Depending on studies, 50% to 70% of Americans are currently suffering from stress and anxiety, a problem which the coronavirus has only exacerbated. It’s quite normal to go through periods of stress during our lives. However, it is also important to keep it in check as it can become a serious problem which will affect the rest of our mental and physical health. Here are ways to manage and reduce your stress level.
A Large Variety of Tools Available Online
Today, the internet gives us access to information on any subjects. It is easy for anyone to go online and read about stress, its effects, its causes and how to try to reduce its intensity. But it also provides tools that are solutions to the anxiety we are living with.
Different apps can help you understand what is causing your stress and help you find ways to return to a more normal state of mind. It’s the case of the stress app. Through stress management training, it helps you regain physical energy, emotional stability and mental strength. It brings you the best anti-stress techniques existing today so that you gradually go back to your normal self.
Day-to-day Ordinary Actions
In addition to getting external help through the app, you should also make sure to add certain actions to your daily or weekly routine, which will help get rid of the stress and the anxiety. They are often quite easy to do, and they will change your mental state rapidly, as they take-up more space and importance in your life. Here are some ideas that should help you in your fight against stress and anxiety.
Practice a Physical Activity
If you decide to choose only one of the suggestions inside this article to alleviate your mental tension, this has got to be it. The benefits of practicing a physical activity are so varied and work so strongly on your mind, that it is possible to solve your stress problem entirely through it. However, including a larger variety of activities, which we will discuss inside this article, will help you gain a greater balance.
When you exercise, weather it is through a group or individual sport, going to the gym or taking long walks, the energy you request of your body, enables to you to release the one that you usually need to keep your mind at bay. When you practice a physical activity, you tend to forget about anything else as you are focussing on the struggle your body is going through. The more intense the demand on your body, the more you’ll leave your stress behind for as long as you are physically involved into what you are doing, and also afterwards.
As your body becomes tired, it requires a period of time to relax, so it can regain its energy. That is why, once you have completed your exercise session, you will suddenly feel lighter and the relaxation state your body goes into will also lead your mind to follow, bringing an inner peace that most people do not expect when they are not used to intense physical activities. That state will also lead you to sleep better at night. This will definitely improve your capacity to manage your stress as your energy will be restored properly.
Exercising will make you feel good about yourself. As your body loses weight and is toning, you will regain confidence every time you look in the mirror. All you need to do is to find the right type of exercises for you which can go from dancing to yoga, rock climbing or swimming.
There are biological reasons which explain this phenomenon. When you exercise, your body reduces the level of stress hormones inside your body. At the same time, it releases endorphins (natural painkillers) which bring you back to feeling good. Check out more info on stripper exercises here.
Add Supplements to your Diet
The opinion of people regarding supplements varies quite a lot. But there is no doubt that certain supplements will lead you to a more peaceful state of mind and will fight your anxiety efficiently. Here are some of the products you should try.
Maca: This tuber, considered an adaptogen (like ginseng or rhodiola), has beneficial properties both physical and intellectual. It optimizes endurance and physical vitality, while increasing mental well-being. But most importantly, it helps maintain mental and emotional balance.
Omega-3 fatty acids: Many studies have showed that the addition of Omega-3 supplements reduces the anxiety symptoms in most people. It is one of the most popular supplement on the market and it can make a difference in the fight against stress.
Green tea: It contains polyphenol antioxidants which provide many different health benefits, including lowering stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels.
Reduce Your Caffeine and Alcohol Intake
Your mental health is highly affected by what you choose to ingest on a daily basis. The quality and variety of the food inside your diet will affect your body health, which will in turn determine a part of your mental health as well, directly or indirectly.
Drinking a large quantity of coffee and alcohol daily will automatically increase your level of anxiety. The caffeine found in coffee, is a stimulant that will make you jittery and potentially anxious, which is why it will only augment your stress level. However, it is also proven that coffee presents many benefits for your health, so in this case, it is all a matter of not going above the quantity that you can tolerate, which is different from one individual to another.
Regarding alcohol, it is also proven that drinking before going to bed will cause a disturbed sleep. If you don’t manage to gain back your energy during the night, you can be assured that it will cause stress rapidly. The more alcohol you drink, the higher your anxiety level may increase.
Talk or Write about It
Keeping the problems that send you into a stressful state inside will only make it worse. Sometimes, the best solution to relieving your anxiety is simply to talk about what’s on your mind. You can do so with your spouse or friends, if you do not wish to talk with a specialist (psychologist). But if you keep the problems inside you, they will only keep growing to levels less and less manageable. You could be quite surprised to hear ideas on how to relieve the pressure, that will seem so obvious, you’ll wonder why you did not think of them yourself.
If it is difficult for you to open up to others, then simply write down in a book everything that is creating a tension inside your life. By doing so, you will be able to let go a little of them, but it will also possible make you see and imagine solutions you never had thought of before. Even if you have never written a line before your personal life previously, maybe you should think of starting now.
Get out and Spend Time with Loved Ones
We all lead such busy lives today that we often don’t take the time to enjoy moments with the ones we love and who do the same in return. We forget that life is about sharing, and we continue on our personal path, alone, confused and with the feeling that no one understands us. But the truth is, we generally don’t open up to the people around us, and therefore they cannot help us.
But more importantly, by taking the time to be with others, they will alleviate the thoughts on our mind. Suddenly the problems will seem less important and lighter than they were the day before. When’s the last time you’ve taken time off from your work? Maybe it’s time to go and spend some time with your family or with friends. Get out of your apartment/house and go share your time with others. This will free you from a lot of the stress of your life, and when you come back, you’ll be breathing more easily.
Learn to say no
It is so much harder to say no than to accept all the requests coming our way. A simple yes and the situation is closed (except you’ll have to deal with the consequences), whereas when you say no, you need to explain why. But in truth, a lot of our anxiety comes from the fact that we haven’t learned how to say no. We accumulate useless responsibilities and commitments that lead us nowhere, and then we stress about them.
Yes, your friends, family and colleagues will be surprised the first time you say no to them, but in the end, they may not love you more for it, but at least they’ll respect you. To learn to respect ourselves is a basic necessity to survive and be happy. Not to do so is to ensure that we will live a stressful and unhappy life.
To end this article, it is important to remind everyone that procrastination is the number one element to cause stress in your life. Why? First of all, you are not doing what you are supposed to, so you are accumulating tasks which, in the end, you will not be able to realize. Then, they will weigh on you, causing you extreme anxiety. Secondly: an idle mind always finds problems to think about, where one at work simply doesn’t have time for it.