Anxiety and stress are quite common occurrences for most people these days. According to a study, as much as 79 percent of adults in the US say that they feel anxiety or stress on a daily basis.
Stress can be defined as a feeling of being under abnormal pressure, which can arise from different aspects of day to day life. Existing financial concerns, arguments with family and friends, a transitional period, and increased workload can all result in stress. It tends to have a cumulative effect.
If you feel upset or threatened in such situations, then your body may create a stress response. This can result in a variety of physical symptoms, affect your behavior patterns, and may cause you to experience intense emotions.
11 Methods to Combat Stress
Stress can affect an individual in numerous ways, both emotionally and physically in varying intensities. This is the reason why it is vital to learn to control stress during anxious times. Here are some simple ways to follow to reduce stress in everyday life.
Table of Contents
1. Move your body
Working out is the most crucial thing to do in order to combat stress. Although you may feel that it’s contradictory, exerting when you put your body through physical stress in the form of exercise, it can relieve mental stress.
People who work out regularly are less likely to experience anxiety in comparison to those who do not.
- Exercise lowers the stress hormones present in your body such as Cortisol
- It releases endorphins which act as natural painkillers and improves your mood
- Exercise can improve sleep quality which gets affected negatively by anxiety and stress
- You feel more confident and competent in your body which in turn promotes your mental wellbeing
Try to participate in activities that you enjoy or find an exercise routine such as rock-climbing, cycling, dancing, and walking. Activities such as jogging, or walking are stress-relieving, especially the ones that involve repetitive movements.
2. Consider using supplements
There are numerous supplements available in the market that can lower your anxiety and stress levels. Here are some of the supplements that you can consider incorporating in your daily diet –
- Lemon balm: It is a herb belonging to the mint family and is known to work excellently on lowering anxiety effects
- Omega-3 fatty acids: As per a study conducted on medical students proves that the individuals who were on omega-3 supplements experienced a reduction in their anxiety symptoms by 20 percent.
- Ashwagandha: This herb is used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating anxiety and stress. The effectiveness of this herb has been demonstrated through several studies.
- Green tea: It consists of several polyphenol antioxidants with the promise of numerous health benefits. It lowers anxiety and stress by boosting serotonin levels in the body.
- Kava Kava: This psychoactive member belonging to the pepper family has long been used as a sedative. It is increasingly used in the US and Europe for the treatment of anxiety and mild stress.
3. Lower your caffeine intake
Caffeine, which is a stimulant found in coffee, energy drinks, chocolate, and tea can increase anxiety. The amount of caffeine that people can tolerate varies from one individual to another.
You can consider cutting back on caffeine if you notice that makes it you anxious or jittery. Despite studies proving numerous health benefits of caffeine when consumed in moderation, it is just not for everyone.
4. Use aromatherapy
Aromatherapy activates certain receptors in the brain that ease anxiety. Whether they are in the form of a candle, incense or oil, scents like chamomile, lavender, and sandalwood can prove to be very soothing on the mind.
5. Identify your triggers and learn to manage them
You need to identify triggers either with the help of a therapist or on your own. Sometimes, the triggers are quite obvious such as smoking, drinking alcohol, or caffeine. In some cases, they are not quite obvious.
Work-related situations or long term problems such as financial situations can be the cause of stress. You need to take extra support from friends or in the form of therapy in such situations.
Although going on a retreat to quaint places can help you relieve stress, you need to make it a habit to meditate for at least five minutes every day. There is enough evidence to prove that just quick bouts of meditation every day can relieve depression and stress.
All you need to do is find a comfortable spot in a quiet place and focus on your breath. You will soon feel the symptoms of anxiety disappearing.
7. Connect with others
There are many people who are just reluctant to open up in front of their friends and family as far as mental health is concerned. It is one of the most important steps to take where you can talk truthfully to somebody.
Convincing yourself that everything is great is not going to work in your favor at all times. Whether you wish to, believe it or not, there is a negative side to being super optimistic all at once.
For instance, if you are grieving the loss of a dear one, you should express the grief instead of burying it within you. There are many people who let grieving build up over the years after an incidence. It is vital to experience a range of emotions. Opening your heart out and connecting with others will help the sadness pass away quickly.
8. Remember to breathe
You need to take slow, deep breaths quite often which can lower your blood pressure and also your heart rate. You can try Pranayama breathing techniques, a yogic method that involves breathing in a specific manner to relieve anxiety. This technique balances your body and mind when practiced regularly.
9. Be mindful
Mindfulness is a body-mind approach that helps us relate to experiences differently. It requires you to pay attention to your feelings and thoughts in a way that enhances your ability to make wise choices and manage difficult situations.
You need to try to practice mindfulness on a regular basis. You can carry out mindfulness meditation anytime and from anywhere.
Research studies have suggested that mindfulness techniques can lower the effects of anxiety and stress. It can also prove to be beneficial for conditions such as poor concentration, low moods, and insomnia.
10. Get some sleep
Do you struggle to sleep? Sleeplessness is one of the common problems experienced by people who are stressed. Could your mental or physical health be impacting your ability to sleep properly? Could you make small changes in your lifestyle that can help you get some restful sleep? Sleeping well can help your body to relax and alleviate your stress symptoms.
11. Do not be hard on yourself
Being hard on yourself is only going to shoot up your stress levels. You need to keep things in perspective and always remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience. It is not just you who are dealing with stressful situations. Everybody is dealing with stress in some or the other way.
Do not take criticism to heart, be it from an external critic or from the inner critic within you. If you feel you have not lived up to your expectations, then do not try to beat yourself up.
Try to be supportive and kind. Be your own best friend. Take a few minutes out every day and appreciate yourself. This will help you in dealing with stressful situations with much ease.
To learn more ways to manage your stress and anxiety, read more from BetterHelp.
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