Anxiety and stress affect everybody from time to time, and everybody copes with them differently. There are many ways to deal with anxiety and stress, but perhaps the best way is to reduce the likelihood of becoming stressed in the first place.
Living a low-stress lifestyle may sound impossible — but it is possible. We’ve put together some tried and true tips to help you keep stress at bay, manage your day to day hectic lifestyles and get back on top of your busy schedule: Keep in mind the tips below won’t work for everyone, and finding the method that suits you best can take time.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is one of the best ways to improve your overall well-being, feel more energetic and be your best you. Be sure to include plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables, whole grains and lean protein in your meals. Avoid sugary foods, caffeine and alcohol which give you a temporary boost but can leave you feeling drained in the long run.
Tomorrow, try switching your breakfast from muffins and bagels, to a veggie omelet, or Greek yogurt with fresh fruit. These will provide you with a steady supply of energy through the morning, as well as healthy nutrients which are essential for normal mental function.
A good night’s sleep is key to avoiding and preventing increasing stress levels. Try to get into a sleep routine, going to and waking up at the same time each day, even at weekends. Keep your bedroom cool and comfortable and do something relaxing before bed such as taking a bath or reading. Avoid eating and caffeinated drinks in the evenings. You should also try to avoid looking at electronic screens before bed as the light they give off can interfere with your natural sleep-wake cycle. Try putting your smartphone down, and picking up a book or magazine.
Regular exercise is one of the best ways to deal with anxiety and stress as it releases endorphins, the brains natural “feel-good” chemicals. Some people find that high impact exercises, think running and cycling, help them to blow off steam, while others prefer gentle, calming activities such as yoga or Tai Chi. Whatever you choose to do will help, even a brisk walk. The most important thing is to find something that you enjoy and stick to it! Exercising consistently is one of the best ways to manage stress and maintain a positive attitude. Tomorrow, try taking a short walk after dinner to aid your digestion, improve your sleep and help you to relax after your busy day.
It’s important to spend a little time outdoors every day — fresh air and natural daylight both have a positive influence on your mood. If you don’t have time to go for a long walk, try getting off the bus one stop earlier and extending your walk into work, or simply wander to the shops in your lunch break. If you really can't get outside then sitting next to a window or using a daylight lamp can also help.
There are many relaxation techniques that are helpful in reducing stress. You may have to experiment to find which method fits in best with your lifestyle, but give them a try! You may be pleasantly surprised.
Breathing exercises – Try breathing in deeply for 5 seconds, hold and release for 5 seconds.
Meditation – Taking a moment to calm your mind is one of the best ways to avoid stress. Try these meditation techniques and notice how calm you feel.
Massage – You don’t need to spend a lot of money to get release tension with massage. You can practice simple, self-massage techniques both at home or in the office. Simply sit in a comfortable position and use your thumbs or forefingers to apply firm but gentle pressure to any areas of tension. Work in small circles until you feel your muscles begin to relax.
One of the best ways to support a low-stress lifestyle is by managing stress at work. Check back next week for our best tips to help you get started.