How to reduce the tension
15 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are common experiences for many people. In fact, millions of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Many people deal with stress every day. Work, family issues, health concerns, and financial obligations are parts of everyday life that commonly contribute to heightened stress levels.
What’s more, factors such as genetics, level of social support, coping style, and personality type influence a person’s vulnerability to stress, meaning that some people are more likely to become stressed than others (1, 2, 3).
Plus, research shows that parents, people in professions such as healthcare and social work, People of Color, and LGBTQIA+ individuals are more likely to have higher stress levels (4, 5, 6, 7).
Minimizing the chronic stress of daily life as much as possible is important for overall health. That’s because chronic stress harms health and increases your risk of health conditions such as heart disease, anxiety disorders, and depression (8, 9, 10).
It’s important to understand that stress isn’t the same as mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, which require treatment from medical professionals. Although the tips below may relieve many types of stress, they may not help people with these conditions (11).
Here are 15 evidence-based ways to relieve stress.
If you’re feeling stressed, moving your body on a consistent basis may help.
A 6-week study in 185 university students found that participating in aerobic exercise 2 days per week significantly reduced overall perceived stress and perceived stress due to uncertainty. Plus, the exercise routine significantly improved self-reported depression (12).
Many other studies have shown that engaging in physical activity helps reduce stress levels and improve mood, while sedentary behavior may lead to increased stress, poor mood, and sleep disturbances (13, 14).
What’s more, regular exercise has been shown to improve symptoms of common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression (15, 16).
If you’re currently inactive, start with gentle activities such as walking or biking. Choosing an activity that you enjoy may help increase your chances of sticking to it in the long term.
Regular exercise may help reduce stress and improve symptoms related to common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Your diet affects every aspect of your health, including your mental health.
Studies show that people who follow a diet high in ultra-processed foods and added sugar are more likely to experience higher perceived stress levels (17, 18, 19).
Being chronically stressed may lead you to overeat and reach for highly palatable foods, which may harm your overall health and mood.
Plus, not eating enough nutrient-dense whole foods may increase your risk of deficiencies in nutrients that are essential for regulating stress and mood, such as magnesium and B vitamins (20).
Minimizing your intake of highly processed foods and beverages and eating more whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, fish, nuts, and seeds can help ensure that your body is properly nourished. In turn, this may improve your resilience to stress.
Following a nutrient-dense diet and limiting ultra-processed foods may provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal health and decrease your risk of deficiencies in nutrients that help regulate stress.
Smartphones, computers, and tablets are an unavoidable part of everyday life for many people.
While these devices are often necessary, using them too often may increase stress levels.
A number of studies have linked excessive smartphone use and “iPhone addiction” with increased levels of stress and mental health disorders (21, 22, 23, 24).
Spending too much time in front of screens in general is associated with lower psychological well-being and increased stress levels in both adults and kids (25, 26, 27).
Furthermore, screen time may negatively affect sleep, which may also lead to increased stress levels (28).
Minimizing screen time may help reduce stress and improve sleep in both children and adults.
Several vitamins and minerals play an important role in your body’s stress response and mood regulation. As such, a deficiency in one or more nutrients may affect your mental health and ability to cope with stress.
Plus, some studies show that certain dietary supplements may help reduce stress and improve mood.
For example, when you’re chronically stressed, your magnesium levels may become depleted.
Since this mineral plays an important role in your body’s stress response, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough each day. Supplementing with magnesium has been shown to improve stress in chronically stressed people (20, 29).
An 8-week study in 264 people with low magnesium found that taking 300 mg of this mineral daily helped reduce stress levels. Combining this dose of magnesium with vitamin B6 was even more effective (30).
Other supplements, including rhodiola, ashwagandha, B vitamins, and L-theanine, have been shown to help reduce stress as well (31, 32, 33, 34).
However, dietary supplements may not be appropriate or safe for everyone. Consult a healthcare professional if you’re interested in using supplements to help relieve stress.
