Holiday is in the corner, family members are everywhere, there are plenty of gifts to wrap, and an almost seemingly endless everyday routines to do. These are but some of the common scenarios you will encounter if you have a full house especially during the holiday season.
Statistics shows that an average of 20% average Americans are having “high levels of stress” during this season. While stress is a common day-to-day experience for most people, at prolonged times it can be unhealthy. Chronic stress can either affect the mind or the body.
According to Mindy Greenstein, Ph.D., a clinical psychologist, “The body is set up to have short bursts, get out of harm’s way, and get back to normal.” Additionally, “In the case of prolonged stress, you don’t get that respite, and the body continues churning out cortisol.”
As having a good massage can help alleviate the problems of stress for anyone, not all have the time to do so. But instead of just opting for a good massage to relieve stress, why not try any of these:
1. Brew a cup of tea
Tea is a well-known stress reliever and is a primary recreational drink in some areas of the world as an alternative to coffee. Studies have shown that people who drink tea had lower levels of cortisol in their bodies – the “stress hormone.”
2. Laugh it out
Laughing is another good way of de-stressing as doing so releases our bodies’ endorphins, a hormone that relieves stress and soothes tension. Endorphin is also known as our bodies’ natural pain-reliever.
3. Hug someone
According to a study, hugging and having”warm contact” is a practice attributed to lowered lowered blood pressure and heart rate. The benefits is said to be attributed to the oxytocin hormone or the “bonding hormone” which lowers our blood pressure and cortisol level.
4. Count your breaths
Practitioners of yoga would probably know of this as this is part of their overall practice – this is not your ordinary breathing. May be referred to as “cleansing breaths,” its practice literally releases the stresses in you.
5. Read a good book
Soaking yourself by reading a good book is a tactic used by some to relieve stress and also prevent its occurence. According to Sood, “If you’re going to face stressful people, read something that inspires you.”
6. Step outside
Keeping in touch with nature has its way of naturally relieving us of our own tensions. In fact, a 2011 study of the University of Edinburgh found lower cortisol levels on adults who live or go outside with nature.
Living a household life can be really stressful for some especially when there is a looming special occasions such as the holidays. However, we, too, have control over the stresses we accumulate and can be healthful practices as a result.