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Stress can find us all at some point in our lives, but for most of us it creeps up far too often. Anxiety affects almost 20% of the US population each year. Stress and anxiety might not be the same thing, but the causes, symptoms, and treatments often overlap.
Stress can create anxiety and anxiety is stressful. The two are frequently experienced simultaneously. The good news is that when it comes to how to lower anxiety and stress, the hymn sheet is the same. Let’s take a look.
When it comes to managing anxiety and stress, exercise is your number-one tool. It helps clear the mind, promotes the release of endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, and even does wonders for your sleep patterns.
A less talked about secret with exercise is that its a great way to set small goals. For example, running that extra mile, beating your friend at tennis, or getting one belt closer to your black belt. Regularly achieving these goals can have a profoundly positive impact on your overall state of well-being, helping to alleviate symptoms of anxiety as your confidence grows.
Your next port of call is your diet. Certain foods increase inflammation in the body, which in turn can cause stress and anxiety.
Fatty foods, sugar, salt, and processed foods are the four main culprits here. Be sure to eliminate these from your diet and replace them with more vegetables, whole grain carbohydrates, fiber, and healthy fats.
Sugar is also an adrenal stimulant, much like caffeine. If you’re suffering from anxiety then cutting out sugar and caffeine is a great way to help alleviate your symptoms
There are a number of supplements that can be taken to help deal with stress and anxiety. Most of these supplements, such as B vitamins, ashwagandha, and maca help by boosting your body’s natural energy levels, making you less susceptible to stress.
In addition to these, you can try supplements such as melatonin and magnesium that help assist with getting a good night’s sleep.
You can also try CBD products, which target the anxiety and stress directly. Or even kratom, which has amazing stress-busting properties. Read on here for more great info about kratom.
4. Meditation and Breathing
When you suffer from stress and anxiety, the inside of your own head is not a very peaceful place. Taking time out to meditate and work on your breathing is a great way to calm things down up there.
Meditation is essentially teaching the brain to focus calmly on a single thing at once. It’s no surprise that it sounds like the polar opposite of stress — focussing manically on everything at the same time. Walking meditations, mindfulness, and even a quiet thirty minutes in the bath can all help instill a little calm.
Breath-work is about taking slow, deep controlled breaths into your belly. The great thing about deep-breathing is you can do it anywhere. It encourages your mind and body to slow down with your breath, making it a great tool if you ever feel a panic attack coming on.
The kind of mind that is plagued by anxiety and stress is often a creative one. Finding time to take up a creative pastime is a great way to build a better relationship with yourself. This in turn will help to calm your mind as well as giving you a productive outlet for any bothersome thoughts.
Getting your sleeping patterns down to a tee is a must when it comes to fighting back against anxiety and stress. With bad sleep comes elevated levels of cortisol, meaning you’re going to be more prone to anxiousness.
If you’re already exercising and your diet is on point, then your sleep will no doubt be improving. You can also take supplements as mentioned earlier. In addition to these try parting with your electronic devices a few hours before you get into bed. Instead, spend your last waking hours reading, meditating, or being creative.
It’s widely suggested that the condition of a person’s living space is a good reflection of what they’re like as a person. Living in a cluttered home often suggests a busy brain, and busy brains are predisposed to anxiety and stress.
Try a little feng-shui and de-clutter your home. Creating a tidy, clean and more minimalistic environment will help you feel more relaxed in your living space.
8. Challenge Yourself
You’ve already got enough on your plate, but hear us out! Setting small challenges for your self, and then completing them is a great way to alleviate anxiety symptoms. It’s so successful its the key concept behind CBT!
Having goals to work towards and then meeting them helps to build a positive image of yourself. It lets you know that you can do things if you set your time and mind to them. So much of anxiety is related to poor self-worth, so teach yourself that you can amount to something.
9. Educate Yourself
Understanding what is going on inside your head will take the edge off what is going inside your head! A panic response to anything is scary, but when you understand it as a chemical response to a certain environmental trigger, it becomes less terrifying.
There are some amazing books about anxiety and reducing stress, as well as YouTube videos and podcasts to help you better understand anxiety and to help you deal with it.
Working with a therapist is your best bet if your anxiety or stress feels unbearable. A good therapist will not only help you better understand your anxiety but will also help you to take steps towards a calmer you. You will no doubt find the act of talking and offloading to someone cathartic in itself.
Now You Know How to Lower Anxiety and Stress
Following these ten tips on how to lower anxiety and stress will have you witnessing a calmer you before you know it.
If there is one take-home from all this, let it be that you should never try to beat anxiety on your own. Building a support network by reaching out to people for advice and support can be a huge step towards beating anxiety.
Take a look at the rest of our page for more tips and tricks for a healthier and happier you.