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How to Stop Stress Right Now

stressBack to School is around the corner and you have yet to attempt tackling the lines at Target to buy all of the must-have items—erasers, notebooks, a new lunchbox. Or if at work, it’s end of year planning for 2017 and knowing the half-day Fridays or weekends at the beach are coming to an end. Mornings will get crazier, days will get shorter and with less daylight, you ask yourself, “How am I going to fit in my workouts in the dark?” And wait, aren’t the holidays coming up and don’t you have travel plans to make?

Stress can start small and then snowball into great “flight or fight responses” as more stressors are added. When stressed, hormones in the body yield an increase in heart rate and subsequently, increased blood flow to the muscles. This stress response to everyday items can lead to hypertension, anxiety disorders, and even depression. So how can you stop yourself from entering the continuous hamster-wheel of stress? The Marc Pro team offers a few suggestions, backed by scientific research, that can help you to relax and decrease the effects of your body’s stress response.

Go Outside for a Hike

A hike, a walk, even just a few minutes in a green space can allow for the body’s relaxation response to override the stress response. During some time outside, the mind is allowed to be involuntarily attentive, so the head can clear and wander.

Stress Eat

This tip might seem different than any other tip you have heard before, but eating when stressed does not have to be a negative. Mindfully eating a snack when stressed can allow for the gut-brain access to be healthily filled. Choose a snack that will satiate you, such as an avocado or some nuts, and eat the snack without any other distractions. Sit outside, eat your snack, and think about the texture, taste, and feel of the food. Alas, now you are meditating as you eat, and completely engrained into what you are eating, not mindlessly snacking.

Turn Off Your Phone

This may seem like the most difficult request for most people, but turning off your cell phone can decrease your stress levels exponentially. Studies have found that being so easily accessible by way of a cell phone comes with psychological effects. Increased use of cell phones has been shown to blur boundaries between work and home life, with decrease satisfaction in home life with greater cell phone usage. Make rules about when cell phones can be used at home, and stick to them. Disconnecting will allow you to de-stress and enjoy time with those around you, sans screen.

Hang Out with Your Friends

Looking for a fun and easy fix for stress during stressful times? Look no further than your BFF. A study found that being around a close friend during times of stress can decrease the stress hormone, cortisol. So block out some time to de-stress by chatting with your bestie and feel the stress just melt away.

Stop Stressing Before Bed

At the end of the day, it is easy to start counting all of tomorrow’s to-dos instead of being able to relax and sink into your pillow. Try hooking up with the Marc Pro before bed to allow your back, calves, or hamstrings to relax before sleep. Or, take a night time foam roll on a soft density foam roller. You will wake up more rested, less stressed, and ready to start the day on a positive note.