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How To De Stress And Reduce Anxiety

Read ‘how To Manage And Reduce Stress’

HOW TO: Reduce Anxiety and De-Stress

Stress affects us in many ways, both physically and emotionally, and in varying intensities. Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It makes us more alert and helps us perform better in certain situations. However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived. This guide aims to give tips on managing and reducing stress.

Stress affects us in many ways, both physically and emotionally, and in varying intensities.

Research has shown that stress can sometimes be positive. It makes us more alert and helps us perform better in certain situations. However, stress has only been found to be beneficial if it is short-lived. Excessive or prolonged stress can lead to illnesses such as heart disease and mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.

During situations that make you feel threatened or upset, your body creates a stress response. This can cause various physical symptoms, change how you behave, and lead you to experience more intense emotions.

People react differently to stress. Some common symptoms of stress include sleeping problems, sweating, or a change in appetite.

As a result, you may experience headaches, muscle tension, pain, nausea, indigestion and dizziness. You may also breathe more quickly, have palpitations or suffer from various aches and pains. In the long-term, you may be putting yourself at risk from heart attacks and strokes.

When you are feeling stressed, try to take these steps:

Tip : Make Quick Stress Relief A Habit

Its not easy to remember to use your senses in the middle of a minior or not so minocrisis. At first, it will feel easier to just give into pressure and tense up. But with time, calling upon your senses will become second nature. Think of the process like learning to drive or play golf. You dont master the skill in one lesson you have to practice until it becomes second nature. Eventually youll feel like youre forgetting something if you dont tune into your body during challenging times. Heres how to make it habit:

Start small. Instead of testing your quick stress relief tools on a source of major stress, start with a predictable low-level source of stress, like cooking dinner at the end of a long day or sitting down to pay bills.

Identify and target. Think of just one low-level stressor that you know will occur several times a week, such as commuting. Vow to target that stressor with quick stress relief every time. After a few weeks, target a second stressor and so on.

Test-drive sensory input. If you are practicing quick stress relief on your commute to work, bring a scented handkerchief with you one day, try music another day, and try a movement the next day. Keep experimenting until you find a clear winner.

Have fun with the process. If something doesnt work, dont force it. Move on until you find what works best for you. It should be pleasurable and noticeably calming.

Go On A Cleaning Binge

Giving the inside of your pantry a good wipe-down or really getting into the sofa cushions with a vacuum attachment has multiple stress reducing benefits on top of fewer visits from icky vermin: its a project that requires a little planning, but some physical activityboth of which Kissen says can reduce stressand is likely to result in a sense of achievement that lifts your mood. And working mindfully at it can reduce stress even more: one study found that folks who were told to stay gently focused on what they were doing while washing dishes boosted their effect

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Go Outside For A Few Minutes

Dr. Monique Tello, a primary care physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, said that sometimes, getting outside for a quick walk or fresh air is a great option to reduce stress quickly.

If someone is feeling very stressed and they have the chance to change their environment, get fresh air, see nature water, trees they should, Tello told TODAY. Exercise, take a brisk walk.

This strategy is great for people who feel restless or unable to concentrate and there are studies to support its effectiveness, she added.

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What To Do If You Have Trouble Sleeping

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Sleep is often sacrificed when youre overwhelmed with stress. You may experience insomnia because of discomfort, stress from personal concerns, or side effects from your medications. If you cant sleep, try these tips:

  • Establish a regular sleep schedule: go to bed and get up at the same time every day.
  • Make sure your bed and surroundings are comfortable. Arrange the pillows so you can maintain a comfortable position.
  • Keep your bedroom dark and quiet.

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These Fun And Effective Ideas Will Help When Anxiety Is Getting The Best Of You

I dont know about you, but even in normal, not particularly chaotic times, I know when Im stressedmy shoulders tense up and fuse with my ears, my digestion gets wonky, and according to my boyfriend and kids, I become especially delightful to be around. Stress looks different for different people, but its usually some version of your brain and body crankily pushing back against all youre trying to manage.

The question is, what can we do to relieve stress, especially if were stuck inside? Because not to stress you out further, but both chronic and acute stress can have negative impacts on our health, and can lead us to engage in less-than-wise escapist habits.

