Here are some healthy techniques that can help to diminish stress in the short-term and long-term:
1. Take a break from the stressor: It may seem complicated to get away from a big work project, a crying baby or a growing credit card bill. But when you give yourself permission to step away from it, you let yourself have time to do something else, which can help you have a new perspective or practice techniques to feel less overwhelmed.
2. Exercise: The research keeps growing, exercise benefits your mind just as well as your body. We keep hearing about the long-term benefits of a regular exercise routine. But even a 20-minute walk, run, swim or dance session in the midst of a stressful time can give an immediate effect that can last for several hours.
3. Smile and laugh: Our brains are interconnected with our emotions and facial expressions. When people are stressed, they often hold a lot of the stress on their face. So laughs or smiles can help relieve some of that tension and improve the situation.
4. Get social support: Call a friend, send an email. When you share your concerns or feelings with another person, it does help relieve stress. But it’s important that the person whom you talk to is someone whom you trust and who you feel can understand and validate you. If your family is a stressor, for example, it may not alleviate your stress if you share your work woes with one of them.
5. Meditation: Meditation and mindful prayer help the mind and body to relax and focus. Mindfulness can help people see new perspectives, develop self-compassion and forgiveness. When practising a form of mindfulness, people can release emotions that may have been causing the body physical stress. Much like exercise, research has shown that even meditating briefly can reap immediate benefits.