Is stress a major obstacle in your life?
Are you looking for some useful tips to refresh your mind from stress? Would you want to get rid of those needless worries and anxieties and enjoy your life to its fullest?
Of course, those hard-to-face days come at some point in our lives. When they do, instead of facing the challenges positively, most of us build up a fearful and stressful attitude towards them.
However, it is also worth noting that training your mind to stay calm isn’t too complicated a task when we know the right steps.
Meditating, practicing regular workout sessions, performing positive and healthy activities like yoga, getting yourself engaged in some mind refreshing practices such as singing, dancing, painting, or whatever your hobby is, and avoiding the overuse of social media, can reduce your anxiety and stress levels.[Do your Facebook friends reduce your happiness?]
Ten Great Tips To Refresh Your Mind From Stress
So, are you ready to kick out the stress from your life? Then read below our carefully plucked tips on how to refresh mind from stress to lead a positive and healthy life.
Tip #1. Practice Belly Breathing
People who practice deep breathing exercises have observed a considerable amount of anxiety reduction. There’s a scientific explanation. Slow, deep breathing stimulates our wandering nerve, which then releases an anti-stress chemical called acetylcholine. Now acetylcholine, incidentally the chief neurotransmitter of our parasympathetic system, slows down our heart rate.
Here’s how you can practice deep breathing or belly breathing exercise:
- Lie down or sit down, keeping your back straight. Place a hand over your tummy or belly. Draw a deep breath through your nose so that your belly rises and pushes out your hand. Now hold your breath for around 5 seconds, and then exhale through your mouth for around the same 5 seconds. For maximum benefit, repeat it a couple of times each day, up to at least a total of 10 minutes a day.
- If you are unable to hold your breath for 5 seconds, then you may adjust down the inhalation time. However, make sure that you exhale each time twice as long as you inhale.
Tip #2. Do This Yoga Pose
The yoga experts are fond of saying that relaxation is a conscious endeavor that lies somewhere between effort and non-effort.
In yoga, you consciously relax your body muscles. In this state of alert relaxation, you are not in the grip of automatic muscle tension. Your muscles are relaxed, yet they can take commands from your brain to move at will.Relaxation is a conscious endeavor that lies somewhere between effort and non-effort. — Larry Payne Click To Tweet
Shavasana, or the corpse pose asana, is an especially effective exercise for deep relaxation. It’s usually done at the end of a yoga session and helps reduce blood pressure and anxiety.
In this, you lie down flat on the ground with your arms and legs spread slightly apart. Then focus on one part of your body to relax it, starting with feet or head. Keep on until you gradually relax your whole body. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply. After doing this for 5 to 10 minutes, open your eyes, stretch out, and get up.
Tip #3. Eat Healthy Food
Studies find strong relationship between what we eat and how our brain performs. A healthy, nutritious diet helps our mood and mental faculties functioning at an optimal level.
Researchers found Mediterranean diet, which is rich in antioxidants in general and polyphenols in particular, is associated with better cognitive performance in the elderly people at high risk of heart diseases.
Some foods influence the neurochemicals that cause anxiety in the human body, while other foods boost the brain chemicals that result in a sense of peace and cheerfulness. Research found that a stress-induced rise of corticosterone, the stress hormone, got lowered by comfort food. Stress increased the plasma level of glucose and insulin and reduced triglycerides. While the eating of comfort food increased glucose, triglyceride, and leptin levels.
According to research indicates, some foods that can have a relaxing effect on your mind are avocados, blueberries, green tea.
Food also affects sleep, and thereby our mental state during waking hours. Studies have shown that those who sleep less are more likely to consume energy-dense foods — such as fats or refined carbohydrates. Sleep-deprived people also eat fewer portions of vegetables and have more irregular meal patterns.
A study of 80 institutionalized older people fed on melatonin-rich cow milk (that is, milk drawn at nighttime) found the oldies were more active the next morning. This indirectly indicated they had better and more restful sleep the night before.
Research by Rondanelli found a concoction of melatonin, magnesium, and zinc taken daily for 8 weeks, 1 hour before bedtime, improves sleep quality and total sleep time 43 older, insomniac people.
Artificial sweeteners such as aspartame block the delivery of important amino acids to the brain. This leads to lowered levels of dopamine and serotonin in the brain. Later on, this induces anxiety, insomnia, mood swings, and headaches.
Alcohol is a known central nervous system depressant.
Another way to use food for refreshing the mind: Eat your food mindfully.
Tip #4. Listen To Music
You might prefer listening to rock or pop or metal or grunge. But nothing works better than some peaceful, soothing tunes when it comes to relaxing yourself. Such music is known to calm down your mind. Plus, it can divert your focus away from stress.
Music decreases our anxiety levels and lowers the systolic BP. A research with 55 university students revealed that while mere music listening was effective in reducing stress, the most powerful effects were found when, to begin with, ‘relaxation’ was the reason for music listening.
- In addition to calming music, you may also listen to white noise that is specially designed to aid people to feel more relaxed and stress-free. Alternatively, you could try listening to the natural sounds such as the noise of forest, chirping of birds, sound of flowing water, and traffic hum.
