5 Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety | 40 million people in the United States suffer from anxiety. In reality, the number is likely even higher than the statistics report.
Anxiety and stress can be crippling and very difficult to live with. It can also negatively affect your health and create further health problems like high blood pressure, which can, in turn, lead to heart problems. So, how do you manage stress to keep it in check?
In this blog post, we’ll go over some of the best ways to help you eliminate stress in your everyday life.
Read on for further information.
- Limit Caffeine
This can be difficult, especially in today’s fast-paced world, where most of us rely on it to keep us awake long enough to function. Many of us need it after waking up to help kickstart wakefulness, especially if we’ve had a difficult night’s sleep. In the afternoon slump, we may also need it to help wake us up.
Caffeine can contribute to anxiety, including racing thoughts and heart palpitations. As such, you should limit it to one or two cups of coffee or soda per day, though it is best if you eliminate it altogether.
Many people find that limiting caffeine when they feel stressed is actually incredibly helpful. However, if you struggle with wakefulness or feeling sleepy during the day, you’ll have to find another way to cope.
- Get Enough Sleep
Not getting enough sleep can cause you to rely on caffeine, which can create even more anxiety. You should be getting seven to nine hours of sleep per night, which can be difficult for many adults. This can be compounded if you have children you need to tend to or wake up during the night.
If you have trouble getting enough sleep, try and create a schedule for yourself and stick to it. Get in bed with enough time to spare to ensure you get a full night’s sleep.
Try to only get in your bed for sex or sleep so that your mind and body associate the bed with relaxation. Using your bed for other things will make it more difficult for your brain to differentiate what your bed is for.
You should also limit electronic use in bed and try only to use your electronics when you’re somewhere else in the house. If you need your cell phone to wake you up in the morning, place it somewhere far away from you so you can’t grab it and just look up one more thing quickly.
- Go to Therapy
Therapy can be a daunting place, but it should function as a place of healing for you and your loved ones if you want them to come along. Anxiety stems from somewhere; it very rarely just pops up out of the blue. Going to therapy can help you address your underlying issues and help you find long-term, helpful therapies for them.
Unfortunately, therapy isn’t a magic bullet, and you’ll need to go for a while before you start to see results. Anxiety therapy, however, can help you find ways to feel calm and relax with your therapist. Your therapist can help tailor exercises to you and your life and find insights you wouldn’t typically find independently. These insights can be valuable in helping you create and build a life free of anxiety and depression.
Your anxiety may also be part of a larger picture, and a therapist can help address all of it at once.
- Exercise Regularly
Most people don’t like to hear it, but exercise can help reduce anxiety. Regular exercise can help take the extra energy you have due to anxiety and channel it somewhere else. It can also help make you sleepier at night so that in the evening, you’re ready to fall asleep instead of sitting up worrying about things beyond your control.
Exercising even for 30 minutes a day 3-4 times a week can help improve your anxiety and general well-being.
While many people dread exercise, the good news is that you don’t have to go to a gym to get the exercise you need. You can choose anything you find enjoyable, from dance classes to swimming solo.
- Relaxation Techniques
Meditation isn’t just for hippies. Anyone can do it, and it can be beneficial in terms of helping you calm your mind and get rid of your anxieties. There are plenty of free guided meditations on YouTube that you can listen to, close your eyes and help melt your stress away.
You can also use progressive muscle relaxation and guided meditation techniques to help your body calm down after you’ve felt anxious or nervous.
Breathing techniques can also help and are something you can do at any point in the day without going somewhere special to meditate or drown out the noise. With these techniques, you can calm yourself down even in the middle of a crowded subway train.
Manage Stress and Reduce Anxiety
Unfortunately, stress is something all humans have to cope within their lives. From big life changes to traumas to smaller events all piling up, it is important that we learn to manage stress in the best ways possible for ourselves and for our family members who have to deal with us.
While we can’t control what happens to us in this life, we can control how we respond to it. Managing stress is a great way to relax and help you handle the rough and tumble of life.