Sometimes complaining about your day can feel like a huge stress reliever, whether you're anxious about work or having issues with your SO. But while regularly venting to others might seem like a good idea, there are ways to release stress without complaining, so you don't annoy others or feel ungrateful for the good you do have in your life. If you don't learn how to manage your stress, it can cause a lot of health problems down the line.
According to LIVESTRONG, chronic stress can not only harm your memory, but it can also make you moody and irritable. It can affect your digestion and immune system, make you feel overwhelmed, and even cause you to become depressed. Plus, if you don't deal with the stress in a healthy way, you may develop nervous habits such as excessively drinking alcohol, smoking, or biting your nails. None of this sounds like something you want to deal with, and there are ways to handle stress in a healthy way — minus the complaining. According to Fast Company, complaining or listening to negative feedback every day can physically damage your brain and essentially can become a habit if you surround yourself with people who complain. Such a bummer, right? So instead of resulting to venting during happy hour, here are 11 ways you can release stress without complaining to others and living a healthier happier life.
1. Have Sex
Need another reason to get your freak on? Sex is proven to not only make you happy but healthier, too. According to WedMD, sex with your partner can sooth your stress and anxiety because sexual arousal releases a chemical in your brain that heightens your pleasure and reward system.
2. Get A Massage
While getting a massage sounds like a nice treat-yo'-self present to get every once in a while, you might want to consider scheduling them even more often due to their health benefits. According to Oprah.com, Mark Rapaport, MD, conducted a study that involved 53 healthy adults who either got a Swedish massage or a "light touch" treatment. Rapaport found that the participants who got the Swedish massage had less stress and an increase in white blood cells (a boost in the immune system). Plus, the people who had a "light touch" treatment were found with higher levels of oxytocin.
3. Watch Something Funny
Whether it's a movie, a TV show, or a cute kitten video, watching something that will make you laugh can easily lift your spirits. According to Happify, research shows that laughter can reduce stress, enhance mood, increase immune activity, and lower blood pressure.
No matter how much you may hate doing it, exercising is one of the greatest ways to release stress in a healthy manner. According to the same Happify chart, people who exercise for 30 minutes can overcome sadness and help regulate other tough emotions. And if you don't continue to exercise, it can increase your feelings of anxiety anger and depression.
5. Write Your Thoughts Down
"There are so many healthy ways to release stress without having to complain to others," says psychologist Nicole Martinez Psy.D., LCPC, in an email to Bustle. "Exercising is an obvious stress reliever, yoga, listening to a podcast, watching a funny movie, writing your thoughts out in a journal, or using your time to give back to others. All of these activities can do one of two things. They can either distract you, to take your mind off what is bothering you, or they can put things in perspective so that your issues do not seem as dire as you initially thought they were." While all those ideas work, journaling your thoughts can also allow you to become more self-aware and put things into perspective.
6. Eat A Banana
Need another quick way to reduce your stress? Just look in your pantry. According to LifeHack, bananas can help reduce anxiety because they're high in potassium, which can relieve heartburn, maintain your blood sugar, and regulate blood pressure.
7. Chew Gum
While chewing a minty stick of gum might be good for your breath, it can also lower your stress levels. According to Greatist, chewing gum can reduce anxiety and lower cortisol levels. And one study even mentioned that participants said they had less anxiety when they chewed gum twice a day for 14 consecutive days.
8. Pet An Animal
According to the Huffington Post, when you pet an animal in a rhythmic motion, oxytocin is released, which can reduce blood pressure and lower cortisol levels. Essentially, if you need an excuse to get a pet of your own, this is it. You're welcome.
If you're anything like me, sitting in the same position and doing nothing but breathing is not easy when your mind is constantly on the go. But if you find yourself having high anxiety lately, it might be the answer you've been looking for. According to a Today article, research from Carnegie Mellon University mentioned that practicing 25 minutes of mindfulness meditation per session for three days in a row can alleviate psychological stress.
If you don't have the time or the money to get a massage, there are other quick ways to release stress in the comfort of your own home or office. “Place the ball between your back and the wall. Lean into the ball, and hold gentle pressure for up to 15 seconds. Then move the ball to another spot, and apply pressure,” said a nurse practitioner and assistant professor at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus Cathy Benninger in a WebMD article.
11. Smile More
According to Reader's Digest, co-author of The Power of 5 Robert Cooper, Ph.D., said, "Smiling transmits nerve impulses from the facial muscles to the limbic system, a key emotional center in the brain, tilting the neurochemical balance toward calm.” While it might feel weird to force a smile, it's an easy, free way to lift your mood in a short amount of time.
While it might be considered normal to have stress in your life, it's important to know how to deal with it in a healthy way. Use these tips to deter you from complaining so you can try to live a happy, stress-free life.
Images: Pexels; Bustle