Engaging in activities that support self-care may help reduce stress and anxiety. These can include doing exercises and mindfulness practices. Stress and anxiety are everyday experiences for many people. Millions of adults are feeling stress or anxiety daily. Many people deal with stress everyday and do not know how to work through it. Many people have stress at work; family issues, health concerns, and financial obligations are parts of everyday life that commonly contribute to heightened stress levels.
What needs to be done to decrease these behaviors:
Get more physical activity: Moving your body consistently may help if you're stressed.
Follow a healthy diet: Your diet affects every aspect of your health, including your mental health.
Minimize phone use and screen time: Smartphones, computers, and tablets are an unavoidable part of everyday life for many people.
Consider supplements: Several vitamins and minerals are important in your body’s stress response and mood regulation. As such, a deficiency in one or more nutrients may affect your mental health and ability to cope with stress.
Practice self-care: Setting aside time to practice self-care may help reduce your stress levels: going for a walk outside, taking a bath, reading a good book, exercising, preparing a healthy meal, stretching before bed, getting a massage, practicing a hobby, using a diffuser with calming scents, practicing yoga, and reduce your caffeine intake.
- Caffeine is a chemical found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks that stimulates your central nervous system
- Create boundaries and learn to say no
- Not all stressors are within your control, but some are. Putting too much on your plate may increase your stress load and limit the amount of time you can spend on self-care.
- Learn to avoid procrastination
- Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
- Take a yoga class
- Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups
- Practice mindfulness
- Mindfulness describes practices that anchor you to the present moment.
- Human touch may have a calming effect and help you better cope with stress
- Spend time in nature Spending more time outside may help reduce stress.
Practice deep breathing
Mental stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, sending your body into fight or flight mode.
Spend time with your pet if you have one
Having a pet may help reduce stress and improve your mood.
The bottom line: Although stress is an unavoidable part of life, being chronically stressed takes a toll on your physical and mental health. Fortunately, several evidence-based strategies can help you reduce stress and improve your overall psychological well-being. Exercise, mindfulness, spending time with a pet, minimizing screen time, and getting outside more often are all effective methods.
- Mechelle Taylor. AMFT