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The Best Scents to Reduce Stress

When people think of things that can help relieve stress, it usually has something to do with sight, touch, or sound - like a massage or hearing the rain fall during a light storm. While it may seem unlikely, your sense of smell can actually have a dramatic effect on your stress levels.

The idea of using certain scents to relax and relieve stress is referred to as aromatherapy, and it’s been shown to work fairly well. There are a wide variety of oils with different scents that you can use in aromatherapy, all with different unique effects.

Some are good for helping you relax, while others might invigorate you and help you get more work done. All of these can help you relieve stress in different ways. For example, if you’re stressed out because you’ve had a long day and you just need to unwind, then lavender might be a good option for you.

It makes you feel less stressed out, but also helps you sleep better, so don’t use lavender if you still have a long day ahead of you, because it may end up making you a bit sleepy.

On the other hand, if you’re in the middle of your day and it’s just not going well, then you can use rosemary instead. Rosemary also helps lower your levels of cortisol, but doesn’t have quite the same effect of making you tired.

Instead, it just boosts you up so that you can get the rest of your day accomplished. Similarly, lemon can have just about the same effects. Perhaps you’re a bit stressed because you’re not working as efficiently as you know you can.

In that case, a peppermint scent might help a lot. Peppermint has been shown to make you more alert and productive, which can help a lot of you’re just dragging through the day not getting much work done.

Cinnamon can also have this kind of effect. Different scents can have different effects depending on the person, so it may take some trial and error time to figure out which scents work best for you.

You might really not like the smell of cinnamon, so it wouldn’t have the same stress relieving effects on you that it would have on someone else. Try to sample a few different common scents and figure out what works well for you and what kind of effect it has and then use it throughout your day to combat stress and get a pick-me-up whenever you need it.

How Pets Can Help You Keep Stress at Bay

There’s been a significant amount of scientific research conducted around the idea of pets helping relieve stress in people. As it turns out, it’s been proven to work very well, for a variety of reasons.

Additionally, it was shown that the results tended to be best with dogs. The most significant factor in the stress relieving effects of dogs was all in our hormones. Petting and playing with a dog was shown to lower levels of cortisol, a hormone that causes the fight or flight syndrome with increased heartrates.

Petting dogs also increased our levels of oxytocin, a hormone that can relieve stress. This was an astounding discovery to many, and it probably relates to human’s early interactions with and domestication of canines.

So, when you’re playing with a dog at the park or with your own dog at home, that relaxed feeling you have is actually very scientific. Due to the fact that it works so well, many institutions have begun having days where dogs are brought in for stress relief.

For example, some universities have days throughout the semester where you can go visit a bunch of dogs in the library. This is used to relieve students’ stress, especially around the times of exams.

There are a few different ways that you can get in on this stress relief phenomenon. First, you could adopt your own dog or other pet. As long as your pet has ample space to move around and you have enough money to take care of them properly so that it doesn’t add to your stress, it’s worth the investment.

Just make sure you’re ready to take on the responsibilities of owning one before you make the leap into buying one. If you don’t feel ready to get a pet just yet, there are still many other ways that you can get to play with some animals.

Check around and see if you have a friend who might own one and hang out with them and their pet. You can also visit dog parks, where many pet owners are okay with you playing with their pets, as long as you ask beforehand.

Strangely, some cafes recently have begun to open up with a variety of animals in them, such as cat cafes or puppy cafes. There you can go get work done, order some coffee, and still play with a bunch of little animals running around the place.

Don’t Just Distract Yourself from Stress Temporarily

Often times when people feel stressed out, they turn to things that will only help them forget about it for a little bit. They might go out with their friends for a night and relax just to take their minds off of it or sit back and watch some TV or a movie.

There are plenty of things you can do to help yourself feel less stressed out in the moment, but you can’t limit yourself solely to those options. While temporary relaxation might help you destress for a day or two, it’s not an ideal proper solution as much as it is a BandAid.

If you want to really stop feeling so stressed out, you need to do something more difficult, which is finding the source of your stress and actually dealing with it at the root level.

Finding the real source of your stress can be quite challenging on its own. It’s very easy to identify something else as the source of your problems, while there’s another aspect that’s actually causing that initial problem.

For example, you might blame your stress on not having enough free time, so you begin cutting out certain activities or procrastinating about certain things in order to give yourself more time.

This might seem like a proper solution, but in reality, something else like poor scheduling might be the root of your lack of time, so you just have to keep following the trail to see where your stress is coming from.

By dealing with your true problems, you’ll find that you don’t have to come up with as many temporary solutions that will only help you for a little while. This is the only way to be able to resolve your stress long term, allowing you to focus more on what you really want to do in life.

