May 3, 2020

Simple Lifestyle Changes to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

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Lifestyle Changes to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Biological stress is a fairly recent discovery. In fact, it was first documented in the late 1950s. So, its presence is fairly ubiquitous. From work-related stress to stress caused on account of relationships, everybody seems to be battling it in some form or the other. So, how to relieve stress? As cliche as it sounds, we’re sure it’s been in your mind too. Here are some simple lifestyle changes that will go a long way in stress relief.

Eat Right, Drink Well

A nutritious diet can help counterbalance the impact of stress as it can strengthen the immune system, reduce blood pressure, stabilize mood and more. Some of the important nutrients to include in your diet for stress-relief include:

  1. Vitamin C – Eating food rich in Vitamin C, such as citrus fruits can boost the immune system and reduce stress.
  2. Complex carbohydrates- Whole grains, fruits and vegetables,
  3. help in the production of serotonin as well as in controlling blood pressure.
  4. Omega-3 Fatty Acids- Walnuts and Almonds are rich in Omega-3 fatty acids, and are known to reduce the surge of stress hormones.

Also, make it a point to keep yourself hydrated. It may be tempting to reach out for coffee on a stressful day. However, research suggests that high doses of coffee can increase anxiety. Switch to green tea instead. It contains antioxidants that have a positive effect of the mind & digestive system.

Exercise

Exercise is perhaps the most important thing you can include in your routine to manage stress. Not without reason; studies suggest that exercise lowers the body’s stress hormones, cortisol. It also improves the release of endorphins that are natural mood-lifters. That regular exercise also offers you a good night’s sleep, is an added perk! Go ahead and find the exercise routine that you enjoy and feel the difference yourself.

Lifestyle Changes to Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Several research studies highlight the benefits of working out. Given the proof, it’s obvious that we keep physically active. So, make sure to wear your fitness tracker to track the progress of your workouts.

Keep a Gratitude Journal

Amidst the many struggles and desires, the one thing we forget is to be thankful for the stuff that we already have. A great way to reduce stress is to list down all the things you are grateful for, at the end of each day. Gratitude goes a long way in reducing stress and anxiety by simply helping you focus on the positives. A gratitude journal doesn’t mean listing big markers or life events alone, but also small things that may have worked well in the day, which we typically tend to overlook. All you need to do is to consciously slot that half hour before you sleep to penning down your gratitude list. 

Family Time

Spending time with friends and family can have a positive impact on the mind. It helps instil a sense of belonging and acts as a cushion against stress. In fact, that warm hug with a loved one releases Oxytocin that calms you and helps you deal with stress, better. No matter how busy you are with your daily routine, do slot for some time to build social connections. A few minutes spent laughing together can go a long way in relieving tension and improving your immune system and mood.

Saying No

Simple as it sounds, this is something that does not come very easily to many. Come to think of it, the inability to say no, find you taking on more than you can handle. On the other hand, a conscious effort to say no to aspects that you wouldn’t like to take on can significantly help you take charge of your life. Linked to this aspect is to the fact that you consciously need to avoid procrastinating to stay on top of your limited priorities. Having a to-do list organized by priority can be that answer to how to relieve stress. On the other hand, not having an organized to-do list will lead you to multi-task and switch between work that can, in turn, add to your stress.

Mindfulness 

How to Relieve Stress
Listening to music benefits the mind and body, It regulates emotions, & relaxes the mind in everyday life. Do yourself a favour and invest in a pair of wireless headphones.

Overthinking and negative thinking are the foremost reasons that lead to anxiety. To counter this, we need to embrace mindfulness as a way of life. Simply put, it means – anchored in the present moment. Practices such as yoga and meditation can go a long way in tuning the mind. Deep breathing exercises can also go a long way not just in helping you focus on the present moment but also in activating your parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the relaxation response.

The answer to how to relieve stress lies in making these small lifestyle changes that allow you to navigate life’s ups and downs without feeling overwhelmed or drained.

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