Certain supplements may reduce stress levels, including magnesium, L-theanine, rhodiola, and B vitamins.
Setting aside time to practice self-care may help reduce your stress levels. Practical examples include:
- going for a walk outside
- taking a bath
- lighting candles
- reading a good book
- preparing a healthy meal
- stretching before bed
- getting a massage
- practicing a hobby
- using a diffuser with calming scents
- practicing yoga
Studies show that people who engage in self-care report lower levels of stress and improved quality of life, while a lack of self-care is associated with higher risk of stress and burnout (35, 36, 37).
Taking time for yourself is essential in order to live a healthy life. This is especially important for people who tend to be highly stressed, including nurses, doctors, teachers, and caretakers.
Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. It simply means tending to your well-being and happiness.
Exposure to certain scents via candles or essential oils may be especially calming. Here are a few relaxing scents:
- Roman chamomile
- orange or orange blossom
Using scents to boost your mood is called aromatherapy. Several studies suggest that aromatherapy can decrease anxiety and improve sleep (38, 39).
Self-care is an important part of managing stress. A few simple strategies you may want to try are yoga, lighting candles, taking baths, and reading a good book.
Caffeine is a chemical found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks that stimulates your central nervous system.
Consuming too much may worsen and increase feelings of anxiety (40, 41).
Plus, overconsumption may harm your sleep. In turn, this may increase stress and anxiety symptoms (42).
People have different thresholds for how much caffeine they can tolerate. If you notice that caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, consider cutting back by replacing coffee or energy drinks with decaffeinated herbal tea or water.
Although many studies show that coffee is healthy in moderation, it’s recommended to keep caffeine intake under 400 mg per day, which equals 4–5 cups (0.9–1.2 L) of coffee (43).
Still, people who are sensitive to caffeine may experience increased anxiety and stress after consuming much less caffeine than this, so it’s important to consider your individual tolerance.
Large amounts of caffeine may increase stress and anxiety, although people’s sensitivity to caffeine varies greatly.
Social support from friends and family may help you get through stressful times and cope with stress (44).
A study that in 163 Latinx young adults in college associated lower levels of support from friends, family, and romantic partners with loneliness, depressive symptoms, and perceived stress (44).
Having a social support system is important for your overall mental health. If you’re feeling alone and don’t have friends or family to depend on, social support groups may help. Consider joining a club or sports team or volunteering for a cause that’s important to you.
Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and is important for overall mental well-being.
Not all stressors are within your control, but some are. Putting too much on your plate may increase your stress load and limit the amount of time you can spend on self-care.
Taking control over your personal life may help reduce stress and protect your mental health.
One way to do this may be to say “no” more often. This is especially true if you find yourself taking on more than you can handle, because juggling many responsibilities may leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Being selective about what you take on — and saying “no” to things that will unnecessarily add to your load — can reduce your stress levels.
Plus, creating boundaries — especially with people who add to your stress levels — is a healthy way to protect your well-being. This can be as simple as asking a friend or family member not to stop by unannounced or canceling standing plans with a friend who tends to create drama.
It’s important to create healthy boundaries in your life by declining to take on more than you can handle. Saying “no” is one way to control your stressors.
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality (45, 46).
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection (46).
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal — to join your body and mind by increasing body and breath awareness.
Several studies show that yoga helps reduce stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus, it can promote psychological well-being (47, 48, 49).
These benefits seem to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
Yoga may help lower cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate while increasing levels of gamma aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that’s low in people with mood disorders (49, 50).
Yoga is widely used for stress reduction. It may help lower stress hormone levels and blood pressure.
Mindfulness describes practices that anchor you to the present moment.
Stress reduction techniques that utilize mindfulness include meditation and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (51).
Meditating on a consistent basis, even for short periods, may help boost your mood and decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety (52).
If you’d like to try out meditation, countless books, apps, and websites can teach you the basics. There may also be therapists in your area who specialize in MBCT.