Now, this isn’t to say that temporary stress relievers don’t have their uses. Temporarily relieving stress is a good way to give yourself some room to breathe and focus on finding long term solutions.

If you’re all caught up in your stress, you won’t be able to find the real sources very easily, but if you relax a bit, you’re more likely to be able to deal with your problems appropriately.

These temporary fixes start to become issues only when you start allowing them to distract you from actually finding long term solutions. Be proactive so that you enjoy more of what life has to offer.

Is Stress Contagious?

When people think about all the possible causes of their stress, they usually think about things like work, money, relationships, and things of that nature. These are good starting places, but they’re not always the answer.

A commonly overlooked cause of stress is the stress that other people are experiencing. Much like a disease, stress is contagious and can spread fairly easily. Humans naturally feel for one another and understand one another’s emotions, and therefore are prone to sharing a lot of emotions.

For example, if someone’s friend or family member is stressed out about their job, they can then become stressed out as well thinking about whether or not that person is going to be okay.

One of the ways that stress becomes contagious is by the changes in people’s personalities when they’re stressed out. When someone gets stressed, they may become more irritable, snapping at people for small or insignificant things.

In turn, the people on the receiving end of the irritability will become upset and stressed out themselves, and it just continues from there.  For some, this can be motivation to start addressing the sources of their stress, so that their friends will stop having to stress out as well.

However, for others, this can only add onto their existing stress, having to worry that their friend is worrying about them. The only way to break this back and forth cycle is to have good communication with your friends and loved ones about why you’re stressed out and to get down to it and solve your problems at their roots.

You should never be afraid to talk to your friends and family about why you’re stressed out as long as you do it in the right manner. As long as you remain calm about it while you’re talking, you shouldn’t cause too much extra stress.

And if your friends and family fail, you can usually find a therapist to talk to instead. You should also be able to tell someone when they’re stressing you out. Sometimes it can be a wakeup call for them, which can be a major relief for you.

Other times, they may continue to stay stressed out. In this case, do what you can to help them, and if that doesn’t work, you could always distance yourself a bit from them. There’s no use in continuing to stress yourself out over someone else’s problems - especially when you’ve done all you can to help them.

Apps That Help Alleviate Stress

Our lives can get really hectic these days. We’re constantly trying to keep up with everything and stay organized, but it’s not easy. Nobody wants to drag around a journal to keep track of their emotions along with a planner and calendar and all sorts of other stuff.

Luckily, there are a wide variety of apps that can help you alleviate stress in a variety of ways. The first kind of stress relief app you might come across are those that help with meditation.

Meditation is a very good way of relieving stress, allowing you time to clear your head, collect your emotions, and think clearly. It emphasizes deep, slow breathing to help lower your heart rate as well, which is another contributing factor of stress.

Guided meditation apps will help you learn to meditate properly by displaying breathing techniques along with calming sounds, music, and images. This makes meditation a lot easier to pick up and is more interesting and interactive than just sitting in silence for a little while.

Another major type of stress relief app helps you keep track of your emotions. They’re essentially little journals in which you can log what’s stressing you out or how you’re feeling about certain things.

Being able to visualize what’s stressing you out by writing it out is a huge help and is much more effective than just keeping it in your head. You’re also able to look back on older entries so that you can track the state of your emotions over time.

A slightly different kind of app that will help your stress is anything that helps you with planning. Disorganization can quickly lead to you being stressed out, with things suddenly popping up that you forgot about and forcing you to scramble and figure out a plan on the spot.

Instead of just having your week kind of planned out in your head, planner apps are a convenient way to help you lay it all out clearly as soon as possible. For example, if a friend of yours wants to grab lunch on a certain day the following week, you’ll be able to log it right then and also check to see if it interferes with anything else you might have going on.

Another major benefit of these planners is that they can send you alerts, letting you know a few hours or days in advance about something that’s coming up. Time management is a huge stress reliever in this fast-paced world.

How To Stay Positive In Stressful Situations

How To Stay Positive In Stressful Situations

Sometimes nothing seems to turn out the way you had planned, no matter how hard you attempt. Regardless of where the stress is stemming from, it is essential to equip yourself with resources to rise above the negativity and stay positive. Maintaining a positive attitude can help alleviate stress and assist in accomplishing your objectives. When you feel like you have hit a dead end, and start to sense any negativity, stop! Here are a few tips on how to remain positive even when you are in challenging situations.

