EZTakaful’s Top 10 Tips to Reduce Stress

What is Stress?

Anything that poses a demand or threat to our daily routine or well-being is a stress. Stress within your comfort zone can help you perform under pressure and motivate you to do your best.  But when stress becomes overwhelming, it can damage your health,your mood, your productivity, your relationships, and your quality of life.

When under stress the following may happen:

  • Blood pressure rises
  • Breathing becomes more rapid
  • Digestive system slows down
  • Heart rate (pulse) rises
  • Immune system weakens
  • Muscles become tense
  • Insomnia

What causes you to stress beyond your comfort level?

Everyone experiences stress differently, and this depends on one’s perception of it. Although nobody is really immune to it, some people certainly are able to handle it better than others – either by the nature of their personality or through a great deal of practice.

Common external causes of stress:

  • Major life changes
  • Work or school
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Financial problems
  • Being too busy
  • Children and family

Common internal causes of stress:

  • Chronic worry
  • Pessimism
  • Negative self-talk
  • Unrealistic expectations/Perfectionism
  • Rigid thinking, lack of flexibility
  • All-or-nothing attitude

10 Relaxation Techniques to Reduce Stress

Stress management involves changing the stressful situation when you can, changing your reaction when you can’t, taking care of yourself, and making time for rest and relaxation.

1. Shout out loud.

As long as you don’t do it out of sheer anger, swearing can increase an overall sense of calmness and control. The simple act of exercising your vocal chords has been shown to reduce stress.

2. Blow up a balloon.

It is a great way to force yourself to inhale and exhale slowly. It makes you use your diaphragm and engages your parasympathetic nervous system to naturally breathe out those feelings of anxiety.

3. Drink a glass of freshly squeezed fruit juice.

Fruit juice is a great source of vitamin C, which is known to lower cortisol, a stress hormone.



4. Chew some gum or eat a handful of pistachios.

Crunching your teeth down gives you a nice outlet for physically letting out feelings of frustration. Pistachios in particular have been shown to lower blood pressure.

5. Start sniffing something that smells good.

Aromatherapy is an effective way to reduce stress. You can try calming scents like lavender, jasmine, vanilla or coconut. Your sense of smell is more deeply rooted in your brain than any of the other four senses and is strongly intertwined with memory and emotion, which is why it can work so well to combat stress.

6. Massage your ears.

Your ears contain pressure points that can help regulate your emotions when they’re stimulated in the right way. Try spending about 3 to 5 minutes slowly rubbing the inner areas of your ear and moving to the outer cartilage areas. Repeat on the other ear for a total of about 10 minutes.

7. Get a colouring book for grown ups.

Colouring books are the big new stress-reducing trend everyone has been talking about. The enjoyment of seeing different colors, the artistic nature of it all or the mindless activity associated with coloring, all help you to wind down from the stress associated with your adult responsibilities.

8. Meditate

A few minutes of meditation per day can help ease anxiety. Research suggests that daily meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.

9. Exercise

Activities that are continuous and rhythmic, requiring movement of both your arms and your legs are especially effective at relieving stress.



10. Engage Socially

Social engagement is the quickest, most efficient way to rein in stress and avoid overreacting to internal or external events that you perceive as threatening. There is nothing more calming to your nervous system than communicating with another human being who makes you feel safe and understood.

We hope that you can use some of the tips above both in your personal and professional lives to reduce your stress levels and live a healthy lifestyle. Next week we will get the blood pumping and heartbeat racing with a 30 minute workout you can do in front of the TV!

Relax and stay positive. Reducing stress takes less time than you think!

Happy Reading!

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