There are countless ways of beating stress. Our favourites:
Laughing, along with exercise, is perhaps the best way to relieve stress. When we laugh, we release the happiness hormone serotonin. Even a relaxed smile is enough to do the trick.
Dancing is not only strenuous and burns calories, but most people also find it fun. It’s the ideal combination to alleviate stress.
3. Put your phone away
Although modern devices such as smartphones, tablets and laptops can make our lives easier, many people stress themselves unnecessarily by needing or wanting to be permanently available. Why not make a phone-free day and lock your phone away? You’ll be amazed at how relaxing it can be.
4. To do list
Do you sometimes lose track of all the things you have to do? Try making a to do list. You’ll see in black and white what you’ve managed to get done. And that’s a huge relief!
5. Drink water
Your body interprets stress as an emergency situation. Your blood pressure rises, the blood supply to the muscles increases, and your concentration and brain performance levels decrease. Drinking water can at least help to alleviate these effects, since water is so essential for the brain.
6. Look at holiday photos
Where is the best place to relax and leave all your worries behind? On holiday of course. In a tense situation, you can recreate this effect to some extent by going through your holiday pictures and re-living the memories. The effect is enhanced if you play soft music and inhale a pleasant scent.
Putting a few drops behind your ears or running cold water over your wrists can reduce stress.
8. Short breaks
Every break, no matter how short, represents a small escape. Instead of writing a mail to your next-door colleague, walk the few steps over to their desk. Or get yourself a coffee in the canteen. This gets body and soul moving, and stimulates creativity.
What makes me even more stressed?
Personal stressors are attitudes, motives, judgements and demands, all of which can help initiate or intensify a stress reaction. The Swiss Heart Foundation has an online test on its website that provides information about what your personal stressors could be. Simply answer the 26 questions, and the test will show which factors increase your personal stress and to what extent. One factor could be an excessive desire for personal well-being, for example, or the need for security and control.