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5 Stress Management Techniques To Relieve Stress Instantly

Stress. We all experience it in our life. We all know what it feels like. But what is it, exactly?

According to MedLinePlus, stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is your body’s reaction to a challenge or demand. In short bursts, stress can be positive, such as when it helps you avoid danger or meet a deadline. But when stress lasts for a long time, it may harm your health.

There are various stress management techniques. This article mentions the main 5 techniques to relieve stress.

“Fake it until you make it.” There’s more truth and value in this than you may think!

Stress and the Body

When we are stressed, our whole body responds. Our heartbeat becomes faster, we can’t breathe properly, and our thinking becomes clouded. It’s as if we need all our energy to relieve the stress we’re going through.

This leads to a vicious cycle, because our body always listens and responds to what’s going on. So due to this physical response when we’re stressed, our body becomes even more stressed. It’s a vicious cycle, but the cycle can be broken with enough determination and willpower.

Stress and the Brain

There are two main brain parts associated with stress. The first is the amygdala, which is associated with stress, fear and anxiety. The second brain part associated with stress is the prefrontal cortex. When we’re stressed, there is an increase of blood flow to the amygdala, which becomes activated. Because of this, the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with executive functions in our brain, does not have enough blood to function properly anymore – hence the cloudy thinking. This means we are not able to think straight and clearly anymore.

We cannot avoid stress – we have stressors in everyday life. However, we can learn how to deal with stress. The trick here is to transmute stress and release it from your body and from your nervous system. There are various stress management techniques, and we’ll mention the 5 main techniques in this article. These techniques will help you to build resilience, perform better and show up in the world like the rockstar that you are.

Five Ways To Relieve Stress

1. Take deep breaths

The first technique is to take deep breaths, starting from all the way in your belly. When we are stressed, we usually start breathing high up in our chest, which triggers our stress levels even further. Breathing from the abdomen allows more oxygen to enter your body, thus giving your lungs more air and room to breathe. Deep breathing activates the vagus nerve, which is a nerve that runs from the neck down through the diaphragm. The vagus nerve then sends a signal to your brain to lower your heart rate. And as we talked about, your body always listens and responds. So as your heart rate lowers, your body also calms down and relaxes again.

5 Stress Management Techniques To Relieve Stress Instantly

There are numerous breathing exercises that you can try, such as Box Breathing, Mindfulness Breathing, Alternate Nostril Breathing, or Belly Breathing. All of them can help with stress relief, so practice some of these techniques and see what works best for you.

2. Movement

By movement, we mean any form of movement. Movement instantly reduces stress levels from your body as well – and this can be anything. You can go to the gym and work out hard. You can go walking. You can go stretch it out. You can go running – it doesn’t matter. Movement reduces stress.

When you are stressed, it takes up a lot of your energy to maintain that feeling. Movement gets rid of that excess energy to help you calm down. Exercise is a great way for stress relief as it takes your mind off the situation, plus – it helps you stay in shape!

3. Laughing

The third technique is laughing, and “fake it until you make it” really works here. Your body responds to everything literally. This means that you can trick your body and brain into feeling better. When you put on a YouTube video that’s very funny and you laugh, even if you don’t mean it, your body takes this literally. Your body then responds to the movement and action of laughing and sends a signal to your brain to release the happy hormone called serotonin.

Fake it until you make it now has a whole new meaning: laugh until you feel better.

If you’re feeling upset, turn on a comedy show or just contact a funny friend or family member. There are also plenty of funny jokes out there to take you right out of your funk!

4. Posture

Improving Your Posture
Along the same lines as the laughing technique, you can adjust your posture to relieve stress. When you improve your posture, stand up straight, turn your shoulders back, open your chest, put up your head a little bit (not too much, you don’t want to look cocky!) your body sends a signal to your brain again. That thought of ‘oh, my posture is good, I’m activated, open, and welcoming, I must feel good, right?!’ once again triggers the release of hormones that make you feel better.

There’s a study that was conducted, where people who were depressed were asked to start playing badminton. You know badminton, like tennis, right? You may wonder, what does this have to do with each other?

Well, when you’re depressed or not feeling good, you often look down to the ground and start shrinking. When you’re consciously playing a sport like badminton, you always look up, because you have to find the shuttle to play it back to your opponent. So these studies showed once again that ‘fake it until you make it’ helped to make people feel better.

5. Meditation

Another one of the main stress management techniques is meditation. Meditation doesn’t just help with stress relief in the moment; it also helps very well to prevent stress. Meditation in the long run, especially when practiced on a daily level, helps to reduce activity in the amygdala. As we mentioned earlier, the amygdala is associated with fear, stress and anxiety. When the amygdala is calm, the mind and the body are calm as well.

Reducing Stress Through Meditation
Besides decreasing activity in the amygdala, meditation also helps to increase activity in the prefrontal cortex, which is associated with the brain’s executive functions. So this means that meditation helps to relieve stress and anxiety levels, while increasing clear thinking, productivity, focus, et cetera. Daily meditation therefore not only helps to relieve stress levels, but also helps prevent you from falling into the stress trap.

We hope you enjoyed reading about the 5 main stress management techniques that you can use for stress relief. What’s even more powerful than using these techniques separately, is using different techniques together. You got this!

Here’s a free Meditation Toolkit for you!

Would you like to start or deepen your meditation journey right away? Here’s a free Meditation Toolkit to help you build a consistent, long-term practice that you love! 

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