Alleviate Stress

Alleviate Stress

Apps That Help Alleviate Stress

Our lives can get really hectic these days. We’re constantly trying to keep up with everything and stay organized, but it’s not easy. Nobody wants to drag around a journal to keep track of their emotions along with a planner and calendar and all sorts of other stuff.

Luckily, there are a wide variety of apps that can help you alleviate stress in a variety of ways. The first kind of stress relief app you might come across are those that help with meditation.

Meditation is a very good way of relieving stress, allowing you time to clear your head, collect your emotions, and think clearly. It emphasizes deep, slow breathing to help lower your heart rate as well, which is another contributing factor of stress.

Guided meditation apps will help you learn to meditate properly by displaying breathing techniques along with calming sounds, music, and images. This makes meditation a lot easier to pick up and is more interesting and interactive than just sitting in silence for a little while.

Another major type of stress relief app helps you keep track of your emotions. They’re essentially little journals in which you can log what’s stressing you out or how you’re feeling about certain things.

Being able to visualize what’s stressing you out by writing it out is a huge help and is much more effective than just keeping it in your head. You’re also able to look back on older entries so that you can track the state of your emotions over time.

A slightly different kind of app that will help your stress is anything that helps you with planning. Disorganization can quickly lead to you being stressed out, with things suddenly popping up that you forgot about and forcing you to scramble and figure out a plan on the spot.

Instead of just having your week kind of planned out in your head, planner apps are a convenient way to help you lay it all out clearly as soon as possible. For example, if a friend of yours wants to grab lunch on a certain day the following week, you’ll be able to log it right then and also check to see if it interferes with anything else you might have going on.

Another major benefit of these planners is that they can send you alerts, letting you know a few hours or days in advance about something that’s coming up. Time management is a huge stress reliever in this fast-paced world.

Avoiding Travel Stress So You Can Enjoy Life

For many people, travelling is a great time where you can relax and enjoy some time away from home. For others, it can be a nightmare that brings on nothing but excessive stress and worries.

This stress can stem from many different complications that might appear during travel, but there’s almost always a solution to your problem or a comfort for your fear. The mode of transportation that seems to cause the most stress is flying.

Flying can seem extremely complex and even scary for some. First comes the stress of organizing the flight in the first place. You need to have figured out your flight time, boarding time, packed everything you need, ensure that you meet the weight requirements for your luggage, and more.

Just getting to the right terminal of the airport can feel like an overwhelming ordeal. Even then, once you’re there, the airline can still mess up and cancel your flight or lose your luggage.

Luckily, as long as you plan in advance, you can make the whole experience run a lot smoother. You can look at a map of the airport beforehand to know where to park and which terminal to go to.

Buy your tickets well in advance if you can. That way you can arrive at the airport about two hours before your boarding time and allow yourself enough time to move through security and baggage.

With some people, it’s not just the hassle of flying that stresses them out – it’s also the fear of actually flying. Having a fear of heights is extremely common, so just know that chances are you’re not the only one on the plane at any time who’s afraid to be there.

Also, you have to recognize the fact that planes are some of the safest means of transportation currently available, much more so than driving. Flying isn’t the only kind of transportation that can cause stress.

Many people can easily get stressed out using public transportation or even with long road trips in their car. Some of this uncomfortable feeling comes from claustrophobia, which is perfectly normal.

In order to avoid feeling too claustrophobic in situations like that in a car, train or plane, try to use some kind of transportation with plenty of room, such as taking an SUV over a compact car. Sometimes, this might not be an option, so try to find the seating with the most room as possible, like the emergency exit area of a plane.

Does Stress Cause Your Face to Break Out?

When you get really stressed out, the smallest little things can set you off and make you upset – like someone driving too slowly in front of you on your way to work, someone messing up an order you placed, or even someone just phrasing something wrong.

One thing you might’ve noticed when you’re really stressed out is that you might begin to break out with acne all of a sudden. This can be extremely annoying in the moment and can cause even more stress for you, having to worry about your appearance and wondering if people are staring at you.

In reality, it’s not that big of a deal, and is a very common occurrence, particularly in younger adults or teenagers. It’s been known for some time now that stress and break outs share a significant connection, though it’s still not entirely clear what that connection is.

It’s been extensively researched and studied accounting for a wide variety of variables, and stress still seems to be the most pressing factor in acne break outs. Some scientists believe it to be related to hormone production and the way certain cells in your body respond to the hormones, but it’s not known for sure.

There are a few different ways to help yourself make it through these break outs. The best long term solution is to resolve what it is that’s stressing you out, though this can be difficult and will definitely take some time to do.

