Say Yes to Less Stress. Here's How.

Six tips for reducing the physical effects of stress

02/26/19

When we’re feeling stressed—and occasionally, it’s inevitable—things can get out of whack. Stress has been linked to everything from chest pain to upset stomach to difficulty sleeping. The long-term effects of chronic stress can be devastating, resulting in overeating, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and more. But if you can recognize stress, you can help minimize its impact. Here’s how.

Breathe, then breathe again

Take 5 deep breaths when you’re feeling anxiety or stress. Studies suggest that deep breathing can lower cortisol levels and lead to a temporary drop in blood pressure.

Fire your endorphins with exercise

Find something you like—yoga, running, ping-pong, whatever exercise you’ll actually do. Exercise triggers the production of special neurochemicals in the pituitary gland, and fires other feel-good neurotransmitters, too. This can help negate the effects of stress on the body.

Get an, ahhhh, massage

When the body is stressed, muscles—particularly those of the neck and back—contract in a fight or flight reaction. That’s why a massage can make you feel like a brand new, un-stressed human.

Pour a nice cup of tea

Studies suggest that tea lowers cortisol levels and leads to greater relaxation. And wrapping your hands around a cup of black, green or herbal tea can help curb the urge to reach for something harder.

Smooch

Kissing or hugging someone (or even Rover) can potentially release oxytocin and other chemicals that lower blood pressure and ease stress. And now you have the perfect excuse.

Power down

Give yourself permission to opt out of social media, the news, and anything else that potentially adds to anxiety and stress. Make a window for checking and answering emails, then close the window. You won’t miss anything important, and you’ll feel better.

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