Did you know, doctors say stress is normal and it motivates you to get things done? Even a little bit higher levels of stress from losing a job, an illness, or the loss of a loved one is natural. However, if you are feeling anxious or down for several weeks and it’s interfering with your personal and professional life, this is a worrisome situation.
Anxiety and depression rate has spiked over the last year especially because of COVID. I know many families have newly subscribed to cable TV plans and compared the Spectrum online packages, they can help keep their families distracted and manage stress. But is it enough? Nope!
Apart from entertainment, there are a handful of other techniques you can practice on a daily basis to manage stress. Here is all you should know.
1: Practice Breathing
It’s the most common yet underrated technique to manage stress. All you have to do is focus on breathing. Here is what you have to do:
- Find a quiet place and sit/lie down
- Take a few deep breathes through your nose
- Breathe out through your mouth or nose (whatever makes you feel better)
Breathing calms you down and relaxes your mind. It should be the first thing to try when the anxiety starts building up.
2: Take Advantage of Autogenic Training
When you are anxious, different parts of your body feel warm and heavy. To overcome this, use autogenic training. In this practice, you focus on the body part that is feeling heavy. You must silently repeat pleasant words for each body part. For instance, if your heart is pounding, say “my heart is pounding loudly.” This technique creates the feeling of physical as well as emotional calmness. Combine autogenic therapy with breathing exercises to control your heart rate and manage stress.
3: Do Yoga or Tai Chi (Any or Both)
These two are intensity exercises that are a combination of physical and some meditative movements for reducing stress and lowering blood pressure. If you practice both regularly, you will be reducing stress and enjoying some health benefits.
Yoga is all about improving posture and stretching. It also helps you improve your focus. Tai Chi, on the other hand, involves graceful movements. If you have watched the Karate Kid or Cobra Kai, you would know what I am talking about.
Before you start yoga or Tai Chi, make sure you perform it under the supervision of a licensed professional to do it right.
4: Watch What You Are Eating
The benefits of healthy eating extend beyond your waistline. It can have a positive impact on your mental health as well. A healthy diet plays its part in reducing stress. How, you ask? By improving your immune system’s health, boosting your mood, and reducing blood pressure.
The junk food you are consuming on a daily basis could be adding to your stress. Stop and start eating mindfully. A healthy diet is a combination of proteins, carbs, and fatty acids. Antioxidants are great too. They protect the cells against damage caused by chronic stress. Fish, meat, nuts, eggs, fruits, and veggies are all examples of healthy food. Switch to healthy snacks, quit sugar, and processed food.
5: Respond Mindfully
The way you respond to people or situations that trigger your stress matters. Consider these tips to develop the right response to stressors:
- Never overcommit
- Before responding to a stressful situation count to 10
- Walk away from a heated situation
- Distract yourself by listening to music or a podcast
6: Create a Positive Inner Voice
Nothing affects your stress level like the voice inside your head. But relax, you are in control of it. Change the negative thoughts into positive ones. Positive self-talk has the power of reducing stress big time!
Work on this inner voice of yours and use it to your advantage. Positive self-talk can lower depression, make you live longer, improve your coping skills and even build greater resistance to the common cold!
7: Connect With the Right People
If you have got someone in life who listens to you, go connect with that person. It’s a natural way of reducing stress and staying calm.
When you meet people you love or like, this activity releases a hormone which stops the fight or flight response. As a result, you feel more relaxed.
8: Get Good Sleep
A good night’s sleep is a great stress-releasing technique. However, because of discomfort, stress, or anxiety, you may be experiencing insomnia. Try these tips if you need help sleeping:
- Your bedroom must be dark and quiet
- Don’t bring gadgets into bed
- Avoid napping during the day
- If you feel anxious, talk to a friend or partner. In case no one is available, write your thoughts down.
- Listen to relaxing music
- Set the room’s temperature right