Stress is a normal human emotion that we encounter in challenging situations. However, chronic stress can lead to anxiety and depression if not handled properly. Stress and anxiety are two sides of the same coin: excessive or prolonged stress provokes anxiety; prolonged or extreme stress exhausts the body’s natural coping mechanisms, leaving you vulnerable to negative thinking and unhealthy behaviors.
However, stress and anxiety aren’t a permanent fixture in your life. You have the power to manage these emotions by changing your behavior, mindset, habits, support system and environment.
Make Time for Yourself
When you are feeling stressed out or anxious, your body will release chemicals called cortisol and adrenaline. Your body will produce cortisol when it is under duress and adrenaline when it is under extreme stress. Cortisol makes you feel anxious, angry, and depressed, while adrenaline causes heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, and a faster and more irregular heartbeat.
To relieve stress and anxiety, you need to be proactive and find ways to de-stress yourself. While it is important to be productive when you are stressed out, you also need to make time for yourself.
Find activities that you enjoy, whether it be reading, listening to music, yoga, painting, journaling, or spending time with your friends and family. Some people find relief in exercising, taking a short drive, or even taking a monthly spa trip.
Always make time to do small things for yourself throughout the day, even if it is just waking up a bit earlier to enjoy a quite cup of coffee in the morning, or leaving early for work to listen to a few of your favorite songs in the car by yourself. The little moments matter!
Exercise and Yoga
Exercise and yoga are proven stress relievers. Studies show that people who exercise are less prone to negative thinking and more engaged in life. Exercise is an extremely powerful way to relieve stress and anxiety.
Your body produces cortisol when it is under duress and adrenaline when it is under extreme stress. Cortisol makes you feel anxious, angry, and depressed, while adrenaline causes heart palpitations, increased blood pressure, and a faster and more irregular heartbeat.
Exercise has been proven to reduce cortisol levels and increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to reduce feelings of anxiety. Additionally, exercise improves sleep and relaxation, which can also help with stress and anxiety.
Yoga has been found to be a very effective way to relieve stress and anxiety. Yoga reduces stress levels through breathing techniques, which has been proven to improve moods.
Breathe deeply when you are feeling stressed out or anxious. Taking a few moments to breathe deeply has been shown to decrease stress levels and lower your blood pressure.
Breathing has three stages: inhaling, when you fill your lungs with air; exhaling, when the air leaves your lungs; and filling in the middle, when you’re not exhaling or inhaling. When you are stressed out or anxious, your breath becomes hurried, causing your chest to rise and fall quickly.
This leads to anxiety and a sense of not being in control. When you are stressed out or anxious, take a few moments to focus on your breathing. This will allow your mind to relax and give you a sense of control.
Eat Well to Boost your Mood
A diet high in vegetables, fruits, and whole grains has been shown to decrease a person’s risk for depression. Eating well can not only boost your mood, it has also been proven to relieve stress and anxiety. Eating well can help to relieve stress and anxiety by lowering cortisol levels and increasing serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and depression.
While diet changes can be difficult, especially where fast food in so convenient, there are a few subtle changes you can make daily to have a healthier diet. Skip the fast food like and bring healthy lunches with not too much sugar. Sugar can impact your cortisol levels increasing anxiety.
If you do have a sweet tooth, opt for fruits or teas! You can also try some all natural supplements to ease anxiety as well.
Don’t Compare Yourself to Others
We are all human and flawed, just like everyone else in the world. It is important to remember that you are unique and special, no one else is perfect like you. Comparing yourself to others can lead to stress and anxiety.
When you hear negative comments about people, don’t take it to heart. Remember that everyone struggles and makes mistakes. Remember to focus on the things you are doing well and don’t compare yourself to others. Comparison is a poor measurement tool, there is no “normal” in life, everyone has their own struggles and struggles to overcome.
Talk to Someone You Trust
Talking to a trusted person about your stress and anxiety is important. This person can be a friend, family member, or professional. Talking to someone can help relieve stress and anxiety because it helps to process thoughts and feelings.
It can also help with releasing pent up feelings. You can talk to anyone. If you’re talking with a friend, try to talk about something unrelated to your stress or anxiety. This will help to keep the conversation on topic.
If you speak to a therapist, they may have you work on somatic therapy which includes breathing exercises, massage, grounding exercises and more.
Stress and anxiety is a problem for al most all people. Between trying to manage work, family and more: it’s no wonder we are all struggling. Thankfully there are a few things we can do to alleviate this. Make sure you find activities that you enjoy, whether it be reading, listening to music, exercise, or spending time with your friends and family.
Making time for yourself by being proactive and finding activities that reduce stress and anxiety, such as breathing deeply and eating well will help you to relieve stress and anxiety.