Stress is everywhere, and everyone experiences it. Stress is so common it has become accepted and normal. However, stress in incredibly unhealthy and ought to be taken seriously. One of the most notable and interrelated side effects of stress is anxiety. This post will break down 10 simple ways to manage stress and reduce anxiety. This post may contain affiliate links
The first and easiest way to manage stress is to breathe. When you are feeling anxious or stressed, it is super easy to take a moment to do some deep breathing. One of the most beneficial ways to breath when stress is called diaphragmatic (or deep) breathing. Diaphragmatic breathing refers to a type of breathing where the stomach (not the chest) rises when breathing in, and settles when breathing out. Breathing this way stimulates a nerve that, in turn, stimulated the system in your body which relaxes you. Next time you are feeling anxious, take a few moments and take 10 deep breaths.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Believe it or not, all-nighters aren’t all that helpful. When you’re sleep deprived your brain functioning decreases significantly, and your metabolism slows! This is especially important for busy people who feel the need to stay up all night working. Instead of staying up all night working, practice proper time management allowing you to get plenty of sleep at night.
3. Relaxation Techniques
There are dozens of relaxation techniques. One is the diaphragmatic breathing mentioned previously. Another is progressive muscle relaxation or PMR. PMR involves becoming comfortable and slowly relaxing your body one part at a time. This method involves mindfulness, read more here. There are plenty more techniques, but I will only detail one more: meditation. Meditation is not easy at first and requires patience and commitment. It involves being in silence, emptying the mind, and focusing on breathing. If you would like to read more about relaxation techniques check out Help Guide.
4. Identify Triggers
What triggers your stress and anxiety? For me, I become incredibly stressed from parking in unknown, new, or busy places. Since I understand this as a trigger for me, I leave extra early so that I do not feel rushed to park, or I might carpool or walk from further away simply to reduce my anxiety. Knowing what triggers your anxiety can help you to build a plan so that you can better handle similar or repeated situations with less stress.
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5. Know Yourself
One of the most important tips is to know yourself. Understand your anxiety and stress and learn how to cope and manage. If you aren’t aware of what works, anxiety and stress can seem even more overwhelming than it naturally is. Spending time to learn about yourself can make that much of a difference.
6. Practice Self-Care
I know, I know, you are tired of hearing about self-care and all of the ways you can practice it. Instead of going on and on about how to practice self-care or the tools you need to do so, I will simply remind you that self-care is essential for stress management. If you are stressed, simply taking time to take care of yourself can make a significant difference and help you to relax.
7. Manage Your Time
I touched on it earlier, but managing your time properly can also help you to manage your stress and reduce anxiety a ton! A large portion of a persons anxiety and stress comes from deadlines and to-dos. If you manage your time and plan out your to-do lists promptly, you are likely to be ahead of the game and, in turn, less stress out!
8. Learn to Say No
Sometimes, stress stems from not being able to say no. We become overwhelmingly busy because people ask us to do more than we are capable of and we feel obligated to say yes, or feel rude if we say no. That needs to stop. If you are too busy, you NEED to say no. Saying no when you need to take a moment or focus your attention on a project you have already said yes to, is essential to managing stress.
9. Be Active
Being active is a great way to get out of your head and focus on something that is not stressful. Being active does not have to mean a vigorous workout at the gym. It can simply be taking a walk around the block, walking your dog, some backyard yoga, or it can be a vigorous workout. Create activity that works for you and helps you to empty your mind of all of your stressors.
10. Create Social Support
Lastly, it is essential to have social support. Social support is not only helpful in reducing stress and anxiety, but it is also essential for daily living. Having a positive social support system is one of the most effective ways of reducing depression and anxiety. A social support system does not have to be massive. Having a few people who truly care about you and support you in your corner is plenty enough!
Now that you have a better idea of how you can reduce your stress and anxiety, pick one of the 10 tips and implement it into your life!