Easy Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

A young woman experiencing stress and anxiety at work

If you’re suffering from stress and anxiety, you’re not alone. Everyone feels stressed or anxious from time to time. Maybe you’re starting a new job or looking for a new house. Whatever your situation, you can benefit from these easy ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

What Are the Symptoms of Stress?

Stress is a response to being overwhelmed by mental or emotional pressure.

You may feel:

  • Irritable or angry
  • Tired or exhausted
  • Discomfort from digestive issues
  • Unable to fall or stay asleep
  • Unusually achy or experience random pain
  • Chest pain or like your heart’s racing
  • Headaches

What Are the Symptoms of Anxiety?

Anxiety is usually a reaction to a sudden stressful event in your life. Maybe you’re giving a presentation at work or simply drank too much coffee.

Sometimes anxiety is more pervasive. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports that over 40 million US adults have an anxiety disorder such as Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD). They cause excessive and irrational anxiety that disrupts your daily life.

Anxiety can make you feel:

  • Nervous or tense
  • Unable to concentrate on anything not related to the stressor
  • A sense of impending doom
  • Like your heart is racing
  • Sweaty or shaky
  • Exhausted
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Happily, there are many things you can do to relieve stress and anxiety.

Let’s get started!

A breakfast of protein and whole-grain bread

Improve Your Diet

These healthful changes to your diet will make you feel healthier and better equipped to handle stress:

  • Eat protein at breakfast to keep your blood sugar steady longer, eliminate nasty sugar crashes and give you more energy.
  • Drink less coffee, or cut it out altogether, to feel less nervous and sleep better.
  • Eat complex carbohydrates, like oatmeal or whole-grain breads and cereals, to increase your brain’s serotonin level. You’ll feel calmer.
  • Say no to refined carbs like candy or chips to eliminate sugar spikes and crashes. They only add to your stress and anxiety.
  • Eat balanced meals, including proteins, fruits, vegetables, and grains, for a healthier, stronger you.
  • Keep alcohol to a minimum. The short-term relaxation gives way to edginess and sleep problems as your body processes the alcohol.
  • Avoid emotional eating.
A woman walks her dog along the water’s edge to relieve stress

Incorporate Exercise

Add non-competitive exercise to your routine. Try running on a treadmill or toning up with weights.

Exercise doesn’t have to be strenuous or elaborate to help—it can be as simple as taking your dog for a longer walk.

Aerobic exercises increase endorphins that help you feel better and more positive.

Practice Relaxation Techniques

Relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and guided imagery are proven stress relievers.

Relaxation techniques lower your blood pressure and can even reduce heart rate and body temperature. This helps prevent some headaches.

One simple relaxation technique involves gently closing your eyes and visualizing each number as you count backwards from 50 to 0. Feel increased relaxation as you picture each number in your mind.

Guided imagery involves picturing yourself in your own “happy place” and experiencing the sights, sounds, and feelings of being there.

Practicing mindfulness using the 54321 technique keeps you in the moment. It is a powerful heightened anxiety reducer for people suffering from PTSD.

To use this technique, concentrate on one thing each of your five senses is currently experiencing. Focus on something you see, hear, touch, taste, and smell in the moment. You will stay in the present and not be drawn deeper into your traumatic past.

Learn some relaxation techniques and practice them daily. Soon you will feel the calming benefits. In situations of heightened anxiety, they will be available as a calming resource.

A relaxed, smiling man writing in a journal

Keep A Journal

Many people enjoy journaling as a way to escape from anxiety and stress.

Buy an inexpensive notebook or use your computer to start your journaling journey.

Your mind will grow calm as you release feelings and pent-up emotions. Get into a routine and look forward to this time when you release your everyday stressors.

Simply write whatever comes to mind. There are no rules at all.

And, unless you choose otherwise, this journal is for your eyes only.

Rediscover Laughter

People say, “Laughter is the best medicine.” Did you know, laugher can boost your immune system and leave your muscles relaxed for as long as 45 minutes?

So, instead of feeling stressed, rewatch an old favorite comedy, or find a new one to enjoy. Leave those weepy dramas for another day.

Discover Meditation

Meditation provides stress relief and lasting physical benefits for your body. It will calm and clear your mind of stressful thoughts.

Two types of meditation are transcendental meditation where you repeat a mantra, and mindfulness meditation which helps you focus on the here and now.

Learn Yoga

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Yoga combines meditation, movement, and breath control. Make it a consistent part of your life and you will soon feel its emotional and health benefits.

 Yoga can reduce stress hormones and promote a greater sense of well-being. It reduces muscle tension and helps stop automatic muscle clenching as a reaction to stress. 

Learn yoga online or in person at a local class. pibus leo.

A woman’s legs in a stress relieving bubble bath

Make Behavioral Changes

Make some intentional behavioral changes to lessen your stress and anxiety.

Set time aside each day, even if it’s only 10 or 15 minutes, to unwind. Use this special time to concentrate on you and no one else.

You may want to:

  • Put on some favorite relaxing music
  • Sit outside in nature
  • Do some stretching
  • Take a warm bubble bath
  • Cuddle with your dog or cat
10 tips for better sleep

Develop Good Sleep Habits

A good night’s sleep is critical for good health. It also improves your mood and sense of well-being.

To improve your sleep:

  • Set up a regular bedtime schedule and stick to it
  • Keep your bedroom dark and quiet
  • Keep the bedroom’s temperature comfortable and on the cooler side
  • Remove all computers, phones, televisions, and LED lights

Seek Counseling

If stress and anxiety are disrupting your life, it’s time to seek counseling.

If stress is related to a specific problem, such as PTSD, find a therapist who specializes in that area.

A knowledgeable therapist can teach you effective coping techniques to greatly improve your life.

Stress and anxiety can take a toll on your skin, too. At Vibrance MedSpa we offer many treatments to keep your skin more youthful and glowing. Not only will a facial help combat the skin issues brought on by stress, but it can be very relaxing as well. Contact us to learn about our treatment options.

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