I know it almost seems like stress is an unavoidable part of life now. But does it have to be? Do we have to be stressed out? If we look back, humans have always been stressing out. We as a species are not best equipped for survival but somehow we managed to survive this long and became the dominant species of this planet, that’s partially thanks to our stress.
As stress is a natural response of our body to harmful situations, we feel stressed when our body thinks it’s in danger and it, in turn, starts a chemical reaction that allows you to act in a way that prevents injuries.
But stress made a lot of sense when we were primitive beings when we had to hunt and gather food every day and had to survive in the wild. Now however we have evolved, we don’t have to hunt in order to survive, we don’t have to fight wild animals. So I ask again, do we have to be stressed out?
Stress is good in small doses, I mean stress is what that stops you from walking into a tree or jumping from a ledge. But stress is very harmful if it is not controlled.
“Stress can kill brain cells and even reduce the size of the brain” – Science Daily
Simple Ways To Deal With Stress Easily
There are many things that you can do to deal with stress but who has the time for 10 or 15 things to do in a day, you’re busy, I’m busy, everyone’s busy. So below I’ve listed the 5 easiest ways that I have found to deal with stress.
1. Take a walk
Ah walking, the simplest of human nature, one of the very first things we learn is walking and yet as we grow up we somehow we start to see this is a chore. But time after time research has shown us that walking has many benefits both physical and mental.
“Walking reduces the risk of heart disease and stroke”
Walking is a great way to reduce stress and it’s really not that hard to do. I mean you’ve been walking since you were a child, so just take a walk when you feel stressed, It’s a great and easy way to deal with stress.
Albert Einstein used to love walking, his daily walk was sacred to him. While he was working at Princeton University, New Jersey, he’d walk the mile and a half journey there and back.
So if walking’s good enough for Einstein then it’s good enough for you.
“Meditation literally grows your brain” – Jonni Pollard
Meditation is a great way to reduce stress. Now when you hear meditation you are probably thinking about monks. But meditation is now just for monks. And you don’t have to become a monk to meditate. Only a 10-minute meditation will greatly improve your mood.
I recommend you meditate in the morning because it has a huge effect on the rest of the day, trust me, just meditate once and you’ll see the difference, you’ll see how much more focused you get throughout the day and how much calmer you get, you’ll see that you’re less bothered by trivial things that used to stress you out before.
Now it’s not going to be easy, I know meditation sounds like the easiest thing in the world but you’d be wrong. There’s a reason why monks dedicate their entire lives in meditation. So even if it feels too hard in the beginning just stick with it, just 5 or 10 minutes every day is enough if you are just starting out.
More often than not we get stressed out because we are always rushing, but if we slow down things will get much easier. Slowing down is an effective way to deal with stress.
Tell me if this sounds familiar, you are running late and you’re looking for your keys, but you just can’t find them, you look here and you look there, but the keys appear to have vanished, it’s as if the keys are deliberately hiding from you. You get stressed out and feel like punching something. But someone else walks into the room and tells you the keys are right there. But…but..how? How can the keys be right there? They weren’t there when you looked but now they are just laying there as if it’s always been there.
You see when you are rushing your brain skips many things, things that you might think are not important but in reality, they are. So just slow down, take a breath, and calm down. Despite what you may think, slowing down for a minute or two will not be the end of the world. More often than not slowing down will actually save you time.
Slowing down and taking a step back allows you to get a wider view of the situation, it allows you to see things differently and that in turn opens up your eyes to many other solutions to problems that appeared unsolvable before.
4. Talk to people
Sometimes when you are too close to yourself it can become dangerous, sounds confusing right? Let me explain, when you get inside our own head you tend to focus on negative things, it’s natural, humans are attracted to harmful things.
Like when you start to think about your future or where your life is headed, you get stressed out, you think about what if this happens, what if that happens, what is only a trivial thing your mind turns it into an apocalypse.
But what if you didn’t do that? What if instead of getting inside your own head you communicate your thoughts to people, just try it, you’ll see that once you communicate with others and talk to them your problem will appear trivial, because believe it or not whatever it is that is stressing you out you’re not the only one who’s facing this situation, chances are hundreds of people have already been in your situation and they’ve dealt with it.
So if you talk to people you’ll see that people offer you different ideas, different advice, they tell you about their experience and how they have dealt with their problem. Even if their problem is unrelated to your situation or whatever it is that’s got you stressed out after talking to someone you’ll feel better.
When all else fails, working out is the solution, trust me, nothing kicks stress out the door like physical workout, your mind won’t be able to stress over things if your body’s too exhausted.
Working out also has obvious health benefits, but it also improves your mood and is also beneficial to your mind.
You should work out daily even if you’re not stressed.
Just sleep, when stressed out try to sleep, you should be sleeping for 6-8 hours anyways, so just sleep. Most of the time we feel stress because we didn’t get enough sleep. Sleeping is very important for our body and mind, it’s when our body recovers and our mind rests. So let your brain rest for a while by sleeping and by the time you wake up you’ll feel a lot better.
Bonus tip on how to deal with stress
Avoid consuming too much caffeine, it can lead to stress and other health problems.
“If you ingest high levels of caffeine, you may feel your mood soar and plummet, leaving you craving more caffeine to make it soar again, causing you to lose sleep, suffer health consequences, and feel more stress.” – VeryWellMind
These were just a few simple and easy things that you can do to reduce stress and lead a better life. There are many other ways to deal with stress.
Mental health is something we all should take more seriously and look after our mental health more often.
There are many online courses available that teach you this.