While a small amount of stress is acceptable and can even help you perform better under pressure, chronic stress is harmful to your physical and mental health. Experts are warning of the negative impacts of the current ‘epidemic of stress’ on public health for a variety of reasons, including headaches and sleep loss, as well as repercussions on hormonal function, blood pressure, and relationships.
While it’s unrealistic to expect to prevent all stress, practicing the actions listed above ahead of time will help you avoid unneeded stress and cope better when it does occur.
Meditation provides both short-term stress reduction and long-term stress management advantages. There are many various types of meditation to explore, each with its own set of benefits.
You can come up with a mantra to repeat in your head while taking calm, deep breaths. You may also spend a few minutes practicing mindfulness, which is being present in the moment. Simply focus on what you see, hear, taste, feel, and smell.
Several supplements can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Here’s a quick rundown of some of the most common:
- Lemon balm is a plant that belongs to the mint family and has been examined for its anti-anxiety properties.
- Omega-3 fatty acids: According to one study, medical students who took omega-3 supplements had a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms.
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an Ayurvedic plant that is used to relieve stress and anxiety. It appears to be effective, according to several studies.
- Green tea has a lot of polyphenol antioxidants, which are good for your health. It raises serotonin levels, which may help to reduce stress and anxiety.
- Valerian root is a popular sleep aid due to its sedative properties. It contains valerenic acid, which reduces anxiety by altering gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors.
- Kava kava is a psychotropic pepper that belongs to the pepper family. Long used as a sedative in the South Pacific, it is now being utilized to treat minor tension and anxiety in Europe and the United States.
If you have a medical condition, you should talk to your doctor about supplements because some can interfere with drugs or have negative effects.
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3. Focused breathing
Simply focusing on your breath or modifying the way you breathe can reduce your overall stress level significantly. In just a few minutes, breathing methods may soothe your body and mind.
The best part is that no one will notice you’re doing them. So, whether you’re in a tense meeting or a busy theater, breathing exercises may be the secret to lowering your stress levels.
Inhale deeply through your nose and feel your tummy expand. As you inhale, softly count to three. Hold for a second, then slowly exhale through your nose while counting to three.
Inhale deeply through your nose, as if you’re breathing in tranquil, quiet air. Consider how that air is moving throughout your entire body. Imagine that you’re breathing stress and anxiety out as you exhale.
4. Paint and draw
It may have been simple for you to connect with your creative side as a youngster, but if you’ve lost touch with your love of art, it’s not too late to reconnect.
Consider coloring in a coloring book if you don’t like drawing or painting. Adult coloring books have become increasingly popular, and with good reason: coloring can be a really relaxing activity.
When you’re feeling overwhelmed by the number of chores you have to complete or the deadlines you have to meet, stress might set in. Writing a to-do list or developing a time management strategy can assist you in focusing on completing each activity.
Sit down and write down everything you need to do, as well as the steps you’ll need to execute each assignment. Prioritize what needs to be done first, then figure out what can wait till later or what you can delegate to someone else. Be realistic about how long each task will take you to accomplish, and make time in your calendar to reward yourself for completing it.
Yoga it out!
Yoga has become a popular stress-relieving and workout tool for people of all ages. While yoga methods differ, they all have the same goal: to bring your body and mind together.
Yoga’s impact on mental health has been studied in some depth. Yoga has been shown in studies to improve mood and may be as helpful as antidepressant medicines in treating depression and anxiety.
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When should you get help?
Continuous stress has an impact on your mental health and may warrant a visit to the doctor. If you’ve been feeling poorly or “not yourself” for two weeks or more, you should consult your doctor. Remember, you don’t have to wait until you’re in a crisis to seek mental health care.