Lifestyle And Home Remedies:
- Keep physically active. Develop a routine so that you’re physically active most days of the week. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer. It may improve your mood and help you stay healthy. Start out slowly and gradually increase the amount and intensity of your activities.
- Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. These substances can cause or worsen anxiety. If you can’t quit on your own, see your doctor or find a support group to help you.
- Quit smoking and cut back or quit drinking caffeinated beverages. Both nicotine and caffeine can worsen anxiety.
- Discuss your concerns. Talking with a trusted friend helps relieve stress and may provide a more positive perspective on your situation. This may lead to healthy plan of action.
- Use stress management and relaxation techniques. Visualization techniques, meditation and yoga are examples of relaxation techniques that can ease anxiety.
- Learn to relax. Your goal is to lower your heart rate and blood pressure while also reducing muscle tension.
- Make sleep a priority. Do what you can to make sure you’re getting enough sleep to feel rested. If you aren’t sleeping well, see your doctor.
- Eat healthy. Healthy eating such as focusing on vegetables, fruits, whole grains and fish may be linked to reduced anxiety, but more research is needed.
Focus On What You Can Control
“Engaging in present-focused awareness and what is happening right now is effective for managing strong emotions,” Chapman says.
He recommends using a meditation app like Headspace to get you in that self-focused mindsetthen move forward with your day with the awareness that you can only control what you do .
Other Types Of Relaxation Techniques
Many de-stressing therapies have common goals. They aim to help you pay attention to your body and focus on aspects of your breathing or other exercises that will lower your blood pressure and increase feelings of well-being. You can try:
- Biofeedback, which measures body functions and helps you learn to control them.
- Self-hypnosis, in which a practitioner teaches you to relax when you hear a phrase or get a nonspoken cue.
- Massage therapy, which can include Swedish, sports, Shiatsu, or other types of massage.
- Music therapy, when a therapist uses music to accomplish health goals.
- Art therapy, which uses art to enhance your physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
- Aromatherapy, or using essential oils as a type of treatment.
- Hydrotherapy, which can include soaking, compresses, or even steam baths.
While relaxation practices are mostly safe for heathy people, there have been reports of negative impacts, such as increased stress, bad thoughts, or a fear of losing control. Talk to your doctor about what practice might be best for you, depending on the relaxation technique you want to try and your health.
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Effects Of Too Much Stress
“If constantly under stress, most of us will eventually start to function less well,” says Malaika Stoll, M.D., chief medical officer of SutterSelect. Multiple studies link chronic stress to a higher risk of heart disease, stroke, depression, weight gain, memory loss and even premature death, so “it’s important to recognize the warning signals,” she says.
Talk to your doctor about ways to manage stress if youre experiencing any of these symptoms:
- Prolonged periods of poor sleep
- Regular, severe headaches
- Unexplained weight loss or gain
- Feelings of isolation, withdrawal or worthlessness
- Constant anger and irritability
- Loss of interest in activities
- Constant worrying or obsessive thinking
- Excessive alcohol or drug use
- Inability to concentrate
Trigger A Pressure Point
Did you know your body practically has a stress-release button? Theres a spot between the tendonsabout two or three finger widths above the center of your inner wristcalled the pericardium 6 . According to Nada Milosavljevic, MD, medical director of BodyLogicMD, applying pressure to this point has been used to prevent postoperative nausea and vomiting and has a therapeutic effect on those dealing with chronic stress and anxiety.
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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.
Here Are Some Easy Stress
Glitters jars are also called calm-down or calming jars because they can help focus your mind. They promote mindfulness and reduce anxiety. When feeling stressed or overwhelmed, try shaking your jar and taking a few moments to watch the glitter swirl and settle. This little time-out gives your mind a much-needed stress break. You can use any color glitter you would like. Add food coloring to the water for a pop of color.
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Make Time For Relaxation Every Day
Im here to help you relax in a way that suits your lifestyle.