Mindfulness practices such as meditation and MBCT may help reduce stress levels and improve mood.
Human touch may have a calming effect and help you better cope with stress (53).
For example, studies show that positive physical contact and sex may help relieve stress and loneliness (54, 55).
These types of contact may help release oxytocin and lower cortisol. In turn, these effects help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Both high blood pressure and increased heart rate are physical symptoms of stress (56).
Interestingly, humans aren’t the only animals that cuddle for stress relief. Chimpanzees also cuddle friends that are stressed (57).
Positive touch from cuddling, hugging, kissing, and sex may help lower stress by releasing oxytocin and lowering blood pressure.
Spending more time outside may help reduce stress.
Studies show that spending time in green spaces such as parks and forests and being immersed in nature are healthy ways to manage stress (58, 59).
A review of 14 studies found that spending as little as 10 minutes in a natural setting may help improve psychological and physiological markers of mental well-being, including perceived stress and happiness, in college-aged people (59).
Hiking and camping are great options, but some people don’t enjoy — or have access to — these activities. Even if you live in an urban area, you can seek out green spaces such as local parks, arboretums, and botanical gardens.
Spending more time outside — whether at your local park or atop a mountain — may help reduce levels of stress and boost your mood.
Mental stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, sending your body into fight-or-flight mode.
During this reaction, stress hormones trigger physical symptoms such as a faster heartbeat, quicker breathing, and constricted blood vessels.
Deep breathing exercises may help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the relaxation response (60, 61).
Deep breathing exercises include diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing, and paced respiration.
The goal of deep breathing is to focus your awareness on your breath, making it slower and deeper. When you breathe in deeply through your nose, your lungs fully expand and your belly rises. This helps slow your heart rate, allowing you to feel at peace.
Deep breathing activates your body’s relaxation response, thereby counteracting some of the physical sensations of stress.
Having a pet may help reduce stress and improve your mood.
When you cuddle or touch your pet, your body releases oxytocin — a hormone that’s linked to positive mood (62).
Plus, studies show that pet owners — especially those who have dogs — tend to have greater life satisfaction, better self-esteem, reduced levels of loneliness and anxiety, and more positive moods (63).
Having a pet may also help relieve stress by giving you purpose, keeping you active, and providing companionship.
Spending time with your pet is a relaxing, enjoyable way to reduce stress.
Although stress is an unavoidable part of life, being chronically stressed takes a toll on your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, several evidence-based strategies can help you reduce stress and improve your overall psychological well-being.
Exercise, mindfulness, spending time with a pet, minimizing screen time, and getting outside more often are all effective methods.
Just one thing
Try this today: Although there are many ways to reduce stress on your own, it’s important to get help when you need it.
If you’re experiencing overwhelming stress or symptoms of anxiety and depression, consider making an appointment with a therapist or visiting a trusted healthcare professional to discuss ways to improve your mental health.
Read this article in Spanish.
10 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress
It might surprise you to learn that biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. It wasn’t until the late 1950s that endocrinologist Hans Selye first identified and documented stress.
Symptoms of stress existed long before Selye, but his discoveries led to new research that has helped millions cope with stress. We’ve compiled a list of the top 10 ways to relieve stress.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by a stressful situation, try taking a break and listening to relaxing music. Playing calm music has a positive effect on the brain and body, can lower blood pressure, and reduce cortisol, a hormone linked to stress.
We recommend cello master Yo-Yo Ma playing Bach, but if classical really isn’t your thing, try listening to ocean or nature sounds. It may sound cheesy, but they have similar relaxing effects to music.
When you’re feeling stressed, take a break to call a friend and talk about your problems. Good relationships with friends and loved ones are important to any healthy lifestyle.
They’re especially important when you’re under a lot of stress. A reassuring voice, even for a minute, can put everything in perspective.
Sometimes calling a friend is not an option. If this is the case, talking calmly to yourself can be the next best thing.
