1. Change attitudes towards stress
The keyword is positive thinking. While this is easier said than done, those who change their thinking patterns are already taking a big step towards reducing stress. In some situations, we simply have to accept that they cannot be resolved at the moment or that a deadline cannot be met. It is not worth panicking about; instead, it is better to keep in mind what you have already achieved and that it does not matter if a task is left behind until the next day.
2. Reduce stress with meditation
Meditation helps our body to calm down and switch off. That is why it is enough to practice relaxation techniques for a few minutes every day to significantly reduce our stress level. Also, yoga, autogenous training, and progressive muscle relaxation have this effect and help to build resilience to stress. Other good sports for muscle relaxation are tai chi and qigong.
3. Talk to yourself
This tip sounds ridiculous at first, but talking to ourselves can actually reduce stress. In stressful situations, it is also perfectly allowed to swear out loud and get angry. Those who tend to belong to the introverted types can use the diary and write the frustration off their minds. Often these measures work wonders and make us feel much more liberated.
4. Active relaxation
After a stressful day, you usually want nothing more than to fall on the sofa and let yourself be showered by the television program. However, this type of stress management is of little help. It is much better to relax actively and, for example, play sports, exercise in the fresh air or cook with friends. Our body shuts down automatically and we clear our heads.
5. Eat healthy
Diet is also an important part of reducing stress. Food that is too fatty or too sugary is not exactly beneficial to lower our blood pressure. Instead, you should focus on energy-rich food, drink plenty of water and eat fresh fruits and vegetables.
6. Go offline
Our cell phone ensures that we can be reached at all times these days – even for superiors or customers. However, it is important to switch off after work, which is why we should simply leave our mobile phone in our handbag in our free time or switch it off immediately. Even if it’s difficult: A digital break has a positive effect on our well-being and helps reduce stress.
7. Get enough sleep
Healthy sleep lays the foundation for our wellbeing. Depending on the biorhythm, seven to eight hours of sleep are usually optimal for our body to regenerate. It is also important that we go to bed at regular times and that sources of interference such as the television or street lights are banished from the bedroom.
8. Install Powernap
Speaking of sleep: a study shows that two to three power naps a week for 20 minutes each can improve our heart health. In addition, taking a short nap after lunch not only reduces daytime tiredness, it can also reduce stress. French researchers were able to show this on the basis of a study on the subject of power naps.
9. Hum and sing
Sounds strange, but humming can actually make you calmer inside. Experts suspect that the vibration of the vocal cords caused by humming acts like a massage from within, which calms us down and even lowers blood pressure. If humming is not enough, you can switch to singing – this boosts the release of the so-called cuddle hormone oxytocin. And this not only makes you happy and strengthens interpersonal relationships, but can also improve the immune system and reduce the feeling of pain.
10. Let your breath flow
We usually breathe completely automatically – but too quickly. In order to find inner peace, we should train to let our breath flow properly. The so-called 4-7-8 technique developed by Dr. Andrew Weil. This is how it works:
- Press the tip of your tongue against the back of your upper incisors and hold them there.
- Breathe out completely through your mouth with a sigh.
- Close your mouth and inhale through your nose. You count to four.
- Hold your breath and count to seven.
- Exhale through your mouth again, counting to eight.
You should repeat this exercise about three times a day – preferably in a quiet environment and at a time when you are not disturbed. Incidentally, breathing 4-7-8 can also help with sleep disorders!
What is stress
Stress is physical or emotional stress that is triggered by certain stimuli and can affect our health. For example, it can lead to heart disease, tension in the body or burnout. But there is also positive stress, the so-called eustress, which is healthy and ensures our performance in everyday life. Stress only becomes negative when it leads to permanent tension and frequent exhaustion. In this case, one speaks of distress, which is caused by certain stress factors. So reducing stress is essential to staying healthy in the long run.
By the way, here we explain typical stress symptoms. and how stress management works.