At some point in our lives, all of us have felt stress right?
Sometimes, it is more serious than other times and the reasons can be diverse. These reasons may vary from job responsibilities, to family, to friends, etc.
An important thing that we should never forget is that this situation is harmful to the body and mind and can have serious consequences for our overall health.
According to most psychologists in Melbourne, long time stress can turn into depression which is a sever condition.
How do we know if we suffer from stress?
Psychology tells us that stress can accumulate if we are in constant contact with the environment that makes us feel a lot of tension.
Therefore, some of the most common symptoms of those suffering from stress are the following: concentration problems, headache, apathy, anxiety, muscle tension, anger, and fatigue, among others.
How many of the symptoms mentioned above have you experienced or are you experiencing now?
Fortunately, occupational therapy practiced by Melbourne psychologists comprises a holistic approach that can help you cope with stress during those tense moments.
So, by implementing these 5 steps, you can improve your overall well-being.
Let’s see how these simple practices can make a big difference in how to deal with stress.
1. Deep breath
For the occupational therapist, this is the number one option when it comes to reducing stress and anxiety. This technique is called diaphragmatic breathing.
Diaphragmatic breathing is breathing that is done by contracting the diaphragm, a muscle located horizontally between the thoracic cavity and the abdominal cavity.
The air enters the lungs, the chest does not rise, and instead it is the abdomen which expands during this type of breathing.
Therefore, in order to perform this breathing correctly, sit straight in a chair or sit comfortably on your back.
Next, one hand will be placed on the belly and the other on the chest. Close your eyes, breathe deeply and slowly, make sure that when you do it is the abdomen which is filled with air, not the chest.
2. Observe Animals
Studies show the benefits that animal observation produces. Watching animals will significantly reduce their stress levels.
When doing this activity, you will end up observing something interesting or fun that will make you feel good.
The benefits of exercising regularly are more than known. Exercise releases endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that cause feelings of euphoria.
This physical activity also “distracts” the mind from stress, helps us cope better and creates a balance in the immune system towards better health.
4. Read Books
Studies have also shown that reading books greatly helps reduce stress and anxiety. It is important to find books that have stories that you already like or arouse your curiosity. Therefore, look for books that you know are going to keep your mind occupied.
I personally like to read inspirational books that give me the opportunity to see how small things can make a big difference in someone’s life.
This is not new, smiling is proven to help reduce stress. Studies have shown that the smile causes an emotion and that these positive emotions have an effect on stress.
When I say smile, I mean a genuine smile, where the muscles around the mouth and eyes make the smile form.
When we do that, we activate many muscles of the face, which then send signals to the brain.