While it may not always feel helpful and pleasant, stress has its benefits. It keeps us alert, drives us to action, and motivates us to perform better. However, chronic stress has serious negative consequences for our health. Fatigue, stomach pain, and concentration problems are some examples of adverse physical effects. Luckily, there are different types of stress management strategies. Some will work within minutes, while others might take a little more time to show results. Read more about these strategies below and try out which ones work for you!
Short-term stress management strategies
The advantage of short-term stress management strategies is that you can carry them out everywhere. They also require very little practice to master, and you experience the effects in just a few minutes. These strategies are ideal when you need to relieve stress for a particular event. To give you an example: you have to give a presentation that makes you quite nervous, or you have to play an important sports game. By completing the following exercises, you will quickly reduce your stress levels for a short period of time.
Being stressed affects your breathing. You start to feel a shortness of breath which in turn creates more stress. By simply taking deeper breaths starting from your abdomen, you send a signal to the rest of your body to return to a state of relaxation. You feel the benefits after just a couple of minutes. Also, you can do this exercise everywhere as you are just noticing and lightly changing the way you breathe.
Please note that as soon as you start doing specialized breathing exercises — such as the Wim Hof breathing technique — you should take your time. These exercises can also affect motor control, so it is important to be in a safe and comfortable place. You practice these techniques while sitting or lying down. Never practice while operating a vehicle or when you are in or near water.
Take a walk
Research shows that after 30 minutes of exercise, your body releases endorphins. Endorphins are often referred to as feel-good chemicals, as they help the nervous system cope with stress. The good news is that you do not need to exercise intensely or even walk at a brisk pace. A comfortable stroll will also promote the release of endorphins .
Long-term stress management strategies
Short-term stress management strategies are easier than long-term strategies, since the latter are related to more deeply rooted everyday habits. Even though long-term stress management strategies might take some time, the effect pays off, and you will find that stress management becomes more natural over time. Therefore, a strong mindset comes in handy when you want to try the strategies listed below.
Stick to a healthy diet
Junk food can be appealing when you are under a lot of stress, but a lack of dietary fibers and a surplus of added sugars and fats leave us with no energy. Instead, we should eat balanced and nutritious meals. Not only is this good for your body, but it eventually leads to reduced levels of stress.
Create more quality sleep
During a good night's sleep, your body recovers. It gains new energy, prepares itself for the next day, and the mind restores. If you do not get enough sleep, your body does not get a chance to recover properly. To create more quality sleep, you can, for instance, put together a sleeping schedule or reduce your screen time before you go to bed. Over time, as your sleeping habits improve, you will notice that it becomes easier to cope with stress.
Coping strategies for stress with the Wim Hof Method
By practicing the Wim Hof Method, you obtain coping strategies for stress. cold showers, for example, are a physical stressor. By taking them routinely, as the WHM encourages you to do, you reset your stress response. The specialized breathing exercises of the method also provide a short stress response. Both result in more resilience against everyday stress.
Besides coping with stress, practitioners of the method say that the WHM also improved their sports performance, increased their focus, strengthened their immune system, and boosted their energy levels. Experience these and many other benefits yourself by enrolling in one of our online video course. We welcome you to become part of the Wim Hof Method tribe!