Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more people are suffering from stress and anxiety than ever before. Chronic pain, insomnia, and panic attacks are all common symptoms of these conditions that can affect your daily life.
Dealing with stress and anxiety can be a difficult task, but it’s not impossible. Through natural remedies, relaxation techniques, and even some physical exercise, you may be more equipped to kick these ailments to the curb.
If you’re interested in living a life free of these negative feelings, read on for five ways to alleviate stress and anxiety!
#1 Reduce Caffeine, Alcohol, and Nicotine Intake
When life gets difficult, it can be tempting to reach for the nearest vice. Caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine are popular ways of coping with stress and anxiety—however, they may not be doing you as many favors as you think.
Each of these substances has a unique effect on the brain, but the common thread that groups them together is their ability to worsen stress and anxiety.
- Caffeine – Caffeine can heighten anxiety by overstimulating the nervous system. Shakiness, racing thoughts, and sleeplessness can result from too much caffeine. Moderation is key to this substance if you choose to continue using it. Decaf coffee is also a great option for those who can’t give up the taste, but want to decrease their caffeine intake.
- Alcohol – Alcohol is a depressant, which means you may feel relaxed when you consume it. While this may seem like a reliable solution for stress and anxiety, excessive alcohol usage can lead to bigger problems down the road. Many people experience feelings of guilt, shame, and embarrassment following too much alcohol consumption. Additionally, alcohol can raise your heart rate and increase the physical symptoms of anxiety.
- Nicotine – Nicotine is a stimulant. This means that, although many people use it for relaxation, it will usually increase feelings of stress and anxiety. Jitters and racing thoughts are side effects of both nicotine consumption and anxiety, making it hard to calm down when you’re continuing to use this substance. Additionally, withdrawal from nicotine can lead to even more stress.
#2 Yoga and Meditation
These two practices, particularly in conjunction with one another, can lead to a healthier, more relaxed mind.
Both yoga and meditation focus heavily on deep, mindful breathing. Your breath is directly connected to the nervous system, and the more you slow down your breathing the easier it is to curb your anxiety.
Yoga also promotes deep stretching of the muscles, which can help release tension in the body caused by stress. Tight shoulders, poor posture, and stiff joints can all occur due to high levels of stress. The mind and body have a strong connection, and if one starts feeling better it’s likely the other will follow suit.
Those who are new to yoga and meditation can find guided tutorials on YouTube, or through Gaia’s mobile app. Even taking a few minutes per day for these practices has been shown to provide lasting effects.
#3 Try CBD
A non-psychoactive compound found in the hemp plant—CBD has been shown to relieve anxiety and stress. The part of the body affected by CBD—the endocannabinoid receptors—are known for regulating functions such as:
- The nervous system
Taking the proper dose of CBD on a regular basis can provide relief from stress, mood swings, insomnia, and anxiety. Identifying your exact dosage may take time, but starting with one CBDfx gummy per day is a great way to incorporate CBD into your new routine.
#4 Go For a Walk or Run
Studies have shown that getting the body in motion can have both immediate and long-term effects on mental health. Running or walking for 30 minutes a day can boost the brain’s levels of:
These chemicals produce positive feelings and may help relieve stress and anxiety. Being in good physical health is also heavily correlated with better mental health, confidence, and overall optimism.
Say Goodbye to Stress and Anxiety
While there’s no way to fully eliminate stress and anxiety from your life, it is possible to reduce these feelings to manageable levels.
Introducing healthy habits into your life can improve your mental state and general well-being. With a combination of proper physical health, ample time for relaxation, and natural supplements when needed, you’ll be feeling less stressed and anxious in no time! When in doubt, take a deep breath and know that you’ll get through this!