Anxiety and stress are extremely common nowadays. Many people will experience these issues to some extent in their life, whether it’s simply daily stress from work or severe anxiety issues.
If you find yourself feeling stressed or anxious regularly, it’s time to take action. However, you don’t need to take medications or go to expensive therapy sessions to tackle the problem. Here are 10 impactful techniques and methods you can use to reduce stress and anxiety.
1. Try Breathing Exercises and Meditation
Learning to control your breathing is one of the classic tried-and-tested methods that can help reduce stress and anxiety. Deep breathing can help slow your heartbeat, stop you from panicking, and even relax your body physically.
Similarly, meditation can help you wash away any worries or stress while you focus on your breathing. You might want to try doing this for a few minutes a day and seeing whether it helps relieve your anxiety. You can find many guided breathing and meditation exercises online or even use meditation apps.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
If you constantly feel stressed, fatigued, and low on energy, then you might simply need to drink more water. Although water won’t eliminate stress and anxiety, it can help you function better both physically and mentally.
Drinking at least 2 liters of water a day can help prevent dehydration, speed up your metabolism, and even reduce stress hormones such as cortisol. Water can even help boost brain function, resulting in you being more alert and less stressed out.
3. Cut Down on Caffeine and Sugar
While drinking water can help you reduce stress and anxiety, other things you put in your body can exacerbate these issues. Two of the most common examples are caffeine and sugar. Although caffeine and sugar can temporarily give you a sharp boost of energy, they can also bring your mood crashing down.
Caffeine and sugar often make you too energetic. You might experience racing thoughts that lead to anxiety if you consume too much. What’s more, after they wear off, they can bring down your mood and your energy levels. If you’re experiencing anxiety regularly, try cutting down on caffeine and sugary foods or drinks.
4. Find a Relaxing Hobby
Sometimes the best way to tackle anxiety and stress is to find a hobby that takes your mind off of pretty much everything. A hobby that relaxes your body and engages your brain is perfect for helping you relax while simultaneously giving you something productive to do, therefore improving your mood.
Different people find different things relaxing, so choose a hobby that works for you. Some people find that reading helps them relax and takes their mind away from any stress. Others prefer video gaming, doing puzzles, volunteering, or simply kicking back and watching movies or TV shows.
5. Avoid Daily Stressors
Many things can cause anxiety and stress. And, while some might be out of your control, you can still relieve the issue by avoiding the things that are. That means identifying things in your daily life that increase your stress levels and avoiding them as much as you can.
For example, if your daily commute to work ends up stressing you out, try taking public transport or cycling to work instead. If you have a friend who always impacts your mood negatively, cut them out and focus on your well-being. While you can’t avoid everything that stresses you out or boosts your anxiety, you can help yourself by eliminating as many stressors as possible.
6. Spend Time With Friends and Family
Some people get into the habit of focusing too much on work and not enough on leisure. You might even end up isolating yourself from those who you love, which can then result in you feeling even more anxious and depressed.
As such, one of the best methods for tackling anxiety, stress, and other mood issues is to spend more time with people who bring your mood up. Setting aside some time to see your friends or family members, have a good time, and laugh with one another can help take away your stress and put you in a much more positive mood.
7. Incorporate Exercise Into Your Daily Routine
Physical activity is an incredibly effective way to tackle anxiety and stress. Exercising releases happy hormones, boosts your mind and makes you feel productive and accomplished. Therefore, you should try getting some kind of physical activity daily.
That doesn’t mean that you need to spend hours in the gym each week. Some users prefer going for a quick 30-minute jog each morning or even just taking their dog for a walk. Cycling, swimming, yoga, and calisthenics are also good options. Find a routine you enjoy and stick to it.
8. Make Sure You’re Getting Plenty Of Sleep
Poor sleep is another common contributor to anxiety and stress. Your body needs sleep to recover each day. Your mind also needs plenty of sleep to recharge. If you’re sleep-deprived, you’ll constantly feel fatigued, stressed, and potentially even depressed.
You should aim for at least 8 hours of sleep each night, if not more. If you’re not sleeping enough, try sticking to a regular sleep schedule and cutting out electronics and distractions an hour before you go to bed.
9. Set Aside Some Time to Relax
If your mind is constantly focused on work or other daily responsibilities, it’s hard not to be stressed or anxious. Feeling like you constantly have to be productive can end up in you feeling tired and burned out.
As such, it’s important to exercise personal boundaries set aside some time to relax. Whether you spend this time reading, napping, or even just laying down on the couch and taking some time to breathe, it’ll help you recharge your batteries and improve your mood.
10. Play With Pets
Research suggests that playing with animals helps you release oxytocin, a hormone known for inducing happy and blissful feelings. As such, if you’re feeling stressed or anxious, one of the best ways to counteract it is to play with your pets.
Taking your dog to the park or even just laying on the couch and cuddling with your cat can improve your mood significantly. If you don’t already have a pet, you might want to try fostering or even adopting one if you’re ready to take on the responsibility.
These ten strategies can help anyone reduce their daily stress or even tackle anxiety disorders. They might not eliminate the problem, but they can help make your issues easier to handle and can also be used in conjunction with established anxiety treatments for even better results.