Study after study has proven that stress is a major risk factor for the development of serious health conditions. While severe or chronic stress needs medical attention, there are several proven coping strategies for stress management. Although it’s possible to manage stress on your own, it is necessary to know when to seek help. For example, if stress is pushing you into depression, self-isolation and even suicidal thoughts, it is time to seek mental health help from a qualified professional.
1. Meditating is a proven coping strategy for stress
Exercise for your body is important, but so is exercise for your mind! Studies show that some unconventional alternative mental health therapies help to improve emotional regulation, learning, cognition, and memory. Studies have also shown that yoga helps to slow down physiological arousal, allowing you to be more relaxed.
Meditation is one of the most recognized relaxation techniques. During stress, the hormones that prepare us for handling an emergency situation are continuously elevated. Meditation helps to bring back the body’s systems and mind into sync. Meditation helps to stabilize the heart rate and blood pressure. It helps to relax tense muscles and triggers your immune system. Meditation helps you to face situations that commonly cause stress. This includes worry about the future (helps you focus on the present), illnesses and poor self-image.
What to do: Find the time to take a yoga class, or try meditating before you go to sleep. Even if you do either for just a few minutes a day, your mind will thank you. There are several meditation techniques that you can use. These include:
- Guided meditation
- Qi gong
- Transcendental meditation
- Tai chi