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16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

1. Work outs

Work outs are best to combat stress.It may sound strange but putting physical stress on your body through exercise relieves mental stress.

Maximum benefits are derived when you work out daily.

There are a few reasons behind this:

•    Stress hormones

Work outs lowers your body’s stress hormones, cortisol in the long run. Stress hormones helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.

•    Sleep

Work outs can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.

•    Confidence

When you work out daily you may feel more competent and confident in your body.

Stick to an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.

2.  Supplements

  Some of the common used supplements  that promote stress and anxiety reduction are :

•     Lemon balm: Lemon balm belongs to the mint family known for its anti-anxiety effects.     

•     Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic herb used to treat stress and anxiety.

•     Green tea: Green tea helps lower stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels.

•     Valerian: Valerian root is a popular sleep aid because of its tranquilizing effect.

3. Light a candle

Aromatherapy can help lower anxiety and stress. Use a candle to benefit from calming scents.

Use of scents to treat your mood is called aromatherapy. Some scents are especially soothing. Few of them are :

•       Lavender

•       Rose

•       Vetiver

•       Bergamot

•       Roman chamomile

•       Neroli

•       Frankincense

•       Sandalwood

•       Ylang ylang

•       Orange or orange blossom

•       Geranium

4. Reduce your caffeine intake

Each one has different thresholds for how much caffeine they can tolerate. Many studies show that coffee can be healthy in moderation, it’s may vary for everyone. Less than five cups per day is considered a moderate amount.

5. Write it down

Maintaining a journal can help relieve stress and anxiety, especially if you focus on the positive.

One way to handle stress is to make a note of things.

Writing what caused you stress is one approach, another is jotting down what you’re grateful for.

Gratitude may help in  relieving stress and anxiety by focusing your thoughts towards positive things in life.

6. Chew gum

For a super quick stress reliever, try chewing a stick of gum.

Several studies show chewing gum may help you relax.

7. Spend time with friends and family

Having a good social circle may help you get through stressful times and lower your risk of anxiety.

Being part of a social circle gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth, which can help you in tough times. As per a study it is found that women in particular, when spending time with friends and children helps release oxytocin, a natural stress reliever. This effect is known as “tend and befriend,” and is the complete opposite of the fight-or-flight response.

Another study found that men and women with less social connections were more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety.

8. Laugh

Find the humor in everyday situations, spend quality time with funny friends or watch a comedy series to help relieve stress.

It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re laughing. Laughing is good for your health, and there are a few ways it may help relieve stress:

•       Relieving your stress response.

•       Relieving tension by relaxing your muscles.

9. Learn to say no

Take charge over the parts of your life that you can change and are causing you stress.

Most effective way to do this may be to say “no” more often.

This holds true if you find yourself taking on more than you can handle, as juggling many responsibilities can leave you feeling overwhelmed.

Be selective about what you choose and say no to things that unnecessarily add to your load can reduce your stress levels.

10. Learn to avoid procrastination

Another way to be in control of your stress is to set your priorities and stop procrastinating.   Prioritize what needs to get done first and do it accordingly. 

Work on the things that need to be completed today and give yourself sufficient time, as switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful itself.

11. Take a yoga class

Yoga enhances mood and may even be as effective as antidepressant drugs at treating depression and anxiety.

The benefits of yoga for stress and anxiety are related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.

12. Practice mindfulness

Mindfulness practices can help lessen the symptoms of anxiety and depression

There are various methods for increasing mindfulness, some of them are: mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga and meditation.

As per a recent study in college students suggested that mindfulness may help increase self-esteem, which in turn lessens symptoms of anxiety and depression.

13. Cuddle

Cuddling can help relieve stress.

Apart from humans, chimpanzees also cuddle friends who are stressed.

14. Listen to soothing music

Listening to music you like is a good way to relieve stress.

Slow-paced instrumental music induces the relaxation response by helping lower blood pressure and heart rate as well as stress hormones.

Nature sounds can also be very calming. This is the reason nature sounds are incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.

15. Deep breathing

Mental stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, which signals your body to go into “fight-or-flight” mode.

When this reaction takes place, stress hormones are released and you experience physical symptoms such as a faster heartbeat, quicker breathing and constricted blood vessels.

Deep breathing activates the relaxation response. Multiple methods can help you learn deep breathing.

There are various types of deep breathing exercises. Some of them are : diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing and paced respiration.

The goal of deep breathing is to focus your awareness on your breathing technique, making it slower and deeper. During deep breathing through your nose, your lungs fully expand and your belly rises.

This way your heart rate slows down, allowing you to feel more peaceful.

16. Spend time with your pet

Spending time with your pet is a relaxing way which helps reduce stress.

Playing with pets helps release oxytocin, a brain chemical that promotes a positive mood. Having a pet may also help relieve stress by giving you purpose, keeping you active through the day and providing companionship — all qualities that help reduce anxiety

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