These 6 science backed tips will help you manage stress
Science can help us to not only understand our stress but also utilise new techniques to manage and reduce stress. We’ve outlined 6 simple tips to help you manage your stress.
Stress is uncomfortable so we can often avoid the problem, however it is empowering to take charge and tackle it head on. Changing your thinking from “I can’t” to “I can” an “I will” can be powerful mindset shifts. If you are stressed, the first step to feeling better is to identify the cause and begin to think of solutions.
2. Keep active
Exercise has been linked to improved well-being and self-esteem through favourable chemical changes in the brain. Just two hours of aerobic activity per week, such as fast walking or cycling, can be enough to see improvements. What physical hobbies have you had in mind for a while, but haven't started doing yet?
3. Be social
Perceived social connectedness is important for our wellbeing. Be the first one to reach out to those around you and check in, this allows us to share how we feel and also support those important to us.
4. Easy wins
We feel good about ourselves if we are progressing. An easy way to capitalise on this is by setting small achievable goals that we can very easily do. The act of setting these and achieving them gives a positive boost that can help to counter other negative thoughts.
5. Take time
Take time to reflect on your thoughts, this will help separate thoughts that are helping you from those that are hindering you. This can be done by simply taking 10 minutes per day to write in a journal or meditate.
6. Boost your parasympathetic tone
Stress can increase our ‘fight or flight’ (sympathetic nervous system) response, which if persistent, is detrimental to our overall health. By increasing our parasympathetic tone, we can reduce our ‘fight or flight’ response, as they work in balance. This can be done by simply splashing cold water on our face, however it is also possible to stimulate your parasympathetic nervous system with certain medical devices.
While reducing stress and improving wellbeing can be best achieved through a holistic approach, studies have shown that certain techniques can be effective with little effort. Recent research has shown that stimulating the vagus nerve activates the parasympathetic nervous system and can improve mood, sleep quality and reverse signs of aging.