Sit up properly
We’ve been taught from childhood to sit up properly and there’s a lot of merit to that. When we’re stressed and unhappy we’re more likely to hunch over. This is not only as a sign of stress but maybe making you feel worse than you need to.
Research has shown that not only it can say something about our mood, our posture can actually affect the way we handle stress. In a study conducted by Shwetha Nair and her colleagues, they have found that slouchers had a lower self-esteem, mood, and even a much greater fear compared to those who sat properly.
The team of researchers even concluded that sitting upright may be a simple behavioral strategy to help build resilience to stress. Adopting an upright seated posture in the face of stress can maintain self-esteem, reduce negative mood, and increase positive mood compared to a slumped posture.
Furthermore, sitting upright increases the rate of speech and reduces self-focus. Besides sitting and standing up properly, studies have found out that adopting a power pose and holding it for one minute every day can drastically improve your stress management. People who do this power pose have lower levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and higher levels of testosterone compared to the one who slouches and hunches over in a powerless pose.
Do some breathing exercises
When faced with difficult or stressful situations, a common response would be to pause and breathe deeply. It’s a natural reaction for us to take a deep breath so we can focus on the task on hand. Breath control is also found in a lot of relaxing exercises like yoga, tai chi, and meditation.
Whenever we feel stressed our breathing rate and pattern changes. This is part of the ‘fight-or-flight response’. Anxious and stressed out people tend to make short and shallow quick breaths. Hyperventilating can prolong feelings of anxiety by making the physical symptoms of stress worse. Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and stress.
Deep breathing will increase the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the nervous system, which promotes calmness. Breathing techniques can also help you feel connected to your body by quieting your mind and helping remove anxiety.
Listen to good music
Sometimes, people also listen to different kinds of music to eliminate or lessen the stress that they’re facing. It’s a part of some people’s defense mechanism.
Music has been linked to human emotions. Different kinds of music have a different effect on our bodies. For example, fast and upbeat music can make the listener more alert and focused while soothing and calm music makes the listener relaxed and feel free.
Certain music is appropriate for meditation as it can help the mind slow down and initiate the relaxation response. But not all “peaceful” music works for everyone. Research has shown that listening to music with Native American, Celtic, Indian stringed-instruments, drums, and flutes are very effective at relaxing the mind even when played louder than normal.
Sounds produced by rain, thunder, and other kinds of sounds made by nature can have some significant effects on the body, especially when mixed with other music like light jazz, classical music, and the like. As music can absorb our attention, it acts as a distraction because it can help us to explore our emotions. This means it can be a great aid to meditation, helping to prevent the mind wandering.
Music has been used to treat illnesses but recent discoveries have shown us that listening to music on headphones reduces stress and anxiety in hospital patients before and after surgery and it can reduce both the sensation and distress of both chronic pain and postoperative pain, among other benefits to the body.