In a shorter time span, you can temporarily relieve some stress by relaxing and changing your mindset, which can help lower your stress levels considerably for a short period.

Additionally, if you don’t already have some form of face cleansing routine, starting one can do wonders for your stress-induced breakouts. It can be anything as simple as washing your face nightly to something as advanced as having multiple scrubs that have to be used at certain times of the day.

The whole point of any routine is to get the excess oils off of your face, but it also has a certain stress relieving element to it. By getting yourself into some kind of concrete cycle, you make it a lot easier on yourself to keep up with your routine.

It also feels like you’re giving yourself some general structure to go off of, which can help a lot if you’re feeling stressed out with the rest of your life in chaos or turmoil. You can even find facial cleansers that have an aromatherapy scent like lavender to help calm you during stressful times.

Don’t Just Distract Yourself from Stress Temporarily

Often times when people feel stressed out, they turn to things that will only help them forget about it for a little bit. They might go out with their friends for a night and relax just to take their minds off of it or sit back and watch some TV or a movie.

There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself feel less stressed out in the moment, but you can’t limit yourself solely to those options. While temporary relaxation might help you destress for a day or two, it’s not an ideal proper solution as much as it is a BandAid.

If you want to really stop feeling so stressed out, you need to do something more difficult, which is finding the source of your stress and actually dealing with it at the root level.

Finding the real source of your stress can be quite challenging on its own. It’s very easy to identify something else as the source of your problems, while there’s another aspect that’s actually causing that initial problem.

For example, you might blame your stress on not having enough free time, so you begin cutting out certain activities or procrastinating about certain things in order to give yourself more time.

This might seem like a proper solution, but in reality, something else like poor scheduling might be the root of your lack of time, so you just have to keep following the trail to see where your stress is coming from.

By dealing with your true problems, you’ll find that you don’t have to come up with as many temporary solutions that will only help you for a little while. This is the only way to be able to resolve your stress long term, allowing you to focus more on what you really want to do in life.

Now, this isn’t to say that temporary stress relievers don’t have their uses. Temporarily relieving stress is a good way to give yourself some room to breathe and focus on finding long term solutions.

If you’re all caught up in your stress, you won’t be able to find the real sources very easily, but if you relax a bit, you’re more likely to be able to deal with your problems appropriately.

These temporary fixes start to become issues only when you start allowing them to distract you from actually finding long term solutions. Be proactive so that you enjoy more of what life has to offer.

Foods That Have Stress Relieving Benefits

One of the most important factors in how you handle stress each day is your levels of cortisol fighting vitamins and nutrients. While there are certain supplements to help your levels of hormones such as oxytocin and dopamine, the easiest way to keep your stress levels in check is by maintaining a proper diet.

By maintaining a proper diet, you’ll simultaneously get the right vitamins that your body needs to keep stress levels down and also get into better shape. A lack of fitness can be its own source of stress, so this will help in that regard as well.

Choosing the right foods that aren’t just comfort foods can really help you relieve stress. The first vitamin that helps with stress is vitamin C. Vitamin C has been shown to help lower levels of cortisol, the stress inducing hormone.

There are a number of other benefits that stem from vitamin C, including a better immune system and general body maintenance. To get the levels of vitamin C you need, there are a few options.

The one that comes to everyone’s mind first is usually some kind of citrus fruit, such as oranges. However, foods such as red peppers are even more rich in vitamin C, so try to incorporate some of both in your meals.

Another key vitamin is any of the B vitamins. These can be found in a wide range of foods, from fish to beans or vegetables. B vitamins perform a number of important tasks, especially in our brains, helping us stay calm and collected.

Depending on what you prefer, there are a lot of foods that you can get B vitamins from. Chicken and dairy based products are extremely common and healthy for the most part, so these – along with vegetables – would make for great healthy, stress relieving meals.

Finally, there are some foods that simply have that comforting feeling while you’re eating them. Carbs are a great example. While some may recommend staying away from carbs, especially if you’re trying to be healthy, carbs are necessary in the right amounts.

Complex carbs are preferable, which includes things like oatmeal and pasta. In the right portions, these are great comfort foods that won’t throw off your entire health plan. While it’s not a food, tea has also been found to be great at relieving stress, especially the kinds that don’t use caffeine.

Tea is in this same category of comfort foods, and with all different kinds of flavors available, you’ll be able to find something that suits your taste. Try a calming chamomile tea as you wind down each day and you’re sure to see an improvement in how you sleep.