Don’t worry about seeming crazy — just tell yourself why you’re stressed out, what you have to do to complete the task at hand, and most importantly, that everything will be okay.
Stress levels and a proper diet are closely related. When we’re overwhelmed, we often forget to eat well and resort to using sugary, fatty snack foods as a pick-me-up.
Try to avoid sugary snacks and plan ahead. Fruits and vegetables are always good, and fish with high levels of omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to reduce the symptoms of stress. A tuna sandwich really is brain food.
Laughter releases endorphins that improve mood and decrease levels of the stress-causing hormones cortisol and adrenaline. Laughing tricks your nervous system into making you happy.
Our suggestion: watch some classic Monty Python skits like “The Ministry of Silly Walks.” Those Brits are so hilarious, you’ll soon be cracking up, rather than cracking up.
A large dose of caffeine causes a short-term spike in blood pressure. It may also cause your hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis to go into overdrive.
Instead of coffee or energy drinks, try green tea. It has less than half the caffeine of coffee and contains healthy antioxidants, as well as theanine, an amino acid that has a calming effect on the nervous system.
Most of the tips we’ve suggested provide immediate relief, but there are also many lifestyle changes that can be more effective in the long run. The concept of “mindfulness” is a large part of meditative and somatic approaches to mental health and has become popular recently.
From yoga and tai chi to meditation and Pilates, these systems of mindfulness incorporate physical and mental exercises that prevent stress from becoming a problem. Try joining a class.
Online meditation options
Read our review of the best online meditation options to find the right fit for you.
Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean power lifting at the gym or training for a marathon. A short walk around the office or simply standing up to stretch during a break at work can offer immediate relief in a stressful situation.
Getting your blood moving releases endorphins and can improve your mood almost instantaneously.
Everyone knows stress can cause you to lose sleep. Unfortunately, lack of sleep is also a key cause of stress. This vicious cycle causes the brain and body to get out of whack and only gets worse with time.
Make sure to get the doctor-recommended seven to eight hours of sleep. Turn the TV off earlier, dim the lights, and give yourself time to relax before going to bed. It may be the most effective stress buster on our list.
The advice “take a deep breath” may seem like a cliché, but it holds true when it comes to stress. For centuries, Buddhist monks have been conscious of deliberate breathing during meditation.
For an easy three- to five-minute exercise, sit up in your chair with your feet flat on the floor and hands on top of your knees. Breathe in and out slowly and deeply, concentrating on your lungs as they expand fully in your chest.
While shallow breathing causes stress, deep breathing oxygenates your blood, helps center your body, and clears your mind.
Stress is an unavoidable part of life, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. Too much untreated stress can cause potentially serious physical and mental health problems.
The good news is that in many cases, stress is manageable. With some patience and a few useful strategies, you can reduce your stress, whether it’s family stress or stress at the workplace.
How to lower AC and DC voltage?
Due to the presence of a large number of international standards and technical solutions, electronic devices can be powered from various ratings. But, not all of them are freely available, therefore, to obtain the desired potential difference, you will have to use a converter. Such devices can be found both in free sale and assembled independently from radio components.
Due to the presence of two kinds of electric current: direct and alternating, the question of how to lower the voltage should be considered in the key of each of them separately.
DC voltage drop
In the practice of powering household appliances, there are many examples of the operation of electrical devices from direct current. But the rating of the operating voltage can differ significantly, for example, if you need to get 12 V from 36 V, or in situations where you need to power the device from 3 V instead of the available 5 volts from the USB connector of a personal computer.
To reduce this level from a power supply or other source by almost half, you can use both simple methods - adding additional resistance to the circuit, and more effective ones - replacing the voltage regulator in the feedback branch.Fig. 1. Replacing the
Resistor or Zener Diode The figure above is an example of a power supply circuit where you can lower the voltage by changing the parameters of the resistor and zener diode. This node is circled in red in the figure, but in other models, the installation location, as well as the connection method, may differ. On some circuits, you can use only one zener diode to lower the voltage.