Count your blessings

Regardless how rough things are, if you think about it, you have lots of things to be grateful for. Whether it’s having a job when a lot of people are jobless, having a supportive family, or simply being in a good health. By revisiting everything you have in your life, you can’t hold on to the negativities. You will feel confident, proud and positive. There are countless things in your life that you can be thankful about.

Reward yourself

When you achieve something, regardless of how little it is, pat yourself in the back for the job well done. The list of ways that you can reward yourself is endless. You can reward yourself with new opportunities to explore something new or to learn something new. You can even take your friends out for coffee. A positive attitude can hardly arise if you don’t even feel great about yourself.

Exercise regularly
Another great way to manage stress and remain positive is by exercising on a regular basis. If you don’t exercise, try to find something that you enjoy doing such as swimming, biking, playing golf, playing tennis, or going for a walk. Breathing exercise can also help alleviate stress. Breathing has been proven to help manage stress, and can help a lot in countless situations.

Take time out
If all you think about is work, you can easily be overwhelmed by stress. Be sure to give yourself time off and read a book, listen to music or do whatever it is that you find relaxing. You can also go out with your family and friends. This will help you remain focused and positive when you are on your work station. You will ultimately thank yourself for it.

There you have it! How to always stay positive in a challenging environment. While you will not alleviate stress overnight, following these simple steps will help you develop and maintain a good attitude about your family, your work and your life.

3 top ways to reduce everyday stress

Learning how to deal with stress is something that everybody needs to know. Even our health can suffer the effects of stress which can also make it difficult to think clearly enough to solve even the simplest task. The good news is that there are simple easy techniques for reducing your stress which we will cover here in this article.

As more studies show the link between stress and many health problems, stress management becomes an important consideration for many people. These 3 top stress management ways can help you to reduce the levels of stress in your life, so make good use of them.

Massage

Go get a massage, this is the first method for reducing and managing stress levels. Massage has often been thought of as a great way to relieve sore muscles, but it can also reduce overall body tension, anxiety and stress too. There are a lot of studies that prove massage is a great way to reduce stress when done regularly. There are many different types of massage, so you should try several kinds and find the one that you prefer.

Nowadays it’s not usually hard to find qualified massage therapists. Massage can release endorphins in the brain which produce pleasure which is helpful in not only stress reduction but also helpful for emotional issues such as anxiety and depression to name a few.

Relaxation Techniques

We have all already probably heard of various methods of relaxation. Some of the most popular methods are basic mediation and the various forms of yoga. You can attend online or actual classes to learn the different parts of these methods so you can learn to relax. There are also other options to these major relaxation techniques. A simpler and more straightforward option would be to learn deep breathing techniques. You can use these even when you are seated in your work station. Progressive muscle relaxation and mental imagery are also possible basic techniques you can use against stress.

Exercising on Schedule

It’s just like what your physical education teacher always said. Maintaining a regular exercise schedule can do wonders for your body. The major benefit of exercise is that it can encourage the proper circulation of your blood. This in turn ensures that oxygen and nutrients reach the various cells in your body. You need these if you ever hope to fight the bad effects of stress on your health.

You’ve now heard only a few of the most effective stress management tips available there are still other ways to approach the management of your overall stress including enough sleep and eating health. What causes your stress can be as important as treating it so you need to know what that is. Stress management can take many forms, and the methods you use will depend on your circumstances and what you prefer.

How to Use the 80/20 Principle to Reduce Stress

The 80/20 rule popularly known as the Pareto Principle was born by an Italian, Vifredo Pareto, after observing that approximately 20% of the people living in Italy owned an astonishing 80% of wealth. It reflected a simple symmetry of inequality then, and the principle gradually spread to other areas of life, particularly stress relief. According to Pareto, the majority of any output comes from the minority of any input.

From a wellness perspective 80% of your health problems will come from 20% of the lifestyle choices you make. Smoking for example, is a small thing that causes many people several health problems. When it comes to stress something that seems trivial would be enough to trigger major problems in some people. Someone might say something about your appearance thinking it’s a joke but if you take it to heart, chances are that it will weigh down on your mind.

To deal with the negative thoughts you will probably run to the pub for a drink but end up spending money that was meant for your bills. Later you might have to lie and the domino effect of stress continues. Depression easily steals 80% of one’s quality of life and most often, we fail to realize that its root cause is not what people say but low self-esteem. Simply working on your confidence would in this case be the 20% you need to do to avoid stress.

In today’s society, people with depression or ADHD quickly turn to drugs in a bid to manage the situation but if you were to follow the 80/20 principle, that is a drastic turn. Attention deficit problems, stress and depression are usually as a result of lifestyle choices so the simple solution would be making changes the foods you eat, how you work out and improve your outlook on life.

