Ten ways to relieve stress and anxiety

When you’re feeling anxious or stressed, the strategies listed below can help you cope better.

1. Write it down

One way to handle stress is to write things down.

While recording what you’re stressed about is one approach, another approach is writing down what you’re grateful for. Gratitude may help to relieve stress and anxiety by focusing your thoughts on what’s positive in your life. Keeping a journal does help to relieve stress and anxiety, especially when you focus on the positive.

2. Laugh

It’s hard to feel anxious when you’re laughing, its true laughing is good for your health. In the long term laughter can also help improve your immune system and mood. Try spending more time with friends who make you laugh and try to find the humour in everyday life – spend time with funny friends or watch a comedy to help relieve stress.

3. Hire a virtual assistant

Say goodbye to stress by hiring a virtual assistant (VA). A VA will give you more time and energy to focus on the things that matter most as well as significantly reducing your stress and anxiety levels. A great VA will support you in every aspect of your work and home life leaving you more time to enjoy spending time with loved ones.

4. Exercise

Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress. It might seem contradictory but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.

 The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly and those people who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who don’t. Regular exercise helps lower stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins and improving your sleep and self-image.

5. Reduce your caffeine intake

Caffeine is a stimulant found in tea, coffee, chocolate as well as energy drinks and high doses can increase anxiety. People have different thresholds for how much caffeine they can tolerate, so if you notice that caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, consider cutting back.

Although some studies show that in moderation coffee can be healthy, it’s not for everyone. In general, five or fewer cups per day is considered a moderate amount.

6. Chew gum

For a quick and easy stress reliever try chewing gum.

Studies have showed that people who chewed gum had a greater sense of wellbeing and lower stress levels. One possible explanation is that chewing gum causes brain waves similar to those of naturally relaxed people, another is that chewing gum promotes blood flow to your brain.

7. Spend time with friends and family

Social support from friends and family can help you get through stressful times. Being part of a friendly network gives you a sense of belonging and self-worth which can help you through stressed times.

 Spending time with family, 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

8. Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness describes practices that anchor you to the present moment and it can help combat the anxiety inducing effects of negative thinking. There are several methods for increasing mindfulness, including mindfulness-based cognitive therapy, mindfulness-based stress reduction, yoga and meditation.

9. Listen to 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 and this is why they’re often incorporated into relaxation and meditation music.

 10. Take regular breaks

Get outdoors for a brief break. Our grandparents were right about the healing power of fresh air. Don’t be deterred by foul weather or a full schedule. Even just a few minutes on a balcony or terrace can be rejuvenating.

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