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6 Ways to Alleviate Stress and Improve Your Mood

October 23, 2018

Stress can affect your health, especially if you or someone you love suffers from COPD. Chronic stress may also cause more frequent COPD exacerbations. While you could always turn to popular stress relievers, such as exercise and meditation, these strategies may not be your thing. Luckily, there are many other ways to say sayonara to stress.

The suggestions below are easy, fun, and unusual, and they benefit your overall health by reducing excessive stress. You may already seek out some of these strategies, but others may be surprising and new. Try one or two when you’re feeling anxious.

  1. Help Others
  2. Providing support to others — even in small ways, such as opening the door for someone — can reduce stress and increase a sense of well-being, according to research published in Clinical Psychological Science.

  3. Be Affectionate
  4. Hugging and cuddling can slow the release of the stress chemical cortisol and increase your flow of endorphins, the feel-good chemicals that counter depression and stress, according to multiple studies.

  5. Knit or Crochet
  6. It turns out the repetitive motion of the needles can induce a relaxed state, similar to that achieved when doing yoga or meditating. Knitting and crocheting have been associated with lower heart rate, blood pressure, and levels of the stress hormone cortisol.

  7. Spend Time in Nature
  8. Walking in green spaces lowers blood pressure and stress chemicals and can alleviate a depressed or anxious mood, according to a growing body of research. Even looking out the window at your backyard trees may be relaxing and calm you.

  9. Sit Up Straight
  10. Slouching can bring down your mood and self-esteem. On the other hand, sitting upright can build resilience to stress, improve memory for positive events, bolster assertiveness and self-confidence, and raise mood and productivity.

  11. Spend Time in Front of an Aquarium
  12. Watching fish swim can help lower blood pressure and heart rate.