If you do not have the ability to connect to the power supply, you can get by with less elegant methods. For example, you can lower the voltage by including a resistor in the circuit or pick up diodes, the second option is more practical for DC circuits. This principle is based on the voltage drop due to the internal resistance of the elements. Depending on the conductance ratio of the workload and the semiconductor element, about 3 to 4 diodes may be needed.Fig. 2. DC voltage reduction with
diodes The figure above shows the circuit diagram for voltage reduction with diodes. To do this, they are included in the circuit in series with respect to the load. In this case, the output voltage will be lower than the input exactly by the amount that will fall on each diode in the circuit. This is a fairly simple and affordable way to lower the voltage, but its main drawback is the power consumption for each diode, which will lead to additional energy costs.
Lowering the AC voltage
AC voltage of 220 Volts is widely used for domestic needs, due to its physical features it is much easier to lower it to any value or to carry out any other manipulations. In most cases, electrical appliances are already designed to be powered by the mains, but if they were purchased abroad, then the voltage level for them can vary significantly.
For example, devices imported from the USA are powered by 110V AC, and some craftsmen undertake to rewind the step-down transformer to obtain the desired level. But, it should be noted that the pulse converter, which is often equipped with various power tools and devices, should not be rewound, as this will lead to its incorrect operation in the future. It is much more expedient to install an autotransformer or another one at the rating you need in order to lower the voltage.
By means of a transformer
Voltage change by electrical machines is used in power supplies and chargers. But in order to lower the source voltage in this way, you can use various types of converter transformers:
- With an output from the midpoint - they can produce a potential difference of both 220V and half as much - 127V or 110V. From it you can take the set value for the same 110V from the midpoint. These are factory products that were massively installed in old Soviet TVs and other devices. But this converter circuit has a significant drawback - if the integrity of the winding is violated below the middle output, then the value of the transformer will be much larger.
- Autotransformer is a versatile electric machine that can not only step down the voltage, but also boost it to the level you need. To do this, just move the handle to the desired position and trace the readings obtained on the voltmeter.
- Step-down transformer with 220V conversion to the rating you need or from any other variable frequency voltage. This method can be implemented both with ready-made models of transformers, and with home-made ones. Due to the presence of a large number of tools and devices, today everyone can assemble a transformer with the specified parameters at home. You can learn more about this from the corresponding article: https://www.asutpp.ru/transformator-svoimi-rukami.html
When choosing a particular model of electrical machine to reduce voltage, pay attention to the characteristics of a particular model in relation to the devices that you want to power.
The most relevant parameters for transformers are:
- Power - the transformer must not only correspond to the load connected to it, but also exceed it, at least by 10 - 20%. Otherwise, the maximum current will lead to overheating of the transformer windings and further failure.
- Voltage rating - selectable for both primary and secondary circuits. Both parameters are equally important, since by choosing a model with an input voltage of 200 or 190V, the output will be proportionally larger when powered by 220V.
- Protection against electric shock - all windings and their leads must be adequately insulated and protected against contact.
- Dust and moisture protection class - determines the resistance of the equipment to environmental factors. In modern devices, it is indicated by the IP index.
In addition, any voltage converter, even a pulse transformer, should be protected against short-circuit currents and overload in the windings. This will significantly reduce the cost of repairs in case of emergencies.
Using a resistor
To reduce the voltage, a voltage divider in the form of an active resistance is connected in series in the load circuit.
The main difficulty in adjusting the voltage on the connected device is the dependence on several parameters:
- voltage values;
- load resistance;
- power source.
If you lower from a household network, then it can be considered a source of infinite power and take this component as a constant. Then the calculation of the resistor will be performed by the following method:
After calculating the value of the resistor, you can choose the appropriate model from the available range. It is worth noting that it is much more convenient to change the potential with a variable resistor included in the circuit. By connecting it in series with the load, you can select the position in such a way as to lower the voltage to the required value. However, it cannot be called an effective method, since in addition to working in the device, electrical energy will simply be dissipated by a resistor, so this option is a temporary or one-time solution.
