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Stress is a natural reaction of the body that the prehistoric man knew. At that time, stress hormones such as adrenaline ensured that people could prove themselves in a possible fight or flight situation.
Stress was essential for survival. So it is not a modern phenomenon, although chronic stress occurs today in more and more people. That is the difference. While stressful situations subsided after a short time, nowadays people are often permanently exposed to stress. The reasons for this are, for example, professional pressure and constant stimulus overload. Recovery phases, on the other hand, are often neglected.
Prolonged and regular stress loads are poison for the body and psyche. Since stressful times cannot always be avoided in the job and in everyday life, it is all the more important to know how you can quickly free yourself from the stress trap.
1. Be Mindful and Live Mindfully
Mindfulness is the new magic word for stress relief. With the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) you train your attention and sharpen your perception for the moment.
The central goal is that you become more mindful of yourself and your environment. This way you can become aware of your reaction patterns in difficult situations and deal with stress with a new serenity.
You will also learn to deal with stressful thoughts and feelings in a more relaxed manner.
2. Do Yoga
Yoga is a proven way to reduce stress and maintain a good work-life balance.
The physical exercises are not primarily about physical fitness, but about self-control and serenity.
“Yoga is not performance-based. It is not critical to do the exercise perfectly. Rather, it is about letting the flow of thoughts settle down and surrender completely to the moment, ”says Nicole Plinz, therapeutic director of the day clinic for stress medicine in Hamburg.
Yoga aims at the connection between body and mind, breath and movement. The gaze is directed inwards, also with the aim of accepting oneself. This frees us to live in harmony with our possibilities and skills, and also to escape the standards of our performance society.
3. Place Your Hands Under Warm Water
Taking a warm bath is one of the most relaxing things. However, this is particularly difficult at times when everything threatens to go over your head during all the work.
But instead of dreaming of sinking in the foam as you continue to run the hamster wheel, just try washing your hands with warm water. It instantly soothes the parasympathetic nervous system; The parasympathetic nervous system is also called the “resting nerve” because it helps us to find our way out of a stressful situation and back into relaxation.
Now you won’t be deeply relaxed by washing your hands, but it will help you take your foot off the gas and come back to your senses.
4. Take Digital Screens Time Out
Social media, calls, emails: constant accessibility is an absolute relaxation killer. In order to breathe deeply and relieve stress, it can help to keep your cell phone in your pocket more often – or to make it out altogether.
However, because digital detox is not always easy, there are useful apps that block unwanted calls, messages or WhatsApp messages or encourage you to look less on your phone.
“Off time”, “Forest” and Co. are usually free and help you to spend more time in the here and now.
Once the annoying smartphone is immobilized, there is automatically more time for a relaxing walk in the forest, a round of jogging in the park or a long stroll through the city – depending on which one is best for you to relax.
5. Insert the Power Nap
SOS tip for the office: treat yourself to a power nap. You can not only reduce fatigue but also your stress level, as a French research team from the University of Descartes-Sorbonne Paris Cité has proven.
In a study with eleven men aged 25 to 32, the researchers were able to demonstrate that power napping lowers stress hormone levels – and the immune system also benefits.
Scientists from the National Institute of Mental Health and colleagues from Harvard University have even found that power napping is supposed to protect against burnout syndrome.
In China, there is even a legally regulated right to a short nap. So just put your head on the table and slumber.
6. Deep Breathes
4-7-8 is a technique that you can use to reduce stress. And this is how it works: Place the tip of your tongue behind your upper incisors – it should stay here for the entire duration of the exercise.
Exhale completely through your mouth with a sigh. Close your mouth and inhale quietly through your nose – counting to four. Hold your breath and count to seven. Now breathe out completely through your mouth, sigh and count to eight.
Repeat the cycle three times. Practice if you are in a good mood and the stress is not completely under control, then you can use the method when you are stressed. It works like an anchor that you throw to calm down.
7. Just Smile
Great experiences or successes put a smile on our faces. Happiness hormones are released, we are happy. Now it comes: The whole thing works the other way round.
If you smile consciously for 60 seconds at a time – yes, you can practice that! – the smile muscles press on the nerve that speaks to your brain: good mood! Your Limbic system is delighted and sends good hormones, cortisol is broken down, you put yourself in a stress-relieving mode.
8. Eat Snacks With Vitamins and Protein
Foods that are high in vitamin B, minerals, proteins, and long-chain carbohydrates increase performance and make us resistant to stress. Therefore, you should pay special attention to what ends up in your stomach in stressful times.
For example, these three foods are recommended:
- Oatmeal flakes: The oatmeal flakes contain a lot of vitamins B1 and B3 and thus support the function of the energy metabolism and the nervous system. In addition, the amino acid tryptophan contained in the serotonin, a substance known as the happiness hormone, is formed.
- Nuts: All types of nuts contain B vitamins as well as potassium and iron, which means that nuts support memory. They also provide a particularly large amount of magnesium, which inhibits the transmission of excitation to the nerves that cause stress and soothes the nervous system.
- Bananas: The yellow fruit not only saturates, but it also benefits your nerves. The contained B vitamins, magnesium and potassium help with this.
9. Try To Never Stop Thinking Positive
Negative beliefs are a common obstacle to reducing stress. The more we persuade ourselves that we cannot do something, the more this assumption will solidify.
Much better, Formulate positive for you: “I am doing a good job (even if I make mistakes)” or: “I can do the marathon, no matter what time”.
It takes patience: just as you have talked yourself into deficits over the years, you are now turning the tables – and can thus reduce stress.
10. Try Relaxation Techniques
In addition to meditation, there are other relaxation techniques that can help you come down:
- Progressive muscle relaxation:
You work with one muscle group after the other, tighten it and let go, starting with the right hand, over the arms to the face and neck, the back, the stomach and finally the legs and feet. Attention is paid to the sensations that occur during muscle activity.
- Autogenic Training:
This relaxation technique works from the inside through your own imagination. Those who are trained in this relaxation method can put their body into a state of intense relaxation and thus perceive it more deeply.
In order to avoid stressful situations, it is advantageous if you have planned your day in advance. If you are organized and have your appointments in view, you can lower your stress level a lot. Time management is an important factor here. Set your main tasks every day and divide them into defined work blocks.