- Binaural beats is an exceptional kind of sound that generates greater number of specific brain waves. The alpha pattern of binaural beats, especially, are known to enhance relaxation. In an experiment, patients were given to listen binaural beat audio just before they went into cataract surgery, to find out if it had any effect on their operative anxiety. The researchers found that it reduced their heart rates more than those who listened to plain music or no music.
Tip #5. Get Some Physical Exercise
Physical exercises are an effective remedy to de-stress your life. Physically fit people show reduced cardiovascular and neuro-hormonal responses to psycho-social stress, as compared to those who are unfit.
To find out more about how exercise can make us happier, click the pic below:
Physical training raises our resilience to stress-causing situations. Rats have been shown to have reduced startle response and lower anxiety when they were earlier trained on a treadmill, as compared to sedentary ones. The researchers concluded that endurance training helps grow resilience and recovery from stress.
Regular exercise may also have an antidepressant effect. It does this by protecting us from being bogged down by chronic stress. As we know, depression is often a disorder of our increased reactivity to stress.
By the way, exercise also increases your lifespan. Those who walk briskly for 150+ min/week can increase their life expectancy by 3.4 – 4.5 years, whatever their body weight.
Not sure how to get into a regular habit of exercise? Then steal this: How To Make Exercise A Daily Habit!
Tip #6. Spend Time With Cute Animals
A Japanese study showed that people who frequently looked at the pictures of cute animals had lower levels of stress and anxiety, and also had improved moods.
As per the other studies, people who often interact with animals have lower blood pressure and less stressed than those who rarely get in contact with animals. So, you could get yourself a puppy or a kitten, play with your friend’s cat, or take your neighbor’s dog for a walk.
If you still aren’t feeling calm, then you might opt for animal-assisted psychotherapy — a rehabilitation especially used for diminishing stress and worries using animals like a cat, a dog, or a horse.
Tip #7. Distract Yourself
Practicing your hobbies is a great way to take away your mind’s focus away from stress and anxiety. Here are some activities that can calm and refresh your mind:
- Try painting, sketching, or even doodling an image. You’ll definitely get compelled to concentrate on making the drawing, while pulling yourself away from thinking about the causes of your stress.
- For some, weaving bracelets or knitting sweaters is another great way to divert the focus from the stressors.
Tip #8. Avoid Stressful Acts
One of the worst things that prevents you to refresh mind from stress: social network.
Social media platforms can indeed induce stress. Facebook use can cause envy and depression in you. In fact, social scientists working at Facebook wrote in a blog post that passively scrolling through Facebook can harm users’ mood and mental health.
A German study by Brailovskaia and Margraf found that Facebook users score significantly higher on narcissism, self-esteem, and extroversion than those who don’t use the platform. Surprisingly, the users also have noticeably higher values of social support, life satisfaction, and subjective happiness.
So, be it spending time on your Instagram account or just WhatsApp chatting with your friends, try not to spend excessive time on your social apps. Besides the cell phone, also aim to shut off the television, and close down your laptop or computer, and see if the tech-free time makes you feel relaxed. We’re sure you might be pleasantly surprised.One of the worst things that can prevent you from refreshing your mind from stress: social network. Click To Tweet
Tip #9. Hang Out With Your Loved Ones
Stress often disrupts our social lives. When we are under excessive stress or prolonged stress, we often hesitate to interact with our social acquaintances. We become hostile and irritable, and finally, pull ourselves away.
Nonetheless, when stressed out, being alone and away from a friend or loved one can raise our stress levels because then we are more likely to concentrate on stressors. Instead, spending more time with our family and friends can help us reduce stress and find better ways to cope with it.
Research has shown that social support not only reduces the stress levels, but also lessens the feeling of pain when a hand is dipped in ice-cold water.
If you want to know how to better reduce your stress, here are 10 Easy, Effective Strategies To Beat Stress.
Tip #10. Go On A Vacation
According to some recent surveys and reports, when stressful, a vacation refreshes your mind from stress. You are more likely to forget your stressors while on holiday than when in your daily setting.
Researchers at the University of California-San Francisco found that there is indeed a thing called “vacation effect“. Their study showed everyone could benefit from a vacation, both physically and psychologically.
You can plan an outing with your friends in some peaceful places. It’s best if you visit a location where you can connect with nature because it will help you recover fast from your stressed mind.
There are scientific reasons why traveling makes us happier. Find out here.
Reading the above tips, you would have made up your mind to kick the stress out of your life.
So, why wait for a day of peace to dawn on you? When you could start practicing the listed activities, say goodbye to anxiety, and refresh your brain?If you think you can cope with your #stress, then stress will not have too much of an adverse effect on you. Click To Tweet
Remember, how do you think about stress is more critical than the thing causing stress itself.
If you think you can cope with your stress, then stress doesn’t affect you as much as others who think their burdens are unbearable.
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Authors’ Bio: Jennifer Branett is an aspiring entrepreneur. She writes on healthcare, home improvement, personal finance, art, fitness and more. She hopes to continue her journey of self-fulfillment and self-discovery, while adding value to people’s lives. Sandip Roy is psychology writer, happiness researcher, and medical doctor. Founder of Happiness India Project, and chief editor of its blog. He writes popular-science articles on positive psychology and related topics.
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