Stress is such a feature of modern living that there almost as many methods prescribed for dealing with it as there are sources of anxiety and tension to begin with. Most people are aware of the most common forms of managing stress, such as regular exercise, a healthy diet and good sleep, but there are many unconventional strategies that can be deployed that can enhance these techniques for subtle or even profound health benefits.
In this short blog, we’ll take a look at several unique ideas that you can use to combat stress, including how to improve sleep, quit smoking cigarettes and how to think beyond the gym.
Unconventional Sleep Strategies
You might be able to sprint a marathon, negotiate a hostage situation, or scale Ben Nevis but no matter how fit you are or how good you are in a crisis, poor sleep affects performance for everyone, and inexorably makes stressful situations even more challenging, while making you feel stress more acutely. Bad sleep is understood to lead to stress and even raise the risk of health conditions such as heart disease, stroke or heart attacks.
You’re probably aware of the advice to reduce screen and phone time before bed, or sticking to a reliable schedule, but what about introducing a sensory element to sleep with the use of aroma therapy? Soothing scents such as lavender or chamomile, whether from scented candles, mist diffusers or essential oils can all improve the quality of your sleep, setting the stage for a calming and restful night’s sleep.
Alternatively, consider using a wellness app to introduce some relaxation techniques such as sound therapy to your bedtime routine, helping you wind down with the use of gentle, natural sounds or peaceful music.
Appetite Management Tricks to Fight Stress
Without techniques for managing appetite, maintaining a balanced diet and optimal body weight can be challenging, even for young people with healthy metabolisms. While most focus on what to eat, consider when and how you eat. Techniques like mindful eating, where you focus deeply on the experience of eating, can help regulate appetite and improve digestion.
Introducing more whole foods such as grains, eggs and fish, and leafy greens, as well as some lesser-known superfoods, such as chia seeds into your diet can also provide novel and nutritious ways to keep hunger at bay. Complex carbs such as those found in whole-grain breads, brown pasta and oatmeal help stabilise blood sugar levels, reducing the desire to snack while keeping stress at bay.
Fitness Beyond the Gym
Fitness is often synonymous with the gym, but it doesn’t have to be. If the thought of endless hours spent on a treadmill or trembling beneath a barbell fills you with dread then there are countless other ways to build strength, stamina and body confidence without committing to a gym.
Engaging in activities like dance, hiking, or even martial arts can be a fun and effective way to stay fit. These activities not only improve physical health but also offer stimulation that can help with mental health problems, combat high blood pressure and provide stress relief.
By finding an activity that you enjoy, you’re more likely to stick with it, making fitness a pleasure rather than a chore.
Vaping as an Alternative to Smoking for Stress Relief
Although cigarette smoking has seen dramatic and welcome declines in recent years, many people still associate smoking with stress relief and quiet, private moments of calm, despite the well-reported health risks stemming from the high levels of harmful chemicals contained in tobacco.
Fortunately, vaping has emerged as a far safer alternative to smoking and one that’s more enjoyable and rewarding too. Vaping products such as vape pens and disposable vapes heat a liquid that contains nicotine, flavourings and a few safe, food-grade chemicals, turning it into a vapour that you inhale.
Millions of smokers have successfully switched to vaping as a less harmful option; one that offers the same stress relief they once enjoyed from cigarettes. However, since nicotine is highly addictive, we recommend you consult with a healthcare professional before adopting any new habit, especially one like vaping.
Incorporating unconventional strategies into your daily routine can provide new ways to balance stress and enhance wellness. From improving sleep with sound and aroma therapy to exploring new foods for appetite management, and finding joy in alternative fitness activities, these methods can rejuvenate your approach to health. And for those looking for a smoking alternative, vaping might offer a less harmful option to consider in your stress management toolkit.