Do you find yourself struggling to focus? Are you often burdened with racing thoughts due to the many tasks on your never-ending to-do list, but all of this worrying usually stops you from being able to do anything at all? Alone, this could simply mean that you are stressed. But if this is associated with nervousness, restlessness, rapid heart rate or even unexplained fatigue, you could be suffering from anxiety as well.
This article is not meant to diagnose you. Quite the contrary, our intention is to help you alleviate your stress and anxiety. If you don’t feel the need to consult a doctor (which we highly recommend), here are a few steps to take to relieve stress and regulate anxiety.
Whether it be completing a light yoga routine or an intense weight lifting session, any form of bodily stimulation can help alleviate anxiety. Physical activity produces endorphins, which are basically happy chemicals. Five minutes of a cardio routine is proven to reverse anxiety affects and relieve stress. So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a brisk ten minute walk around the building.
Related Product: Anxiety Workbook
STOP WITH THE CAFFEINE AND SUGAR!
If you are a constant soda or coffee drinker, you should consider reducing said intake. Caffeine is a stimulant that has the ability to activate your “fight or flight” response. Drinking too much caffeine and sugar could trigger an anxiety attack, which varies by person. Put the coffee down and reach for a water instead.
If you are heavily reliant upon caffeine to get through your day, you should look into natural alternatives. A light exercise session first thing in the morning, accompanied with a huge cup of water, are great, natural ways to jumpstart your body and get some much needed energy.
GET ENOUGH SLEEP
Sleep is essential in leading a productive lifestyle. Aim for a minimum of six hours of sleep per night. Sleep not only relieves stress but also helps in preventing anxiety by giving your body the much needed rest it deserves.
Mindfulness is a practice that forces you to focus on the minute things within your grasp and to do so using two or three of your senses. Try this the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed.
First, focus on something you can feel. For thirty seconds, put all of your focus on feeling that one thing. It could be your toes as you wriggle them in your socks or the sensation from rubbing your fingers on your jeans. Next, focus on something you can see. Find one object in the room and put all of your focus on it. What color is it? Shape? Size? Last, focus on something you can hear. Is someone cutting grass near you and you hear the lawnmower roaring? Are you at work and can hear your co-workers talking nearby? Focus on their voices (not their conversation). After this practice, your heart rate should be slowing, your thoughts calming and hopefully, you’ll be a bit less stressed or anxious.
Stress and anxiety affects a large number of people for a plethora of reasons. Hopefully, these tips can help you the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed. If you’re ever feeling completely out of control, consult your doctor or therapist!
Related Teachable Course: Create Piece - Piecing Together Mindfulness and Creativity for Inner Wellness Featuring Chalice Nelson