When we think about the body on stress, its really fuel for the fight-or-flight response, says Debra Kissen, Ph.D., the co-chair of the Anxiety and Depression Association of Americas education committee and co-author of Rewire Your Anxious Brain For Teens. This is helpful when we have to get in gear to, say, lift a car off a small child or flee an ax-wielding horror movie villain. Its just that when our brain continues to feel that were in danger when were not, that stress starts to create all kinds of physical and emotional problems. Add anxietydread and worry about what may happen nextand that doesnt help our stress levels.

Thats why we asked the experts for their best stress-relieving activities that you can have at the ready, even if you cant get outside.

Create A Morning Routine To De

I wrote a whole article about how you can set up your own morning routine , so you can read more about it here. But for now, let me just say that the way you start your morning sets the tone for the rest of your day.

Having a structured morning routine is one of the easiest ways to de-stress and reduce anxiety. Especially if you find yourself constantly being on the go, you can start creating your own morning rituals that will make you calmer and focused throughout the day.

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Quick Stress Relief At Home

Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.

Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.

Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.

Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.

Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.

Exercise To Boost Your Mood

How I De-Stress & Reduce Anxiety

Exercise can act as an intervention for anxiety and depression. A study of university students found that two days of aerobic exercise greatly reduced perceived stress and improved self-reported depression. Long periods of inactivity are associated with greater levels of mood disturbances and higher stress. Exercise can benefit your mood and help you “break the cycle” of stress.

The World Health Organization recommends 150 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous-intensity activity each week. You don’t need a gym membership or special at-home machines it’s achievable at home and easier than you think. If you feel stress symptoms creeping up, try going for a walk. A 20-minute walk outside will decrease your stress hormone levels.

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Practice Progressive Muscle Relaxation

Progressive muscle relaxation involves relaxing all the muscles in your body, group by group. To practice, you can start with a few deep breaths.

Then, practice tightening and relaxing each muscle group, starting with your forehead and moving down to your toes.

With practice, youll learn to recognize tension and tightness in your muscles and youll be able to relax more easily. Each time you practice, however, you should experience a feeling of relaxation sweeping through your body.

Natural Remedies For Anxiety And Stress

Natural remedies are generally safe to use alongside more conventional medical therapies.

However, alterations to the diet and some natural supplements can change the way antianxiety medications work, so it is essential to consult a doctor before trying these solutions. The doctor may also be able to recommend other natural remedies.

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Mindfulness And Mantra Meditation

Mindfulness is an ancient form of meditation that promotes awareness of whats happening in the moment.

It encourages you to focus on your body, your thoughts, and whats going on around you.

Mantra meditation, on the other hand, is the opposite of mindfulness. In this practice, you place all your attention on a single target, like a mantra, a candle flame, or a phrase.

In both types of meditations, whenever your mind wanders — and it will Smith says — you simply re-focus.

It’s a brain skill, he says. In that in the first 2 weeks you won’t be able to do it very well. Your mind will constantly chatter and distract, and that’s normal, that happens.

But as you practice, youll get better at it.

Yoga Tai Chi And Qi Gong

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A range of research has examined the relationship between exercise and depression. Results from a much smaller body of research suggest that exercise may also affect stress and anxiety symptoms. Even less certain is the role of yoga, tai chi, and qi gongfor these and other psychological factors, but there is some limited evidence that yoga, as an adjunctive therapy, may be helpful for people with anxiety symptoms.

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Releasing Stress Through The Power Of Music

Music can have a profound effect on both the emotions and the body. Faster music can make you feel more alert and concentrate better. Upbeat music can make you feel more optimistic and positive about life. A slower tempo can quiet your mind and relax your muscles, making you feel soothed while releasing the stress of the day. Music is effective for relaxation and stress management.

Research confirms these personal experiences with music. Current findings indicate that music around 60 beats per minute can cause the brain to synchronize with the beat causing alpha brainwaves . This alpha brainwave is what is present when we are relaxed and conscious. To induce sleep , a person may need to devote at least 45 minutes, in a relaxed position, listening to calming music. Researchers at Stanford University have said that “listening to music seems to be able to change brain functioning to the same extent as medication.” They noted that music is something that almost anybody can access and makes it an easy stress reduction tool.

Use Aromatherapy To Relax

Smell plays a special role in the human body. This sense is more directly connected to the brain than the other senses. Based on smell, our brains can determine important information about our environment and how we should respond. For instance, in a state of anxiety, the sense of smell becomes biased towards detecting threats.