Whether youre interested in meditation, breathing exercises, home spas, comfort food, a soothing cup of tea or astral travel, there is something here that can benefit you and that will fit your schedule, no matter how hectic it gets at times.
Coping With Stress In Unavoidable Situations
The best way to treat stress is to avoid it when possible. This is not always the reality for many people who live in a fast-paced, demanding society.
The most important thing is to find ways of reducing the amount of stress you are exposed to.
This may mean setting boundaries in the types of tasks you take on at work, avoiding potentially triggering situations with interpersonal relationships, or setting limits on the number of tasks you tackle on at once.
Once you have done what you can to limit the amount of stress you experience, the next important step would be to come up with strategies to manage stressors that are either unavoidable or routine.
For example, you are stressed out when in the presence of your in-laws. You may not be able to always avoid them and may need strategies to best manage and minimize your stress during this time.
These strategies can include:
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Get A Hug From A Loved One
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve your stress. Hugging a loved one can be especially beneficial.
When you hug someone, oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress.
Oxytocin also causes a reduction in blood pressure. It reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine and can produce a sense of relaxation.
So don’t be afraid to ask a loved one for a hug if you need it. It’s good for both of you and it can be one of the simplest forms of stress relief available.
Make A List Of Things Youre Grateful For
We get it, it can be difficult feel gratitude for anything when it feels like the world is falling down around you. But showing gratitude for the smallest things, like a warm cup of tea or a sunny day can lift your spirits and reduce anxiety, Gail Saltz, MD, associate professor of psychiatry at NY Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the Personology podcast, tells Health. If possible, start a daily gratitude journal where you list what you’re grateful for that day, turning the stress-relieving habit into a routine.
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Guided Imagery Or Visualization
Imagine yourself lying on a sandy beach with a soft breeze gently stirring the warm air. Use your senses to smell the saltwater and feel the sun as you transport yourself there. Thats guided imagery or visualization.
It uses the power of your mind to change your focus to a peaceful time or event.
If were in a stressful situation, you know, just shifting our mind and focusing on a time when we were really, really relaxed is an effective way to calm down, Brown says.
Take A Bathbut Not A Bubble Bath
Self-care advocates constantly talk up the relaxation benefits of a hot bubble bath, but science tells us that floating in a pool of water can be great for stress relief, as well.
Floatation-REST is a specific type of water therapy that involves floating on your back in a pool of water saturated with Epsom salt. In one 2018 study in the journal PLos One, researchers found that floating in an Epsom salt pool for one hour reduced anxiety in people with anxiety and stress disorders.
Feel free to search out a spa near you that has one of these Epsom salt pools, or go ahead and relax in a tub filled DIY-style with water and Epsom salts.
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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.
Point Your Brain At A Problem
If the stress is more mental than physical and you feel your mind looping around itself, give yourself a discrete task, such as organizing your shoes or doing a word puzzle. When youre stressed, your brain may be saying, weve got a problem to solve so it keeps spinning. Thats a good time to engage your mind, says Kissen. If you give it a task to focus on, youll feel calmer and be better able to deal with whats actually stressing you out.
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Engage In Things That Make You Happy And Calm
Try relaxation and recreational activities that calm your mind and give you pleasure.
You can listen to soothing music, do a bit of yoga, meditation, or deep breathing, or take up gardening, writing, painting, or any other hobby that can focus your mind and energies on something productive rather than on the stress.
Stress And Sleep Hygiene
Now that weve looked at some small changes you can make to create a stress-free zone, its time to examine another important matter. This gets an entire section, as there are a lot of factors that impact it. Sleep is vital to our survival. However, not getting enough sleep can cause stress, whilst stress can cause you to have difficulties sleeping. Its a vicious cycle that can soon take its toll. Having good sleep hygiene is important for a restful and stress-free night of sleep. But what exactly is it?
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Stay Away From Conflict
Interpersonal conflict takes a toll on your physical and emotional health. Conflict among co-workers can be difficult to escape, so its a good idea to avoid conflict at work as much as you can.