Anyone can use Pareto’s principle to reduce stress especially during this festive season when there are countless matters to attend to. Try making two columns of things that brings you stress and those that bring you joy. If for example you find that shopping causes you a great deal of anxiety, have someone else do it for you so you can focus on activities that bring happiness.

Trying to impress others is one of the reasons why many people feel dejected, rejected and unwanted. In line with Pareto’s principle you should protect the 80% that encompasses happiness and wellbeing by invoking positive thoughts and embracing simple solutions to seemingly big problems.

How to Live in the NOW

Many people live in the future. Why? Most people have a future that doesn’t mirror their present so they’d rather be in the future. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing because Law of Attraction states, “…that which you give your attention to will manifest in your life.” However, staying in the future means your present is passing you by. The following are some ways to help you live in the now and live a happy life without stress.

1. Don’t think about it.

Your goal is to stop thinking all the time. Go write down things that pop in your mind, this could be exams that are coming up or that visit to grandpa in a few weeks. Then cross off the ones that you are happy about. The first kiss with your lover can be a great memory that you might want to remind yourself of sometimes. Now you’ve a list of bad things you think about all the time. Because you want to stop thinking about them simply make a pact with yourself to do something stupid each time your head wanders off to one of the subjects on your list. This can be shaking your head really hard or even do 3 push-ups. Warning: Be reasonable and always try to forget if it comes up again.

2. Do Yoga and exercises.

Doing daily exercising will get you in great shape and stops your head from wandering off. Don’t say to yourself I can’t exercise until I finished this, because that’s exactly what you want to get rid of.

3. Avoid daily routine

We like to plan our days so that we don’t hit any surprises. But there’s nothing wrong with some variation or on-the-fly decisions. Donate a dollar to the collector in front of your grocery story. Smile randomly when you see a new store opening up or a beautiful tree. They’re resources you can use for a very long time. You can visit the store to buy new things, and the tree will always be there for your viewing pleasure – and oxygen.

4. The past and future is a reflection of the present.

The most important thing is to do good in the present. Great memories will bloom and future health and wealth can be created. With that in mind it’s only natural to be your best in the present. Really enjoy what you’re doing. Writing or watching television; find the good things in your current activity. It’s the only thing you should worry about.

5. If you don’t like the present, change it.

You can’t change the past but you can change the future. And that’s most important. If you’re not happy with something in your life currently then change it. Want to be a architect? Go study architecture. Feeling lonely? Make a MySpace profile and meet new people. The only thing that is important is that your happy about the present. Only then your future is as bright as can be.

Practice living in the now and know that by accessing the power of now, you can enjoy even more success than ever before.

5 Tips For Reducing Work Stress

Whether you hold a full-time job or work as a freelancer, work from office or work from home, stress is a real issue that every working professional has to deal with sooner or later. As the work culture gets increasingly complicated and employees are expected to work more for less; it’s now more important than ever to find your own recluse.

Relax, if you’ve been feeling stressed out lately from all the workload, just follow these simple tips for a quick fix.

Tips to reduce work stress

1. Listen to music: If your workplace permits listening to music during working hours, plug-in the headphones and tune in for some light, acoustic music. Not only does relaxing music ease your brain by taking away stress, but it can also give you some much-needed motivation to complete the tasks in hand. Classical symphonies, relaxing OSTs and acoustic sound all work wonders.

2. Take a break: With the constant pressure coming from the weight of the world around us, it’s quite easy to feel bogged down and depressed. This is why one must break away from work life once in a while even if it sounds implausible. A break can give you a fresh perspective on things and how to get things done, which is essential for career growth and success. Don’t be afraid; just take a break and go someplace where you always wanted to go before.

3. Smile and laugh a lot: Now before you brand us crazy for asking you to laugh for no reason, just hear us out. Science has found that our mental health and brain function is interconnected to facial expressions. When people feel stressed out, a lot of stress is held in their facial muscles, so smiles and laughs can relieve some of that held tension and make you feel relaxed.

4. Exercise: No, we’re not going ask you to abandon work to visit the gym for a 40-minute lifting session. All you have to do is some simple stretches in between work to feel refreshed and relaxed. You can even go for a 10 min walk, do some pushups, or dance around when no one’s looking to bring back peace of mind.

5. Call in social support: Working, especially from home, can get very lonely at times due to lack of co-workers. In that case, it’s always good to call a friend to share your feelings and concerns. Involving friends and family within regular work schedules can relieve stress, improve trust, and benefit relationships in more ways than one.

Donâ’t think too much; just try out these simple tips the next time you get stressed to feel the difference.

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