Your weekly dose of stress relief: Volume 13

By Doug Mattushek - 04 September 2019Views : 951


In partnership with Health Grinder, SA Breaking News will be publishing weekly tips and tricks to help reduce your stress levels...

40. Just Dance

The next time you feel worn out by stress, turn on some music and dance.

Research indicates that moving your feet on the dance floor helps lower stress levels. And that’s only one of its many health benefits.

Dancing gets you up and about physically which releases different feel good hormones similar to those during exercise. It also acts as a diversion from whatever is bothering you.

Additionally, dancing has been shown to lower anxiety levels as well as strengthen your immune system.

The good news is, even if you aren’t a good dancer, you’ll be able to benefit from its effects.

41. Get Some Sunshine

Among the simplest ways to lift up your mood and get some stress relief is to step outside and get some sunlight.

The sun offers a host of benefits. Among them, is its free source of vitamin D.

Vitamin D isn’t only good for our bones but also plays a role in the synthesis of serotonin, which is one of the “happy hormones” and has a lot to do with elevating our mood.

Just as importantly, serotonin is associated with regulating our body’s sleep-wake cycle. It rises when we’re exposed to light, including that from the sun. And decreases as it gets dark, helping us get that sleepy feeling.

The changes in amount of sunshine exposure during the different seasons of the year is one of the reasons that mood and behavioral changes can be observed during the sunnier months and the darker winter months.

Research reveals that there are increased cases of mood disorders, including depressive symptoms, as well as anxiety and suicides during the winter months.

If you happen to live in areas where the sun doesn’t show up much during winter, a study reports that bright light may just be enough to help boost your mood.

Finnish employees working indoors during the months of November to January who were assigned to exercise under bright light (2,500-4,000 lx), experienced more vitality and relief from depressive symptoms compared to those who worked out in standard lighting (400-600 lx).

If you want something fun to do outdoors, you can enjoy grilling or play some games with your friends.

42. Get Some Exercise

One of the healthiest ways to fight stress, exercise releases a host a hormones that not only reduces your stress levels, but also put you in a much better mood.

When you workout, the body releases dopamine, serotonin and endorphins, all of which help to boost mood.

This is in addition to the physical benefits gained from moving around like lower blood pressure, weight management and looking better.

A study in the U.K. shows that in adolescents, as little as 25 to 30 minutes of exercise twice a week, was enough to improve stress levels. It also helped lower feelings of hostility, anxiety and depression.

As good as the immediate benefits of exercise on stress is, staying with your training regimen will help you live longer.

Chronic stress, such as the one many feel on a day to day basis due to office workload and family responsibilities, have been linked to shortening of telomere length.

Telomeres are small genetic sequences at the end of our chromosomes. They’re like the plastic ends on shoelaces. Similar to the plastic tips on shoelaces, these caps protect our chromosomes from damage.

Chronic stress however, shortens these telomeres making the strands of DNA vulnerable to damage. Without the telomeres, our cells won’t be able to do its work (divide properly) and die.

Science shows that exercise acts as a buffer to protect us during high stress moments in life. It helps prevent stress from damaging our telomeres.