Laughing reduces sleep

5 ingenious tips to reduce stress - tame the saber-toothed tiger!

Stress is a primal instinct, a warning sign of danger. As an everyday stress hormone booster, however, it is pretty unhealthy. We reveal how a hard workout can help you cope with stress. How US Marines Relieve Internal Pressure. And what provocative question a stress researcher raises.

It is feared and celebrated in an absurd way - we're talking about stress. It is feared because of all kinds of unpleasant symptoms, from high blood pressure to back pain and its dire consequences such as stroke or burnout syndrome. Celebrated because, through constant availability, a life without stress is hardly imaginable. If you are not stressed, you probably don't move mountains in your job, you probably have no friends or family members to keep you busy! Here, stress primarily stands for one thing: an exciting life.

But constant stress not only attacks vital organs, but also the psyche. So why has the body developed such a noxious response to stress?

From a healthy primal instinct to psychological stress

Originally, stress was the body's warning signal of imminent danger. Let's put ourselves in the shoes of our ancestors: Imagine a saber-toothed tiger ambushing you. Then your body has to mobilize all its forces for a fight or make sure that you run away - as quickly as possible. To get your cardiovascular system going, your body releases stress hormones: adrenaline, noradrenaline and cortisol. Your breathing becomes faster, the blood in your organs is redirected to the muscles.

More knowledge about stress hormones?

Effects of cortisol and adrenaline

Nowadays you rarely come across a real saber-toothed tiger, apart from the chronically disgruntled department head on the third floor. Stress is now caused by other stimuli. It's not for nothing that when deadlines and challenging projects are approaching, it often feels like a prehistoric cattle with dangerous tusks next to the desk is sharpening its claws. And - bang! - you are in primeval fight-or-flight mode.

Your body releases stress hormones and prepares for the inevitable confrontation. But in contrast to our ancestors, you cannot simply discharge the accumulated energy in a sprint for your life. You are now sitting in the office, with your work and your deadlines. As a result, you need to find other ways to reduce stress.

11 tips against stress

Download this simple guide and discover 11 ways to get rid of your stress in the long term.

Stress Relief: How Does It Work?

If you want to declare war on your inner saber-toothed tiger, you can do so in three different ways:

  • On a physical level, for example through sports
  • On a mental level, for example through meditation
  • About a new, more relaxed response to stress

Based on these approaches, scientists have found some powerful methods for managing stress. So that you can keep a cool head in any nerve-wracking situation in the future, we have put together the best anti-stress tips from research for you.

5 highly effective ways to reduce stress

  1. Follow your instincts - and run!
    Put your sneakers on and hit the treadmill - right away! Studies show that aerobic sports like moderate jogging are great for reducing psychological stress. With movement, your body behaves according to its primal instincts - it simply breaks down unwanted cortisol and excess adrenaline. If you integrate sport into your everyday life in the long term, you not only reduce permanent stress, but also prevent high blood pressure and diabetes.
  2. Nerve food: gulp down the stress ?!
    When exposed to stress, free radicals increasingly attack healthy body cells. In order to bring your organism back into balance, foods with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory vital substances as well as "good" fats are ideal. The following are suitable for reducing stress: Nuts such as walnuts or almonds as well as kernels and seeds - they provide lots of healthy fats and vitamin B; green leafy vegetables like spinach - they contain vitamins B and E as well as magnesium, potassium and iron; Berries (like blueberries, raspberries, etc.) - they contain antioxidants and vitamin C; Apricots and bananas - they polish up the potassium balance
  3. Breath deep
    Working in the US military ranks high in terms of stress. Therefore, the US Marines swear by mental skills training and meditation. For a few minutes a day, many Marines focus their attention on the present moment. To reduce stress in your head, close your eyes, relax your muscles and breathe consciously. The amazing effect of the little mindfulness exercise: increased ability to concentrate, increased mental and physical health and a better way of dealing with anxiety, depression and insomnia. Incidentally, this also works in stressful job situations!
  4. Take it with humor
    In addition to being contagious, laughter is a miracle cure for managing stress. Sure, when you're up to your ears in monthly reporting, you don't really feel like laughing. Fortunately, the following applies here: Fake it till you make it - because artificial laughter also helps. Laugh-resistant hardship cases try it with a pencil between the teeth. The same facial muscles are activated as with natural laughter - and the outwitted body releases happiness hormones.
  5. Stress is what you make of it!
    One of the most lasting (and provocative) tips for reducing stress comes from the American psychologist Kelly McGonigal: “See stress as your ally!” She recommends. Various studies show that the effects of stress on the body can be actively controlled. And with the right attitude. According to a long-term study by the University of Wisconsin-Madison, stress pessimists who saw their health impaired had a 43% higher risk of death than the comparison group. At the same time, even positive body reactions could be demonstrated in stress optimists. When people are stressed, the blood vessels constrict, explains McGonigal. This damages the heart in the long run. The vessels of people who viewed stress as positive and performance-enhancing, however, by no means narrowed. Rather, her body reactions suggested feelings of happiness and courage, according to the stress researcher.

Reduce stress through autogenic training:

How to calm down easily

So maybe we're doing the stress a little injustice. It is not a reincarnation of evil, but a primal instinct that you can use cleverly. With a healthy view of stress in combination with sustainable stress management. Suddenly training for the marathon right before burnout and nibbling nuts by the sacks makes no sense. Integrate the most important methods of reducing stress into your everyday life in the long term - and let yourself be motivated by how you can tame your inner saber-toothed tiger with the newly acquired tools.

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Marie-Theres Rüttiger

Marie-Theres is an online editor for health and insurance topics at ottonova. She designs the editorial plan, researches and primarily writes about (e-) health and innovation that make life better.

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