regularly reduced their stress by 20 percent. The researchers also found that exercise helped participants who had no serious stress complaints. According to the National Institutes of Health you can do the best in jogging, swimming, cycling or walking to get rid of your complaints.
2. Take a deep breath
It may sound obvious, but when you take the time to breathe in and out deeply, your stress attack may fade away. By breathing through your stomach for 20 to 30 minutes a day – which you can do by breathing slowly, deeply and regularly – your brain gets more oxygen. This stimulates your nervous system and allows your body to relax. So breathe in, breathe out …
3. Warm yourself up
Heat makes you feel comfortable. A study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology showed that warm sensations cause serotonin to be released into your brain, a neurotransmitter that regulates your mood. A Japanese study also showed that participants saw their stress complaints subside after a visit to the sauna. Good excuse for a spa day, isn’t it?
4. Go for a walk
A long walk can also help prevent stress. According to a study at Stanford University, surrounded by nature can ensure that your symptoms decrease. The researchers studied the mood of 60 people before and after taking a 50-minute walk. They found that people who took a walk through nature felt less anxious afterwards than the people who had walked through the city. Research has also shown that spending time in a green space reduces the activity in a part of your brain that is associated with depression and mental illness. Forest walk, any one?
It is probably no surprise: meditation can also help you in many different ways. Even 30 minutes of zen time a day does a lot. The discipline you need for meditation (such as focusing on your breathing, thoughts and feelings without forming an opinion about it) can help you to eliminate negative emotions. Zennnnn …
6. Take a Shower
Hot showers are nice and all that, but don’t sleep with the benefits of a refreshing, cold rinse! A cold shower (even a short one) increases the blood circulation in the body, waking you up and making you feel more alert and energetic. During a cold shower, your body also releases endorphins, known as one of our “happy” hormones.
7. Eat oily fish
Fish that is rich in omega-3 fats is not only good for your heart, it can also help you control your fears. Now an omega-3 supplement like a fish oil tablet will not help you any further: you can get the best omega-3 fats from the source: try to eat oily fish three times a week, such as salmon, trout or sardines.
8. Listen to your favorite music
It could also help to listen to soothing music. According to an Australian study, listening to relaxing music before doing something stressful helps calm your nervous system. It would even help better than trying to relax in silence! Choose something that makes you feel good, be it hardstyle, acoustic music or punk rock – everyone relaxes in their own way!
9. Get excited
Do you have to do something that makes sweat fall on your back? Then try to hyped yourself a little before you start. By saying “I am excited” instead of trying to relax you could perform even better, according to a study by the American Psychological Association. Come on with that personal pep talk!
10. Go to sleep
A good night’s sleep is essential if you want to prevent stress. Research has shown that a sleep deprivation is associated with depression, and anxiety and panic attacks. It’s just not clear if the panic attacks keep you awake at night or if a lack of sleep increases the chance of panic attacks. In any case, the National Sleep Foundation recommends that you sleep seven to nine hours a night to prevent symptoms. Do you have trouble relaxing before you go to sleep? Then try these tips to fall asleep faster.
11. Go stretch
Doing yoga exercises to stretch your muscles can do a lot of good. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine has shown that after three months a group of participants who practiced yoga three times a week were less troubled by their fears and attacks than a group of participants who had three times a week went for a walk. Pull out your yoga mat!
12. Drink plenty of water
Do you feel weak? Drink at least enough water! According to a study at the University of Connecticut, participants suffering from mild dehydration felt very anxious after walking for 40 minutes on a treadmill. They were also less able to think clearly and their energy levels became very low, making you feel even more anxious.
Do all the above tips not help? Then it might be wise to seek professional help. If your symptoms get worse and worse, you may have to set up a personal plan with a therapist to get rid of your symptoms.