stress management strategies

12 New Stress Management Strategies You Haven’t Heard Before

Stress produces a fight or flight response in the body, which increases breathing and causes the heart rate to rise. Not only does this fill the body with cortisol hormones, but also it can increase the blood pressure and chances of a heart attack.

Sure, back in the day this flight or fight response came in handy when you were staring down a grizzly bear or an enemy, but those days are really long gone. The common man is no longer faced with the threats of fighting or killing for food.

However, this doesn’t mean you don’t feel these very same feelings when you are mad at your spouse, stuck in traffic, or angry with your boss. You’re going to need other stress management strategies in those situations. Otherwise, you’ll risk losing your spouse or getting fired from your job.

Well, don’t worry, because there is some good news. There are a lot of stress management strategies that will help you control your body and get your mind back under control. The problem is you’ve probably heard most of them before.

Meditation and yoga anyone?

But there are literally hundreds of different stress management techniques out there. So we decided to break the old of what you’re used to and give you 12 new stress management strategies that you’ve never tried before:

1. Eat Mindfully

You have probably heard people tell you to avoid stress eating all your life. However, you shouldn’t start associating stress and eating in a negative light. Over the years there have been a lot of scientific connections made with the brain and the gut.

In fact, there are actually large amounts of data that support the idea that gut has a lot to do with the production of stress hormones. This is exactly why consuming a snack when you are stressed can go a long way in making you feel better.

Just keep in mind that you want to stay away from those fatty, unhealthy snacks. Instead, opt for an avocado, a handful of nuts, a few hard-boiled eggs or any of the foods on this list.

But the key isn’t just what you eat, it’s how you eat as well.

Instead of cramming down your food as quickly as possible, take your time and really enjoy the experience. Focus on its texture, how it tastes, and what it smells like. You can even take your snack out into a more peaceful environment and enjoy in a completely different manner.

This strategy (mindful eating) will provide the body with some essential nutrients while clearing the mind and eliminating that unwanted stress.

2. Invest In a Friendly Houseplant

It is known that houseplants are excellent sources of air purification. However, you might be surprised to learn that they can actually help you calm down as well.

Recent studies and research have shown that being around plants can actually produce what is known as a relaxation response. That’s why we suggest adding some greenery to your meditation space.

One study showed that just walking into a room filled with plants had the ability to drop certain individual’s blood pressure by at least four points, which is pretty impressive when you sit down and think about it.

3. Have a Kiss

Kissing is a great way to show your affection toward an individual. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a long romantic pucker on the lips, but it can just simply be a little peck on the side of the cheek.

When you kiss it actually causes the brain to release endorphins that can help combat a variety of stress responses. Hugging can have a similar effect.

4. Yoga Hand Trick

Have you ever heard of someone applying pressure to certain points in the hand to relieve a headache pain? Well, the same concept can be applied to stress.

naam yoga hand trick

Simply applying pressure to the space between your second and third knuckle can help promote calmness. Aim for the joints located right at the base of your pointer and middle finger.

The concept is that when applying pressure to this point it has the ability to activate the nerve that loosens the area around the heart.

Those fluttery feelings that you get when you are nervous or anxious can be completely eliminated with this simple technique.

5. Get Away From The Cellphone

Cellphones are truly great communication devices. They help you get in touch with people from all around the world. And, when you combine this with the fact that you can now take pictures and get online with them, you are truly looking are some marvelous devices.

Unfortunately, these devices can be extremely stressful. In fact, medical studies have shown that just talking alone has the ability to raise your blood pressure above healthy levels.

This is why one of the best, new stress management strategies is to turn off that cellphone and get away from it.

As much as you probably don’t want to, this is something that you need to practice daily.

6. Get Yourself A Piece Of Gum

Your dentist has probably told you to stay away from gum at all costs. It is true that it can be hazardous and dangerous for the teeth, but in terms of stress it can truly work wonders. Chewing gum not only has the ability to make your breath smell better, but it can relieve anxiety, enhance your alertness level, and reduce stress.

7. Visit Your Best Friend

Friends are great, but your best and closest friends are truly amazing. Not only will they be there for you in a variety of situations, but also just being around your best friends could potentially reduce the production of cortisol in your brain.

Next time you are feeling stressed out just hit up your BFF and release some of that unwanted stress. Just try not to overdo it and burden them with unwanted second-hand stress.

8. Calm Visualizations

Are you a daydreamer? Do you just sit at your desk and imagine being somewhere else all day?

This probably makes you feel better and there is a reason for this. Guided imagery can be extremely powerful and have a lot of positive relaxing effects on the body. It can even help reduce stress.

Simply pick a comfortable chair in a quiet spot, sit there, and try to imagine yourself in a different environment.

Really put yourself in that location and think about the scenery. Don’t leave out any details whatsoever.

Is it springtime?

Where are you at?

What does it smell like?

Are your alone?

What do you see around you?

You don’t even have to project yourself to a serene beach vacation spot. You can always just opt for a comfortable quite getaway in the library. Wherever your happy place is, go there and literally be there.

9. Keep A Journal

Many people keep a journal of their life. In their journal, they will document important events, special moments and their thoughts. Did you know that keeping a journal of your life could help reduce stress?

Well, it does and the reason it does is that it helps people learn more about themselves.

Whenever you feel stressed out, just start writing about your current situation. Be sure to focus on the stressors that caused your stress. This documentation can be utilized later on to help you manage your stress. Check out these journaling tips for beginners to get started.

10. Say “No” More Often

When most people think of stress-relieving techniques, they think of meditation and yoga. While these techniques work effectively in reducing stress, they may not be as effective as saying “no”.

If friends, co-workers and family members discover you are open to helping out with their responsibilities, they will begin to rely on you. If this sounds like you, it is possible that you get stressed out when someone asks you to help them do something, such as organize a party, attend a church revival or babysit a couple of small children.

All of these activities can cause stress, especially when it interferes with your personal and family time.

Saying “no” more often will provide you with some more “me” time, resulting in less stress. While it will be extremely difficult in the beginning, over time you will become more comfortable with declining every request that gets thrown your way.

11. Drink More Water

Water is key to preventing dehydration. But did you know that water could help improve your mood as well?

Adequate water intake can help your body lower cortisol, the stress hormone. People with optimal cortisol levels are typically happy, content with life and energized most times. Now, this is not to say that these people do not experience the occasional moodiness, because they do, as it is only normal.

Dehydration has been linked to higher cortisol levels, leading to depression and anxiety. It is recommended to drink 64 ounces (about half a gallon or two liters) of water per day.

12. Eat Foods High In Vitamin B And Fiber

Eating a healthy diet will help stabilize your mood. According to Director of the Center for Health Promotion at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Diane M. Becker, MPH, ScD, eating high-glycemic and high-fat meals “can make you physically feel dysfunction afterward.” Changing your diet will go a long way in improving your mental health.

Switch high-fat foods with foods low in saturated fat, high in fiber, and rich in vitamin B—especially B12, which has shown to prevent depression and other mood disorders. Foods, like spinach, chicken breast, poultry, dairy products, fish and some meats are rich in vitamin B.

Put These Stress Management Strategies to Work

We’ve given you 12 proven stress management strategies. The next step is to start adding them into your day-to-day routine. Whether it’s drinking a few extra cups of water, starting a journal or saying no to something, make a change today.

Trust us, the feeling of relief and freedom you’ll get will be well worth the initial anxiety of getting started.