Get Your Cortisol Tested for Treatment

Often times when we feel stressed out, we’re not entirely sure what’s causing our stress. It can be one major thing, a lot of little things, or anything in between. Stress is a very destructive emotion, because it essentially stops your productivity while also making you feel bad.

One common issue associated with stress that’s easy to check is high levels of cortisol in your body. Getting your cortisol levels tested is one of the easiest tests you can do. Once you get ahold of a test kit, you only need to take a saliva sample from yourself, usually several times throughout a single day, and then send it off to the proper lab for testing.

Once you have your results back, you’ll be able to compare them to the standard levels for someone of your age and gender and also be able to tell what time of day is most stressful for you so that you can make a plan to combat that.

Typically, if you’ve been feeling stressed out a lot, your levels will be too high. After getting tested, you should move on to treatments. You can usually get some form of supplements or pills that you can take to lower your cortisol levels.

This can help immensely, especially when you’re not entirely sure where your main sources of stress are in life. It can help bring a sense of calm over you and allow you to focus on what really matters.

High cortisol levels can come with a wide range of annoying and sometimes dangerous effects. One effect is that you may notice yourself gaining a lot of weight all of a sudden. This can only make you feel worse – especially if you’re trying to watch your figure and slim down.

It can also lead to breakouts of acne and other skin-related issues such as psoriasis. On the more dangerous side, high cortisol levels can lead to high blood pressure. High blood pressure increases your risk of having heart complications, which can be fatal.

It may also cause depression or anxiety in some people, which may lead to eventual self-harm. The most important part of this is that you try to figure out where your stress is coming from in your daily life and remedy it.

You won’t be able to just take supplements until your problems go away. You need to figure them out and address them. Try to think about what you dread doing. Maybe it’s seeing a certain person or going somewhere specific – like work. Whatever it may be, once you address it and solve the problem, you’ll have lower cortisol levels naturally.

Have You Cultivated a Stress-Filled Life?

Most of the time, when we begin to identify sources of stress in our lives, we try to pick out the little things that annoy us and give us trouble from the outside. It’s easy to assume that whatever is causing you stress must be something other than you, but in reality, you might be at the source of your own problems.

People often unknowingly make their lives harder than they have to be by essentially setting themselves up for failure in some way. For example, you might’ve found yourself caught in some kind of situation in which you’re left with no free time at all to be able to relieve stress.

This can be the result of overscheduling, something that a lot of people have issues with. Many people feel as though they’re under constant pressure to be doing something, whether it be work, cooking, cleaning, or anything else, giving them almost no time for themselves.

This can put a lot of wear on people very quickly, leading to emotional instability and lots of stress. Don’t allow yourself to get so overburdened that you start to break down. You should be able to allocate your time appropriately to give yourself sufficient time to relax while also getting all of your normal chores and duties done.

If not, try to get a friend or family member to help out and divide up the work a bit more evenly so you’re not as stressed out. The main thing that typically leads to people having too much to do all at once is not being able to say no to people.

If you can’t turn down someone’s offer to hang out or someone’s request for help, then you’ll just go around and around and eventually collapse under the pressure of all these things to keep up with.

Be kind at first, gently letting them know that you have too much on your plate right now. If they persist, though, you can be more firm and tell them that you’re stressed out enough as it is, and you don’t need anything adding on to that.

Use planners to lay out your responsibilities and obligations well in advance, but also plan out times where you don’t want to do anything at all – times where you can just do what you want, whether that be watch TV or read a book.

Allowing yourself a proper amount of free time is crucial if you don’t want to be constantly stressed out. Sometimes it might be a major change that has to happen – like giving up a stress-filled career for one that’s more enjoyable.

Maybe you didn’t plan your life carefully in the beginning to be free or minimized with stress, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t achieve that goal now by making changes you want to live a more enjoyable life.

How Art Therapy Helps You Overcome Stress

People come up with a wide variety of ways to help themselves overcome their stress. Some people work out, some people eat, but some people make art. Art therapy revolves around the idea of using your stress and emotions and visualizing them in something artistic – helping you not only feel a sense of accomplishment, but also allowing you to gain a better sense of what’s going on that’s making you feel so stressed out.

There are no specific guidelines as to how you should utilize art therapy. A good, easy place to start would probably be drawing. A simple sketchpad with a pencil can last a long time, and you can do quite a bit with it.

Drawing for the sake of drawing can be very therapeutic and relaxing. Don’t try too hard to get something drawn as accurately as possible – just draw whatever you want to. It can be anything from a series of lines or doodles to a detailed animal.

