Stress and anxiety affect everyone at some point; they can result from work, family issues, daily activities, financial obligations, or health concerns, so they naturally occur in most cases. However, it is possible to learn how to reduce stress and anxiety in order to live a healthier and happier life because, like it or not, they are not good for your overall physical and mental health. Chronic stress and anxiety can lead to many health conditions like heart disease, depression, and anxiety disorder.
Therefore, in this article, you will learn about some vital tips that will help you reduce stress and anxiety.
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How to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Exercise and physical activity can help reduce anxiety symptoms, help you manage stress levels, and improve your mood. Studies suggest that high-intensity workouts may be more effective than regular exercise.
However, people who exercise at least two times weekly can significantly reduce overall stress and anxiety and even certain cases of depression. If you are inactive, start with mild exercises like biking or walking; then, you can try more intensive routines as time progresses.
Journaling provides a positive outlet for your thoughts; it is the best way to express how you feel and deal with the cause of your anxiety and stress. Some studies have shown that journaling and other forms of expressive writing can help people cope with stressful thoughts and improve their overall well-being.
You can practise meditation anytime and anywhere; research has shown that it can reduce the effects of stress and anxiety; meditation can slow down your racing thoughts, bring calmness to your mind and allow you to relax, ignoring everything else around you. Apart from stress and anxiety, meditation can also help with related problems such as poor concentration, insomnia, and low moods.
Many herbal teas can help you relax and sleep more peacefully. They can directly affect your brain and quickly relieve you of anxiety and stress. For example, research suggests that chamomile can alter cortisol levels and reduce stress.
Some people also find making and drinking tea soothing. Some teas that can help include chamomile, ginger, lavender, passionflower, ashwangadha, valerian, etc.
Smelling certain plants’ essential oils can be soothing for most people; it can help you destress and control anxiety. However, some plants work better for some people than others. An excellent example of such a plant is lavender.
Time Management Strategies
Having many commitments relating to work, family, health, or personal life may make you anxious and increase your stress levels, but having a good plan for meeting these commitments will help you feel less anxious and stressed. You can also break down your major projects into smaller steps to help you accomplish the task with less stress. In addition, learn to plan your time correctly to avoid situations that make you anxious and stressed.
Eat a Balanced Diet
A good diet will reduce your risk of certain health conditions. The food you eat also affects your mood; if you eat a healthy diet that contains all the necessary amounts of brain nutrients such as vitamins, minerals and adequate water, you will enhance your well-being and brain function. This can significantly help you control how your brain responds to stressful situations and help you manage anxiety as well.
Minimise Phone Else and Screen Time
Your phones, tablets, and computers may be of great importance and usefulness to you, but using them excessively can increase your stress levels and increase your chances of developing certain health disorders, especially eye-related issues.
Several studies have linked excessive smartphone use to lower psychological well-being, and it can negatively affect sleep, which will also increase your stress levels. If, after a long day, you still can’t sleep peacefully at night, you will certainly be anxious and stressed.
Reduce Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a chemical in tea, coffee, energy drinks, chocolate and certain drugs. It stimulates our nervous system, increases the activity in your brain, and increases the circulation of certain brain chemicals such as cortisol, a stress hormone, and adrenaline, a flight or fight hormone.
Caffeine, when taken in small amounts, can help you stay active, focused and refreshed, but too much of it can worsen your anxiety and increase your stress levels. Caffeine can also alter your sleep cycle and make you stay awake when you should be sleeping.
Set Realistic Goals
One common thing that leads to anxiety and stress is setting goals you cannot meet, so you keep worrying about them instead of accepting the fact that you are doing too much. An effective way to reduce stress and anxiety is to set realistic goals and not be too hard on yourself. There is only so much you can do at every point, so set realistic goals. Break down specific goals into smaller steps so you will be more encouraged to attempt them.
Get Enough Sleep
For many busy people, sleep time is the only time they can rest and destress, but if you are like this and you don’t get enough sleep, your body will not have time to unwind and relax. Hence, it keeps building up stress. So try as much as possible to have a healthy sleep routine no matter how busy you are; sleep time is precious for your brain health and can help you manage stress and anxiety effectively.
See also: How To Manage Stress During Pregnancy
Stress and anxiety can take a toll on your physical and mental health. Still, the good news is that it is manageable and even avoidable and from all the effective strategies we have discussed so far, you can now easily manage your stress levels and be less anxious. This will significantly improve your psychological well-being.