Stress is part of life. Whether minor mishaps or major challenges, you are bound to experience circumstances that cause you to become stressed and feel anxious. You can take prescription medication to help manage the anxiety that you feel but it is best to supplement that with stress management techniques. These are simple daily practices that can help relieve the effects of negative emotions. Best of all, most of these strategies won’t cost a thing and they can also contribute to your physical well-being.
Develop an Exercise Routine
Regular exercise has a lasting effect on your physical and mental health. Even a 30-minute workout can help lessen your anxiety. To enjoy the full benefits, make it a habit to do some physical activity at least four times a week. You can attend a spin class, go on a hike, or take a walk. A stroll around the block in the morning can also help you get your daily dose of vitamin D. Sunlight can enhance your serotonin levels, instantly boosting your mood.
Improve Your Sleep Hygiene
Getting enough quality sleep can improve your overall health. An average of eight hours of sleep every night also helps to alleviate stress and anxiety. If you have trouble sleeping, improving your sleep hygiene may be the key. Make sure to have a conducive environment for sleep by keeping a cool and dark bedroom. You’ll also get better sleep with a comfy bed and pillows. Refrain from using your electronic devices before you turn in for the evening as they emit a light that causes your body to be awake and alert.
Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing techniques can help calm your mind and body when you feel anxious. It signals to your brain that you’re doing well. Most breathing practices are very easy to do anytime and anywhere, whether you’re in a crowded room or a stressful meeting. Inhale deeply through your nose and let your belly fill up with air. Make sure to breathe in slowly for three seconds. Hold it for a second and exhale naturally through your nose also for three seconds. At home, you can also do this exercise lying down to help you relax more.
Identify Your Triggers
One of the best ways to manage any anxiety symptoms is to help understand what caused it. Think of the times, places, or situations when you notice becoming very anxious. You can write these triggers down if you need to and look for ways to avoid them when possible. Once you realize the various causes of your anxiety, you can understand them better and find ways to reduce their effect on you.
Set Aside Time to Worry
Acknowledging what causes your anxiety and learning how to deal with them effectively takes time. One of the ways to do this is to schedule a time when you purposely think about your fears and worries. Set aside 30 minutes of your day to recognize what’s bothering you. This way, you can make peace with the negative feelings rather than just dismissing them. Don’t let your mind wander to scenarios that haven’t happened yet, but focus on the facts of what is really making you feel anxious. When the time is up, you can move forward from the negative emotions and not feel guilty about not feeling bad.
Make room to appreciate the good things in your life as well. It can be as simple as arriving at work safely and on time or having a close relationship with your sister. Gratitude can be a powerful way to cope with stress and have a better quality of life. When you are feeling anxious, make a mental note of the things and people you are grateful for. If you want to make gratitude a regular habit, keep a gratitude journal. Each day, identify at least three things you are thankful for and write them down. You can do this at night to help you get a better appreciation of your day.
Engage in Activities You Enjoy
Some people feel they are too busy for their hobbies or to enjoy themselves. What they don’t know is that these activities are key to helping them feel better. Scheduling a time to enjoy leisure activities is a great way to relieve stress and lessen anxiety. You can take your dog to the park, play board games with loved ones, or do some gardening in your yard. Whatever you decide on, leisure time can help you live a more balanced life.
Volunteer in Your Community
Helping out in your local community is beneficial for you and other people. It can prevent you from focusing on your worries and ease any anxious feelings in the process. When you do good for others, you also feel good about yourself and get the chance to make new connections. Volunteering can help people recovering from substance use disorder as well. Being a volunteer can help people find new purpose and improve their self-esteem. Some treatment facilities across the United States, like a drug rehab Miami residents go to, are affiliated with groups looking for volunteers. You can also search for non-profit organizations online or ask a nearby community center if they have volunteering programs.
Establish Strong Social Support
Having emotional support can help you manage stress and deal with anxiety. You can find a supportive social circle among your existing network of friends and family. Reaching out to your loved ones can bring you closer to them and get you the support you need, especially during challenging times. When you feel anxious, hugging can increase your body’s oxytocin levels—which can improve your mood. Also, you can expand your current network by joining organizations or attending support group meetings.
There are different stress management tools you can combine with your medication to treat anxiety symptoms from taking over your daily life. When choosing the best strategy for your situation, keep in mind that their effectiveness may vary for each person and their unique situation. So, try out some of these tips and see which ones can help you best.