If you wanted to start off even less intimidating, there are coloring books out there for adults that are known to be good stress relievers. Drawing isn’t the only option available.

Many people have turned to sculpting and messing around with clay. Clay is fairly inexpensive and as long as it’s stored properly, it should keep for awhile. With clay, you can get a bit more out there, building anything from a little bowl to a model of a person.

Some people even go out and do some photography to relieve stress. You don’t even need a high quality expensive DSLR camera – your phone will likely work fine. Going out to a park and just sitting there in nature, capturing pictures of what you think is interesting, is what art therapy is about.

Art therapy like this helps you relieve stress because while you’re in the middle of it, you don’t have to focus on anything else but what you’re doing right then. We often find ourselves trying to multitask, focusing on multiple projects at once instead of just getting things done one by one.

By relaxing and focusing on fewer things, your heartrate will likely lower, reducing your cortisol levels and making you feel less stressed out. Art therapy is very cost efficient as well, because all you need is a sketchpad and a pencil, which should be pretty cheap and will last you a long time.

How Pets Can Help You Keep Stress at Bay

There’s been a significant amount of scientific research conducted around the idea of pets helping relieve stress in people. As it turns out, it’s been proven to work very well, for a variety of reasons.

Additionally, it was shown that the results tended to be best with dogs. The most significant factor in the stress relieving effects of dogs was all in our hormones. Petting and playing with a dog was shown to lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that causes the fight or flight syndrome with increased heartrates.

Petting dogs also increased our levels of oxytocin, a hormone that can relieve stress. This was an astounding discovery to many, and it probably relates to human’s early interactions with and domestication of canines.

So, when you’re playing with a dog at the park or with your own dog at home, that relaxed feeling you have is actually very scientific. Due to the fact that it works so well, many institutions have begun having days where dogs are brought in for stress relief.

For example, some universities have days throughout the semester where you can go visit a bunch of dogs in the library. This is used to relieve students’ stress, especially around the times of exams.

There are a few different ways that you can get in on this stress relief phenomenon. First, you could adopt your own dog or other pet. As long as your pet has ample space to move around and you have enough money to take care of them properly so that it doesn’t add to your stress, it’s worth the investment.

Just make sure you’re ready to take on the responsibilities of owning one before you make the leap into buying one. If you don’t feel ready to get a pet just yet, there are still many other ways that you can get to play with some animals.

Check around and see if you have a friend who might own one and hang out with them and their pet. You can also visit dog parks, where many pet owners are okay with you playing with their pets, as long as you ask beforehand.

Strangely, some cafes recently have begun to open up with a variety of animals in them, such as cat cafes or puppy cafes. There you can go get work done, order some coffee, and still play with a bunch of little animals running around the place.

How Weighted Blankets Get Rid of Stress

There are plenty of things that people use or do to relieve stress. Some may do yoga or work out, while others might sit back and watch some TV for a little bit. One method of relieving stress for some is to take naps or go to sleep, mostly because it’s where they feel the most comfortable and don’t have to think about anything.

However, problems can arise when stress follows you even when you’re trying to sleep. You might wake up in cold sweats after bad dreams, or not even be able to sleep at all. To solve this, some companies have begun making weighted blankets.

Weighted blankets are fairly simple – they’re blankets made out of dense, yet soft materials so they’re heavier while being the same size as regular blankets, and just as comfortable.

There are wide range of sleep-preventing symptoms that weighted blankets help solve. First, they help stop you from moving around so much while you sleep. Some people are very active sleepers, constantly fidgeting around, tossing and turning while falling asleep.

This makes falling asleep take a lot longer than it should and might result in getting less sleep than they want to. Another major issue that prevents sleep is anxiety. When you’re stressed out and anxious, you’ll find it difficult to go to sleep on account of your increased blood pressure, high heartrate, and thinking about so much at once.

Weighted blankets induce the same effect on us psychologically as someone giving us a hug. It’s calming, warm, and helps us not worry so much about the stress we’re undergoing.

This helps you fall asleep much quicker instead of staying up worrying about what you’re going to do about a stressful situation. Sleep is incredibly important if you want to remain emotionally and mentally sound.

A lack of sleep can not only cause a lot of stress on its own, but it can also make you more susceptible to outside sources of stress. Eventually, these multiple sources of stress combined will start to eat away at you very quickly.

By getting more sleep, you’ll find yourself being more productive, which can help eliminate stress by not having as much on your plate to worry about. You’ll also be more awake throughout the day, which does wonders for your mood. A positive outlook can help reduce stress a lot, and it’ll help brighten the days of those around you.