Top 10 Effective Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Read about our top 10 ways to reduce stress and anxiety irrespective of time, age, and place.
1. Go DEEP: Look for the source
Your day-to-day activities, habits, and behavior will help you identify the source of stress and anxiety in your life. It won’t be easy to dive deeper and recognize the source. But take a moment, grab a pen and a piece of paper, and observe your patterns for the last few days. Ask yourself when do you feel stressed? Is it when you receive the call from your boss? Or when your work deadline is approaching? Or when a particular person says something and you are unable to respond? Ask yourself, “Why?” Why are you scared of that person? Can it be changed? Can you communicate your feelings to him/her? Do you find it difficult? Why?
What is the source? Ask yourself.
You can also get help from a friend, a family member, or a professional to guide you in this self-exploratory process.
2. Identify, Accept, and Address Stress To Reduce Stress
Once you have identified the source, it’s time to accept and address it. Stress can be identified through multiple physical symptoms. It may vary from person to person, but often they emancipate in the form of headaches, chest pains, panic attacks, nausea, fatigue, heart diseases, high blood pressure, irritability, etc.
When you observe such factors seeping in, go back to the first point, and ask what is the trigger? Where is it coming from?
Accept the triggers. Don’t cover them with any excuses or unwanted feelings. Accept what you have identified in order to address the root of your problems. Don’t run away; take responsibility and start looking for ways that can help you manage stress.
Rewind: Identity, Accept and Address
3. Time Management
For most of us, managing time causes stress. And for some, a lot of time leads to stress. The point being, what are you doing with your time?
Let’s assume you have 10 tasks to complete in a day. How will you do it? Plan it out, maybe? I say, realistically plan it out. You know yourself the best. Be realistic and honest to help reduce those anxiety attacks.
So, it’s 10 tasks a day. Which one is the most difficult? Finish it first, and see your confidence shoot up. The more you start doing it, the happier and more content you’ll be. Always finish the difficult ones first. This makes your mind feel relaxed, happier, and relieved. If you delegate the difficult ones to the last, you are bound to be nervous and anxious because your brain knows how difficult it is. Try incorporating realistic planning and delegating the most difficult tasks first to feel how stressless life looks.
Take it slow, real slow. You are bringing a change to your lifestyle. It won’t be easy, but it isn’t that difficult.
Imagine how amazing your life would be if you could do all your tasks without any headaches, chest pains, or high blood pressure because now your stress is under control.
4. The Best Way to Reduce Stress Is By Journaling or talking to a friend
Journaling is a great way to jot down your thoughts and let everything out on a piece of paper. Once it’s out of your system, even those random inconsequential things, it’s simply out of your system.
You can also talk to a friend, family member, someone you trust, or your confidant. Share how you are feeling, even if you haven’t recognized the source of your anxiety yet. Share. The more you’ll talk, the more you’ll write, the more you’ll ask why, what, where, how, and when, and the closer you’ll be to the source of your anxiety. You’ll be able to tackle the problem because now you know what is causing it.
For most of us, meditation seems like a humongous task. Especially when being quiet, focusing on one thing, or simply sitting, further causes stress. Here’s a thing: when you have to meet a deadline, you’re only focused on meeting the deadline and completing the work. The act of single-minded attention to a particular object, task, or work is the act of meditation. You’re meditating.
Drinking a glass of water, cooking, taking a shower, eating, completing an excel file, etc. is meditation if you are doing it with an attentive mind and focused concentration. Giving your attention to one thing, only one thing is meditation. So, declutter your mind. Do one thing at a time.
Also, remember to breathe. You are alive. Breathe in, breathe out. Inhale, exhale. Drink water.
You know that you are drinking water. Feel every gulp of that water going into your body. That’s you meditating.
6. Eat Right
Replace your current diet with a healthy, nutritious one. Do it for a week. Or maybe just for two days. Observe how you are feeling other than your urge to binge on sweets or favorite snacks. See, if you are feeling more active, are you sleeping less? What is your body feeling? If in two days your mood seems to be better and you think something is changing, then please please continue for a week, a month, and hopefully for the rest of your life.
Include fresh fruits and vegetables, and avoid carbs, tea, coffee, junk, salty, or sugary substances. Often, when we fix our eating habits, everything falls into place. Try it; you have nothing to lose.
7. Relax your mind, body, and soul
Re-connect with nature. Walk barefoot on the grass. Touch the plants, hug the trees, look up in the sky and be mesmerized by the soothing shades of blue and white, dip your feet in the water, play with mud, and run to feel the breeze on your skin when you breathlessly stop. Relax your mind, body, and soul as you re-connect with nature to re-connect with yourself.
At times, what we really need is a break. The same place, same work, and same life often overwhelm us, and we unknowingly get trapped in stress and anxiety. Listen to the music that used to bring a smile. Make an appointment at a spa to relax those muscles as you enjoy the massage and the aroma. Call your friends and watch an old film, or a new one, or just chit-chat. Laugh out loud with your people.
Whatever brings you joy, bring that back into your life.
A hot cup of coffee and some quiet time with my book is my joy. What’s yours? Re-Live. You have to unwind and make it a weekly habit.
9. Sleep And Reduce Stress
7 to 8 hours of sound sleep can reduce your stress drastically. Your body craves those 8 hours of sound sleep. It needs it. Listen to your body.
Take a hot bath before sleeping, wear soft linen, play light soothing music, read happy thoughts, dim the lights as you slowly let your body relax, and dive into a sound healthy sleep.
Are you sleeping well? If not, correct this one habit and see things change.
10. Learn To Say NO
Say no to all the above points or this article if you think it’s not worth it. Or say no to habits that have been draining you down, and you are still reluctant to replace them.
Say no to anyone or anything that makes you uncomfortable or takes away your peace of mind.