Stress is a growing cause of concern globally. It has been described as a slow killer. Whether it is stress in your workplace or from a problem at home, 3 out of 4 doctor’s visit are for stress- related ailments. Chronic stress increases the risk for a depression diagnosis.

Here are a few practical ways to relieve stress instantly and stop it from waging war on your health. And the best part is, you can do it start right now!

  1. Breathing exercises: Once the body is relaxed, the mind will follow suit. Just by taking a deep breath while placing your hand on your belly, you can lower cortisol levels in the body and help reduce anxiety and stress. Simply focus on inhaling deeply with your hand on your belly and exhaling. This also helps lower blood pressure and is guaranteed to make you feel much better.

2. Indulge your taste buds: Eating a sweet snack or chocolate can help relieve stress. Focus and savour the taste of a particular snack that makes you happy. You can also keep your calories down by trying sugarless gum or a ripe fruit. Anything that tastes good enough to distract you and leave you feeling happy. You’d be surprised at the results.

3. Write it Down/Talk About It: One effective way to deal stress is to take a few minutes during your day to focus sharing any or all issues that is stressing you. Whether you pour it out in a journal or tell it all to your best-friend, partner or counsellor, studies have shown that sharing stressful situations can be very helpful.

4. Memories: Recalling any happy memory you have or looking at a cherished picture can help you feel less stressed. So close your eyes and imagine a happy memory and try to relive it. Look at that cherished photo of yourself or a loved one.

5. Good old Laughter: Indulging your sense of humour has a way of combating stress. Laughter helps with circulation and aids muscle relaxation. It also boosts the secretion of endorphins which are natural opiates known to stimulate feelings of attachment and bonding while diminishing cortisol and epinephrine. So go on the internet and find that video that is funny enough to make you smile or laugh. Enjoy the natural antidote to the effects of stress.

If a particular method doesn’t work, try another technique. The important thing is to find a working mechanism and deal with stress today.

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