How to lower the voltage from 12 to 5 volts (resistor, microcircuit)?
In this article I will talk about very banal things that have not changed for more than a decade, but they have not changed at all. Another thing is that since the principle of reducing the voltage in a closed circuit due to resistance has been studied, other principles for supplying the load, due to PWM, have appeared, but this is a separate topic, although it deserves attention. Therefore, I will continue, nevertheless, in the order of the logical channel, when I talk about Ohm's law, then about its application for various radio elements involved in lowering the voltage, and after that we can already mention PWM.
Ohm's law when the voltage drops
Actually there was such an uncle Georg Ohm, who studied the flow of current in a circuit. He made measurements, made certain conclusions and conclusions. The results of his work was Ohm's formula, as they say Ohm's law. The law describes the dependence of the voltage drop, current on resistance.
The law itself is very clear and similar to the representation of such physical events as the flow of liquid through a pipeline. Where the liquid, or rather its flow rate, is the current, and its pressure is the voltage. Well, of course, any changes in the section or obstacles in the flow pipe will be resistance. In total, it turns out that the resistance “strangles” the pressure, when drops can simply drip from the pipe under pressure, and the flow rate immediately drops. Pressure and flow quantities are very dependent on each other, like current and voltage. In general, if everything is written in a formula, it turns out like this:
R=U/I; That is, the pressure (U) is directly proportional to the resistance in the pipe (R), but if the flow rate (I) is large, then there is no resistance as such . .. And the increased flow should indicate a reduced resistance.
Very vague, but objective! It remains to be said that this law, however, was obtained empirically, that is, the final factors of its change are not very determined.
Now, armed with theoretical knowledge, let's continue our journey in learning how to reduce our stress.
How to lower the voltage from 12 to 5 volts using a resistor
The easiest thing is to take and use an unregulated circuit. That is, when the voltage is simply lowered due to resistance and that's it. There is nothing special to talk about such a principle, we simply consider according to the formula above and that's it. I'll give you an example. Let's say we reduce from 12 volts to 5.
R=U/I. The stress is understandable, but look, we don't have enough data! Nothing is known about the "flow", about the current consumption. That is, if you decide to calculate the resistance to lower the voltage, then you definitely need to know how much our load “wants to eat”.
You will need to look at this value on the device that you are going to power or in the instructions for it. Let's conditionally assume a consumption current of 50 mA = 0.05 A. It remains to also be noted that according to this formula we will select the resistance that will completely extinguish the voltage, and we need to leave 5 volts, then we substitute 12-5 = 7 volts into the formula.
R \u003d 7 / 0.05 \u003d 140 Ohms, resistance is needed in order to get 5 out of 12 volts, with a load current of 50 mA.
It remains to mention something equally important! The fact that any dissipation of energy, and in this case, voltage, is associated with dissipated power, that is, our resistor will have to "withstand" the heat that will be dissipated. The power of the resistor is calculated by the formula.
P=U*I. We receive. P=7*0.05=0.35 W should be the power of the resistor. No less. Now the calculation course for the resistor can be considered completed.
How to lower the voltage from 12 to 5 volts using a microcircuit
Nothing fundamentally changes in this case either. If we compare this option of lowering through a microcircuit, with the option using a resistor. In fact, everything is one to one here, except that useful “intelligent” features are added to adjust the internal resistance of the microcircuit based on the current consumption. That is, as we understood from the paragraph above, depending on the current consumption, the calculated resistance should “float”. This is exactly what happens in the microcircuit, when the resistance adjusts to the load in such a way that the output of the microcircuit is always the same supply voltage! Well, plus there are such "useful buns" as protection against overheating and short circuit. As for microcircuits, the so-called 5 volt voltage stabilizers, these can be: LM7805, KREN142EN5A. The connection is also very simple.
Of course, for the effective operation of the microcircuit, we put it on the radiator.