Stress seems to play an increasing role in society. Not surprising, in a society where you always have to be online. However, stress is actually a natural reaction and stress does not necessarily have to be bad. Still, it is important that your body is properly recovered after a stress response. Fortunately, there are various exercises that you can do to tackle stress and calm down. So if you are looking for tips and tricks for dealing with stress, keep on reading!
What is a stressful experience?
Stressful experiences can arise in all kinds of situations, for example at work if you have to give an important presentation, but also at home. What a stressful experience is, is different for everyone. The intensity of your stress response is, of course, also different per situation and per person. One person may find it very stressful to make an important phone call, while the other person is less troubled by this. If you want to read more about how stress works exactly, read more about it in this blog post.
What to do during a stressful experience?
Yet a typical stress response mostly expresses itself in the same way: you start breathing faster and shallower, your muscles tighten, your body is getting ready to take action. These are also three things that you can work on by means of (short) exercises. The first thing you can do to calm down is a breathing exercise. If you are in a stressful situation, you probably do not feel like it at all. Yet it is good to become aware of your breathing for a few seconds, and to consciously breathe in slower and deeper. Do this for example while you count to 10 in your mind. You can also do an exercise to relax your muscles. This can also be done very easily by tightening your muscles and then releasing them. For example, squeeze your hands together very hard to fists and then release them. You will notice that a lot of muscle tension is already flowing away! Finally, it can also help to start dealing with the stressful situation you are in. Many people tend to avoid a stressful situation, but your body is getting ready to deal with the situation. Make use of this! If your stress response is not too heavy, you can often concentrate even better than usual because of the adrenaline that is released. So do not postpone making your presentation, but start practicing it!
What to do before a stressful experience?
If you know that a stressful situation is coming up, you can prepare yourself for this in advance. This can be done in various ways. First you can start a few days in advance by doing a daily breathing exercise. This will teach you to keep your breathing under control during a stressful situation. Relaxation exercises can also be done for a number of days. The advantage of doing exercises for a few days in advance is that you can really take the time to completely relax. This will also help you to relax better if you suffer from acute stress. By learning to relax in advance, you will learn how to deal with stress better before the event takes place.
What to do after a stressful experience?
After a stressful experience, it is important that you give your body the time to recover. If you have had a bad experience, it might be nice to talk to someone about it. In this way you can deal with it more easily and let it go. After, you can do something you like to relax psychically and physically. For example, take a walk in nature, or enjoy your favorite series. Also you can do a breathing exercise or a relaxation exercise. Or combine these two elements in a yoga session! Are you working and do you want to calm down quickly? Take a moment for yourself, take a short walk or listen to some music. The most important thing is that you relax!
It may very well be that you often suffer from stressful experiences and that you want to learn how to deal with this. In this case, you could try a course to help you deal with your stress. For example, download the NiceDay app and start working with a coach to tackle stress!