As of recent, I’ve been interested in stress management. Stress is something that unfortunately has the possibility to hinder us all at times. We can however, use stressful times as an opportunity to find relief in new directions, try something new and/or use the negative energy to fuel something positive.
In such an interest, I’ve been researching tips and tricks to help handle stress.
I think the first thing to identify when discussing stress is that there are different types.
Covert stress as its name suggests builds up with no clear warning and can occur in various ways. The most common factor that aids covert stress is lack of sleep. Unfortunately this can happen for various reasons such as your job, responsibilities or something as simple as an unorganised environment.
Covert stress is dangerous because usually it’s hard to detect until the last minute.
Overt stress on the other hand is obvious, it can still however come without warning. Overt stress tends to take you from your current stress level to maximum (or very close) in a short amount of time. Such stress can come about in the exact same ways as covert stress however, may appear to be more obvious. Arguments, unexpected outcomes or even pain can be triggers.
The difference between the two is, covert stress increases over a period of time. You may feel as though you’re ok but you’re taking measures to handle your new levels of stress. Overt stress happens instantly, it tends to make you act irrationally and disturb your standard routines.
As well as providing my own findings, I also asked the question, “What do you do to relieve stress? Do you have any techniques that seem to help you time and time again?” on Facebook to see what other people do to relieve stress.
So what can you do to help alleviate stress?
It seems as though Music is something that everyone considers very important when handling stress. It’s a fact that listening to music can absorb our emotions, act as a distraction and be a great aid towards meditation. Slow, low tempo music can help to lower the heart rate, blood pressure and decrease the amount of stress hormones. There isn’t one song that works for everyone, but the next time you’re feeling stressed, have a cycle through your music collection and see what works for you.
Exercise – Walking / Running
I’m sure we have all heard that exercise is a great stress relief. According to the Daily Mail, “walking briskly or jogging really does calm you down by sparking nerve cells in the brain that relax the senses”. When you exercise, the body releases endorphins. Endorphins are feel good hormones and can even reduce your perception of pain. Exercise = Endorphins = Reduced stress. If you’d like to read more about how exercise can reduce your stress, check out WebMD.
Something that is often overlooked is essential oils. Throughout history essential oils have been used to relax the body and assist in handling stress. Oils are a great way to indulge your different senses and focus on a clear goal that is relaxation.
Below are the top 5 essential oils used to reduce stress:
Essential oils work differently to other techniques. They contain substances that can cause calming or stimulating feelings. It’s suggested to add them to a warm bath, rub them on your skin or use candles to spread the scent.
These are just a few ways you can reduce stress, some of which I use myself. Other methods include, meeting with friends , meditation and even fuelling a talent.
I would love to hear about your experiences with stress and what techniques you used to overcome it. If you’re happy to share, please leave a comment below!
I would like to say a thank you to Dagmara, Rachel, Xavier, Darren, Louisa, Jody, Leanne, James, Margaret and Ellis for guiding this post with their own tips.