Stress and anxiety are common problems experienced by many people. When you feel burden or threat many changes occur in your body like heartbeat increase, breath becomes shorter, and stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol rise. It is not always bad to feel stress and anxiety, if you are stressed about an upcoming test or interview it can significantly improve your performance. However, if you often feel stress and anxiety it can affect your health and daily life adversely. Therefore, it becomes important to avoid and manage stress and anxiety levels. Below given are eight ways that can help you to relieve stress and anxiety.
- Practice Meditation
Meditation refers to the practice of keeping yourself at the moment and brings you consciousness about your real self. It focuses on living in the moment and helps you to forget about the past and your worries about the future. Sit in a quiet place for a few minutes and focus on your breathing, you will gradually find yourself in a calm state. The basic purpose of practicing meditation is to detach yourself from those stressful thoughts that make you anxious and focus on the present. The daily practice can help you combat those stressful situations and help with anxiety as well. It can also help with depression and other health-related problems like high blood pressure and heart diseases. Overall it is a positive influence in your life.
- Get Moving
Exercise is a great way to take your mind off from stress and anxiety. Include any type of physical exercise in your routine to combat that mental stress. Including those physical activities you enjoy is better as you may stick to them for a longer time as compared to others. Regular exercise brings you the maximum benefit by reducing your stress hormones like cortisol and helps you to release feel-good chemicals like endorphins, which help you to improve your mood and acts as a natural pain killer thus reducing the symptoms of stress and anxiety. It also helps in regulating your sleep cycle which might have been disturbed due to constant stress and improves your confidence as well.
- Modify your Diet
What you eat affects your body and mind. It is advised to modify your diet by reducing the intake of processed foods and foods with high sugar content. Include more whole-food, fruits, and veggies in your diet. Some foods that are rich in a specific nutrient can help as well. Include food rich in Omega-3 fatty acids like chia seeds and flaxseeds in your diet as it is known to improve your mental health. Other foods like dark chocolate can also help you to reduce stress and anxiety as the cocoa content can help you to improve your mood and it is also a good source of magnesium. Green tea and chamomile tea are also known for their anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and calming effects. It lowers stress and anxiety by increasing the production of happy hormones.
- Spend Time with your Loved Ones
Spending time with your friends and family can help you get through your tough times more easily. Having social support brings a sense of belonging and promotes self-love. Sharing your problems with your loved ones significantly reduces stress and helps you feel connected. People with fewer friends are more likely to feel left out and stressed. Join a community that practices positive activities and push you to improve yourself. It not only improves your mental health but also other health problems. It also helps you to enhance your quality of life.
- Laugh Often
Laughing is said to be an instant stress reliever and helps you to stronger your bond with your loved ones. It brings good emotional and physical changes in your body like boosts your mood, releases endorphins i.e. the feel-good hormone, and reduces pain. It relaxes your muscles and relieves tension. In the long term, it is also said to improve your immunity and protects you from stress which alleviates your mood. The instant stress reliever inspires you to see the good and helps you to have faith in positive thinking. If this wasn’t enough a god laugh can also help you to burn calories and lightens your mood. Just like children you should enjoy laughing at little things and brighten your day.
- Practice Gratitude
Feeling thankful for any aspect of your life brings an appreciation for life and helps you to feel positive. Feeling joyful for your existence and for the ability to express it helps you to connect with yourself on a deeper level. It can be difficult to feel gratitude in tough times when you are stressed, however daily practice of thankfulness brings light to many things that are worth your appreciation. If you have a problem practicing it, start by realizing the small acts of nature like the warmth of the sun on a cold day, freshness of rain, and the beauty of nature. Gradually, it improves your mental and physical health as well. It improves your thinking and helps you to focus on the positive aspects of life.
- Get yourself a Pet
A pet can help you improve your mood and reduces stress. Having a furry friend waiting for you at home helps you to feel better while going back and improves your mental as well as physical health. Pets get accustomed to your behavior, tone of voice, and mood and interpret them. They encourage playfulness and reduce loneliness, stress, and anxiety. People with pets are less prone to mental problems and are able to cope better in tough times. Playing with your pet for 10-15 minutes daily can improve your mood and brings a feeling of unconditional love. They also help you to be in shape as you have to take them for a walk daily.
- Experiment with Reiki
Reiki is a Japanese technique that helps to reduce stress and promotes healing. It is also known as energy healing where you transfer energy through your palms to the affected area or the energy is transferred by the therapist to the patient. It helps you to enter into a state of relaxation and makes you feel calm. It starts by helping you release your tensions first and aims to clean your body from all burdens. It provides a mental and physical balance to your body. Many positive changes like better sleep, a relaxed mind, and fewer thoughts are experienced by many people. It makes the process of meditation easier as it allows you to experience a calm mind. It can be done simply at home as well and enable you to self-soothe anytime.
When to Seek Professional Help
It is common to suffer from stress and mild anxiety. It is important to remember that you are not alone and almost every other person suffers from it at different times in their lives. Some pointers that help you to understand that you should seek professional help are given below.
- You are no longer able to work
The inability to perform work tasks and avoiding work can indicate your need for help. Fear of public speaking and facing people can affect your life significantly. This might be time to see a therapist and talk about your problems. Understanding the reasons behind your actions can help to improve your symptoms.
- You Experience Panic Attacks
A sudden feeling of fear, anxiety, sweating, shortness of breath, and dizziness are some symptoms of a panic attack. Often feeling this way can affect your health and reduces your confidence. It can sometimes lead you to the hospital for no reason as the symptoms conclude to a mental problem and not a heart problem. It is advisable to take some professional help before it gets worse.
- You experience anxiety for more than a few days
Experiencing pressure and anxiety before an important event is normal however when the frequency of your anxiety increases and doesn’t go away you should consider some help. Different people react to various treatments. Some prefer counselors as they feel the need to be heard and seek advice whereas, some go for physician care.
- You have self-harm thoughts
Intentionally harming yourself to cope with emotional pain and stress can be a dangerous situation that needs to be taken care of as soon as possible. Having negative thoughts to an extent where you no longer understand the reason to have them can be unhealthy. It is advisable to immediately stop living alone and seek some professional help.