Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults say they feel stress or anxiety daily that can seriously impact their functionality and ability to carry out their daily tasks. Here are a few ways to relieve stress and anxiety that you can easily implement into your daily routine.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to beat stress. It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can help relieve mental stress, and the benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who don’t exercise. Try to find an activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga. Activities that use repetitive movements of large muscle groups, such as walking or jogging, can be particularly stress relieving.
Reduce your caffeine intake
Caffeine is a stimulant found in coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks. High doses can increase anxiety. People have different thresholds for how much caffeine they can tolerate. If you notice that caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, consider cutting back. Although many studies show that coffee can be healthy in moderation, it’s not for everyone. In general, five or fewer cups per day is considered a moderate amount.
Spend time with friends and family
Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times. Being part of a friend network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times. One study found that for women, in particular, spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is called “tend and befriend,” and is the opposite of the fight-or-flight response. Furthermore, both men and women benefit from friendship. Another study found that men and women with the fewest social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.
Learn to say no
Not all stressors are within your control, but some are. Take control over the parts of your life that you can change and are causing you stress. One way to do this may be to say “no” more often. This is especially true if you find yourself taking on more than you can handle, as juggling many responsibilities can leave you feeling overwhelmed. Being selective about what you take on — and saying no to what will unnecessarily add to your load — can be a good start to controlling your stress levels.
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 they’re often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.
There are many things you can implement to attempt to reduce stress and anxiety if you find these few simple tips aren’t working for you, but they are a great start to put you on the right track for a less stressed mindset!