Hey boys and girls, it's World Stress Awareness Week.
Didn't know such a week existed? Neither did we, until we saw tweets by the Health Ministry about it.
We're pretty sure most of us are aware of how stressed we are, especially for those living in the city and running the rat race.
But how many of us know, or even take the time, to manage stress in a healthy way?
If you're one of those who rush from one task to another without taking some time off for your wellbeing, these science-backed tips may help you manage stress better and avoid a breakdown:
#1 Spend time in nature
Living in a city surrounded by buildings is not exactly good for our mental health.
In fact, there's a research that shows that 90 minutes of walking in a place surrounded by natural wonders can help reduce a person's tendency to repeatedly think about negative things, which in turn affects the person's mental health.
Now, we're not equating serious mental health issues to stress but many agree the same method could be used.
#2 Exercise, even if it's something as mild as walking
We personally think that this method is often suggested because when you're huffing and puffing, trying to get through a workout regime, you don't have the time or energy to think about the things that are stressing you out.
However, science doesn't necessarily agree with our assessment on how exercise helps with stress.
According to several studies, exercising releases body's natural happy hormone - endorphines, reduces stress hormones such as cortisols, improves sleep and also a person's self-image.
The scientists may have a point, but we stand by our view.
#3 Take deep breaths
Is there anything more annoying than someone telling you to "calm down" or "take deep breaths" when you're stressed?
Maybe not, but that's exactly what scientists are saying. According to this article by the Harvard Health Publishing, controlling your breath can help propel you to a state of relaxation.
If you don't know where to start, you can start by going for yoga and/or meditation classes, where breathing techniques are often used.
#4 Hug, cuddle and have more sex
Anyone who has gone through a rough patch, or even a tiring day, could attest to the benefits of human touch - whether it's the simple act of holding hands, hugging, cuddling or having sex.
These types of interactions releases oxytocin, another type of happy hormone that is released when there's positive social interactions, sexual reproduction, childbirth and more.
Go out, hold hands, hug, kiss, have sex (responsibly) and be merry!
#5 Learn to say 'no'
We all have our limits, but often we tend to take up more than what we can handle at a time to please others - whether it's a boss, family, a partner or anyone, really.
However, when we do that, we tend to get stressed (duh).
It may be hard at first, but you can start with little things, like saying 'no' when your brother asks you to help him get water from the kitchen (die, patriarchy!), when your colleague tries to push their work on you, or when your child asks for a trip to the zoo when all you want to do is Netflix and chill.
Bottom line is, know your limits and say 'no' when you know you're reaching your limits.
#6 Listen to music
Not only does listening to music help drown out the voices of your annoying colleagues (please use a headphone to avoid being the one causing stress), it also helps soothe you.
While there are studies that show that listening to slow music and those incorporating the sound of nature works best to reduce stress, this study suggests that listening to the type of music that you like work the best.
Not sure which to follow? Experiment and learn what type of music helps you the most. After all, not all humans function the same way.
We hope these tips will help you manage stress and lead a healthy life! Remember to stop and assess from time to time so you don't unknowingly living through a stressful life.
And drink water (nothing to do with stress management but it's good for you)!