Dont gossip, dont share too many of your personal opinions about religion and politics, and steer clear of “colorful” office humor.
When possible, try to avoid people who dont work well with others. If conflict finds you anyway, make sure you know how to handle it appropriately.
Listen To Music On The Drive Home
Listening to music offers many benefits and can be an effective way to relieve stress before, during, and after work. Playing an uplifting song while you make breakfast can help you start the day off feeling better prepared to interact with the people in your life. Likewise, combating the stress of a long day with your favorite music on the drive home can help you wind down and feel less stressed when you get there.
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Learn To Recognize Stressful Thinking
Paying attention to stressful thoughts may help you reduce them.
Mindfulness-based stress reduction is a strategy that involves becoming more self-aware of stress-provoking thoughts, accepting them without judgment or resistance, and allowing yourself the ability to process them .
Training yourself to be aware of your thoughts, breathing, heart rate, and other signs of tension helps you recognize stress when it begins .
Recognizing stressful thoughts allows you to formulate a conscious and deliberate reaction to them. For example, a study involving 43 women in a mindfulness-based program showed the ability to describe and articulate stress was linked to a lower cortisol response (
Tending to your own happiness can help keep cortisol down. If youre feeling stressed, try listening to music or making yourself laugh.
Top 12 Tips To Relieve Covid
The worst part of anycrisis is how it disrupts life and leaves people feeling out of control. Thatswhy therapist Wendy Balliet, Ph.D., offers these tips to help people affected by COVID-19 to adjustand adapt to a rapidly evolving situation.
Balliet,who counsels patients at Hollings Cancer Center at the Medical University ofSouth Carolina and is associate professor in MUSCs Division of Bio-behavioralMedicine, said its especially hard for cancer patients and others with chronicconditions to navigate this new terrain. Here are her tips to helppatients and caregivers find healthier ways of coping and to regain theirfooting.
1. First, rest assuredyou are not alone.It is natural tofeel stress, anxiety and worry as we face this time of uncertainty. If you aresomeone with cancer or other chronic illness, COVID-19 is likely onlyamplifying already existing feelings of worry and ambiguity. Anxiety typicallyoccurs when we believe we are unable to predict what will happen or controlstress. Many of us have been comparing COVID-19 to preparing for a hurricane,which most of us as South Carolinians are quite familiar with. We watch thenews, look for trajectories, load up on groceries and wait. However,unlike a hurricane, we have no real road map or evacuation route to help guideus. This can lead to feeling panicky, irritable and anxious.
Apps to try that offer guidanceon breathing:
- Prana Breath: Calm & Meditate
- Universal Breathing: Pranayama
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How Can I Identify The Signs Of Stress
Everyone experiences stress. However, when it is affecting your life, health and wellbeing, it is important to tackle it as soon as possible, and while stress affects everyone differently, there are common signs and symptoms you can look out for:15
- feelings of constant worry or anxiety
- feelings of being overwhelmed
For full details on tips on getting a good nights sleep read our guide How to sleep better and ten top tips for good sleep
7. Dont be too hard on yourself
- Try to keep things in perspective.
- Remember that having a bad day is a universal human experience
- When your inner critic or an outer critic finds faults, try and find truth and exception to what is being said
- If you stumble or feel you have failed, dont beat yourself up
- Act as if you were your own best friend: be kind and supportive
- Take a few minutes each day to appreciate yourself
Now, we would like to move on to a more detailed look at the causes and effects of stress. In this section we will focus on the effects prolonged stress has on your body, behaviour and emotions, and look at key causes such as relationships, money, work, alcohol and drug use.
Listen To Soothing Music
Listening to music can have a very relaxing effect on the body.
Slow-paced instrumental music can induce the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.
Some types of classical, Celtic, Native American and Indian music can be particularly soothing, but simply listening to the music you enjoy is effective too .
Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is why theyre often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
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