Tuesday, June 15, 2021

3 Less-heard-of Ways to Lower Your Stress Stat

Contrary to what most people think, stress can be good for the body. In fact, it is a natural response to threats like a pathogen fighting against the immune system or a possible bite from an animal.

If your fight-and-flight response doesn't work properly (or, on rare occasions, at all), you won't be able to determine the difference between a dangerous or neutral situation. You won't build lifelong skills like resilience or agility based on your experiences.

But chronic stress is a different beast. In the long term, it can increase the risk of inflammation, impair the immune system, and dampen the mood. For women, some studies suggest that it may decrease fertility.

While you cannot escape from chronic stress, you can learn to cope with it and lower its levels. And, as it turns out, even some of the unusual things you can do can help you manage this issue. Here are a few ideas you can try:

1. Do Some Chores

How can cleaning the house, sewing, or washing the dishes help you beat stress? These activities sound counterproductive. In reality, depending on how you do them, they can induce mindfulness.

Mindfulness is the concept of being conscious or aware of the elements of the present moment: sounds, objects you see, feelings, touch sensations, smell, and a lot more.

Doing this can slow down what could be an overthinking brain. It also teaches you to perform observations objectively or without judgment. This sense of detachment and awareness can reduce your feelings of anxiety and ease the tension in the body that could have been brought about by stress.

Usually, when people talk about mindfulness, they think about meditation. They don't mean the same thing, as there are other kinds of meditation.

Moreover, mindfulness meditation is just one approach to it. You can always be mindful by focusing on what you're doing, including the chores. Even better, activities like working on sewing patterns to download can turn into hobbies, so they become even more relaxing.

2. Walk Barefoot on the Grass

Also known as earthing, grounding is the process of walking barefoot (or with the least barrier between the feet and the ground). This is based on the premise that this activity connects your body to the free electrons on the surface.

Based on studies, people may develop the disease because of oxidative stress, and this happens when the body has more rogue electrons stealing from other healthy cells. Grounding, therefore, can help restore the balance and, thus, provide antioxidant effects.

It may also improve sleep, reduce inflammation, and decrease the risk of illnesses. The best way to ground yourself is to go out early in the morning and walk on the green grass. This way, too, you can enjoy some sunlight that helps produce vitamin D.

However, if this is not possible, you can perform visualization. Imagine yourself walking in the forest barefoot or touching the sand with your feet. Another option is to picture your feet slowly growing roots into the ground during meditation.

3. Embrace a Tree

Another unusual-but beneficial-way to decrease your stress levels is to hug a tree. Called forest bathing (or shinrin-yoku, since it originated in Japan), this is a mindfulness practice that can promote health and well-being in the following ways:

  • The forests can bring your attention outward, so you have less time to ruminate or overthink. In turn, not only does it calm your mind, but it also gives it a rest. This probably explains why many people feel refreshed after taking a walking trail among the trees.
  • Even the faint smell of the trees and forest can be calming, according to a 2020 study. Scientists in the research explained that this could be due to the unique way the brain processes smells. Because it bypasses certain regions, the brain can receive these sensory outputs more quickly, so you also respond faster with scents.
  • Hugging a tree may help release feel-good hormones. One of these is oxytocin, which other experts also call the love drug. It gives you the warm fuzzy feeling you get when you embrace a person. This is also the same hormone responsible for feeling or concepts of trust and empathy, which are essential in relationships.

Can exercise lower stress? Yes, it can. So do meeting with friends, writing your problems in a journal, or scheduling digital detox once in a while. But as this list shows, you can do so much moreto lower your stress level fast.


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