Tried and Tested Neuroscience Tricks for how to manage stress
How to manage stress
Stress! Looking at social media, and news around the world, it seems that most of us are facing some sort of stress nowadays. Don’t you think we take too much stress out of almost everything? Be it a deadline, family issues, taxes, or even a lousy driver found randomly on the road. And do you think it is unavoidable? The search engines are getting more search queries related to stress management ~ How to manage stress? How to handle stress in life? How to handle stressful situations? There are some of the many answers that people are looking for worldwide based on the Google data available around stress, mental wellbeing, emotions, etc.
During stress, your brain and body go into flight or fight mode, depending on the intensity of stress, and few other factors. You breathe rapidly, your heart beats faster, and your muscles become tense. Your stress response is rapid, so you need quick stress-relief strategies. Stress triggers multiple health problems in our bodies.
So, where does this stress lives? Your brain. Yes! Pressure begins in the brain initially once you are stressed out. Hence, it would help if you addressed the brain to manage stress.
Neuroscientists have introduced multiple hacks or shortcuts to reduce stress quickly. And they work! The only requirement is a little practice to make them useful. Here are neuroscience hacks to relieve stress fast, if you are looking for how to manage stress. For more, you can also explore stress management techniques during Coaching using Neuroscience.
Here are few neuroscience-based tips about how to manage stress, or how to handle stressful situations.
How to manage stress ~ Neuroscience based tips
Relax facial muscles
One of the ways in which your body responds to anxiety or stress is with muscle tension. Progressive muscle relaxation is a way to relieve stress. Mind and body are part of the same system, whatever happens in the brain are being shown in the body in some form or the other. If you are aware of your body and pay attention to that then it can be easy for you if you are looking for how to manage stress.
You need to tense a group of your facial muscles as you breathe in and relax while breathing out. Practicing it for a few minutes will help you get relief from anxiety and stress.
Then, you can repeat the process with other body muscles, including arms, shoulders, and legs.
Do you know why it is essential to relax the facial muscles? It is because relaxing facial muscles reduces chronic tension or stress and improves emotional flexibility. This is one of the simple tried and tested neuroscience tricks for reducing stress.
Do you know how you breathe when you are relaxed? If you have not noticed it yet, notice it the next time you are relaxed. Breathing exercise is one of the ways to relieve stress. Deep breathing can help you lower your stress.
While deep breathing, a message is sent to the brain to calm down and relax. The brain then relaxes the body by reducing heart rate and high blood pressure.
So, slow and rhythmic breathing calms you down and relaxes your stress.
Several herbal and natural supplements help relieve stress. Taking a single dose of lemon balm enhances alertness and calmness. Omega-3 fatty acids tend to reduce anxiety symptoms. Kava kava is another herbal remedy that relieves anxiety and boosts sleep.
Vitamin B – complex supplements are beneficial in alleviating anxiety symptoms. They balance blood sugar levels and support adrenal glands that reduce anxiety levels. Consult a herbalist and discuss what are your needs, and see what the herbalist will recommend, depending on your diet and routine. If you are looking for how to manage stress, herbs go a long way in that. Ensure proper care before you take any supplements.
Wash face with cold water
Are you wondering what cold water can do? Washing your face with cold water diverts the brain’s attention and activates the vagus nerve and slows down the heartbeat. Once your heartbeat drops, you will eventually start feeling relaxed and relieved. This probably is one of the simplest tried and tested neuroscience tricks for reducing stress. If you are looking for how to manage stress, and feel a bit relieved in stressful conditions, then this one can be on top of your list.
On feeling overwhelmed, anxious, or stressed, find a sink and splash your face with cold water.
Play and listen to music
Does music affect your feelings? It does, right? Listening to your favorite music will calm and relax your mind, and you can fight bad feelings. But is that simple? No. Your favorite song will refocus negative energy in your brain into something positive that alleviates stress.
Whether you listen to music or play an instrument, it enhances your heart rate variability. It regulates your emotions, lowers blood pressure, and reduces stress.
Listening to music can help an individual with bipolar disorder or clinical depression get through their lowest moods. And what about a bit of dance along with listening to music? Dancing combines exercise and music to boost your mood and relax your anxiety. Music of 60 beats per minute can make us go into a relaxed state, as it causes the brain to synchronize causing alpha brainwaves (frequencies 8 – 14 hertz or cycles per second). Find your favorite alpha brainwaves and keep them handy in your playlist.
In the stress moment, try to take a moment for yourself and visualize at least three things around you in terms of shape, size, texture, and color. You can do this exercise either indoors or outdoors. What will be the result of doing so? It will bring back your attention to the present moment and enrich your experience.
The activity will also take your attention away from the worries and stress that you were going through. In other words, it is a concrete task that unlocks the default mode network in the brain. How to manage stress ~ effective visualization holds the key.
Standing straight decreases stress hormones and boosts your confidence. It promotes circulation and enhances blood oxygen levels. Improving your posture can improve your mood in the same way as smiling does.
Individuals with slouchy postures will have more negative thoughts than those sitting upright. Standing in an upright posture increases testosterone, reduces stress level hormone cortisol, and makes you more confident.
The scent is closely related to emotions. It is the basis of aromatherapy, but you do not need an aromatherapist to enjoy the mood-lifting benefits of scents. Find your favorite essential oils like eucalyptus, rose, chamomile, and lavender.
Inhale their aromas deeply, and you will find relief from your stress and anxiety.
Yes! Laughter is the best medicine. It makes you feel good by triggering the release of endorphins. The natural feel-good chemical released by laughter stops distressing emotions. It shifts the perspective that allows you to see situations in a more realistic way.
Laughter relieves stress by helping you keep a positive and optimistic outlook through difficult situations and losses. It eases anxiety and tension and adds zest to life by improving mood and resilience.
Exercise is a great way to charge up your mood. So, next time you are stressed, go outside, take a walk to enhance blood flowing. You will feel an increase in enthusiasm and relaxation. With this, you will feel less stressed and anxious. When you exercise, the body releases chemicals called endorphins, and they trigger a positive feeling in the body. This is by far the most effective solution to how to manage stress.
Learn to say No
We often feel stress about having a feeling that we have much to do. Over-committing is easy because it is in our nature to be a people person, especially if we are more empathetic and compassionate. Try to decline requests to others politely. How to manage stress – Learn to say NO!
Accept that there are a limited number of hours in a day, so you cannot do everything. Try it, and you will suddenly feel stress-free.
Spend time with near ones
Spending time with those you love is one of the best aspects of life. It lightens the mood naturally, keeps you calm, and makes you happy. Cuddle with a pet or partner to increase stress relief. It has a direct impact on the brain and lowers stress hormone levels.
Watching a cute animal video is so effective that it reduces heart rate and blood pressure within minutes.
Conclusion ~ How to manage stress
That is all! The key to all the above tips is to break the stress cycle quickly to relieve the brain from stress. Then, you can approach stress in detail with a fresh perspective and deal with it. However, you should note that each tip will work differently for each individual. Try the one that suits you the best!