Pleasant, comforting scents may be a helpful way to interrupt this cycle. Removing smells associated with threats and replacing them with ones related to comfort, pleasure and safety may ease anxiety. One study has shown a strong link between the inhalation of certain scents and some patients’ anxiety being reduced.

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Try Herbal Tea Or Supplements

If you experience high anxiety levels, a warm cup of herbal tea could help in more than one way. The ritual of sitting still and drinking tea, as well as the consumption of warm liquid, can all help to calm and soothe the body. Add to this that research has shown some positive links between drinking some teas and reducing anxiety, and this anxiety home remedy begins to look even better.

Studies have selectively shown instances of herbal tea consumption being linked to a decline in experiences of anxiety. These studies have been limited in the scope of teas used and the demographics involved. However, many of them have provided significant data. One showed that lavender herbal tea could have a strong ameliorating effect on anxiety in older individuals. Another study is pursuing the long-term effects of chamomile on generalized anxiety disorders, with preliminary research showing some promise.

Eat Well And Eat Consistently

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If youre hoping to reduce stress, keep in mind this one key piece of advice: Dont skip meals. Eating on a regular schedule every three to five hours helps balance your blood sugar levels. Being in a chronic state of low blood sugar is stressful on your body and can increase cortisol, so maintaining a balanced blood sugar can go a long way.

And tempting though it may be, dont turn to supplements to get the vitamins and nutrients your body needs.

We know what impact nutrition has on your body, whereas supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration, Barth says. I always tell people: Go with food first.

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Six Relaxation Techniques To Reduce Stress

Practicing even a few minutes per day can provide a reserve of inner calm

We all face stressful situations throughout our lives, ranging from minor annoyances like traffic jams to more serious worries, such as a loved one’s grave illness. No matter what the cause, stress floods your body with hormones. Your heart pounds, your breathing speeds up, and your muscles tense.

This so-called “stress response” is a normal reaction to threatening situations honed in our prehistory to help us survive threats like an animal attack or a flood. Today, we rarely face these physical dangers, but challenging situations in daily life can set off the stress response. We can’t avoid all sources of stress in our lives, nor would we want to. But we can develop healthier ways of responding to them.

One way is to invoke the “relaxation response,” through a technique first developed in the 1970s at Harvard Medical School by cardiologist Dr. Herbert Benson, editor of the Harvard Medical School Special Health Report Stress Management: Approaches for preventing and reducing stress. The relaxation response is the opposite of the stress response. It’s a state of profound rest that can be elicited in many ways. With regular practice, you create a well of calm to dip into as the need arises.

Following are six relaxation techniques that can help you evoke the relaxation response and reduce stress.

Use An App To Help You Learn How To Meditate

There are many free meditation apps out there that can help you tune out for the five minutes you need to relax.

Popular apps like Headspace or Insight Timer have hundreds of guided meditation options that can help you deal with any emotion you may be feeling. Research suggests meditation can help ease anxiety and depression.

Nick Allen, a psychology professor and director of the Center for Digital Mental Health at the University of Oregon, suggests you try to build a meditation practice when you’re not feeling stressed. The more you work beforehand, he said, either by yourself or with a professional, the better results youll see when youre in a pinch.

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Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety

Behaving anxiously activates the fight or flight response . The stress response causes many body-wide changes that prepare the body for action. These changes stress the body. A body thats stressed can experience symptoms of stress.

Anxiety symptoms are symptoms of stress.

We call them anxiety symptoms because anxious behavior is the main source of the stress that causes the body to become stressed and symptomatic.

When a person behaves anxiously too often, the body can become chronically stressed, which we call stress-response hyperstimulation since stress hormones are stimulants. Chronic stress can cause chronic symptoms.

To eliminate anxiety symptoms, we want to eliminate the stress that is causing them. As stress diminishes, symptoms of stress subside.

Listen To Good Mood Music

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Music can have a powerful effect on your mood and on anxiety. They key however is to not just choose songs you like. but also make sure that you are listening to music that represents the way you want to feel. Happy or relaxing music can directly impact your mood and the way you feel.

While many people find it soothing to listen to angry music when theyâre angry or sad music when theyâre sad, the truth is that this type of music will only help you get in touch with those negative emotions. That won’t help you feel better. When you’re trying to stop anxiety, you should listen to music that will help you feel the way you want to feel.

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