Having stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. Everyone experiences stress and anxiety at one time or another. Whether in good times or bad, most people say that stress interferes at least moderately with their lives and prevents them from doing the things they want or need to do. Chronic stress can affect your health, causing symptoms from headaches, high blood pressure, and chest pain to heart palpitations, skin rashes, and loss of sleep. Here are simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
It is suggested that exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress. Regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, and improve sleep and self-esteem. Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
2. Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Anxiety is our body’s response to situations that we perceive as being worrisome or threatening, and it promotes our body’s “fight or flight” response. Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks and it also triggers this response, making you overreact to situations that aren’t actually dangerous or troublesome. If you notice that caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, consider cutting back.
3. Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness describes practices that anchor you to the present moment. A few minutes of practice per day can help ease anxiety. It can help combat the anxiety-inducing effects of negative thinking. There are several methods for increasing mindfulness, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga, and meditation. Yoga primarily helps by increasing body and breath awareness. Meditation may alter the brain’s neural pathways, making you more resilient to stress.
4. Breathe Deeply
Mental stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, signalling your body to go into “fight-or-flight” mode. Take a 5-minute break and focus on your breathing. Using essential oils or burning a scented candle while breathing deeply may help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety. Sit up straight, eyes closed, with a hand on your belly. Slowly inhale through your nose, feeling the breath start in your abdomen and work its way to the top of your head. Reverse the process as you exhale through your mouth.
5. Spend Time With Friends and Family
Your social network is one of your best support system that can help you get through stressful times. Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times. Talk to others, preferably face to face, or at least on the phone. Share what’s going on. You can get a fresh perspective while keeping your connection strong.