How to De-Stress and Reduce Symptoms of Anxiety

Whether you suffer from full-blown anxiety or just the stress of daily life, there are simple things you can do every day to feel better. I will say that if you do have anxiety, it is always a smart move to at least talk to your primary care doctor and hopefully see a therapist because these tips may not be enough. But I do believe they can make a big difference for those with daily stress and also help in the quality of life for those suffering from anxiety.

The most important thing you can do is to to identify what causes you stress/anxiety and, if you are able to, avoid those situations and people. For example: I personally struggle with large crowds, so I avoid bars/clubs, large parties, and I do my shopping when I know the store won’t be its busiest.

However, sometimes it can be difficult to avoid our stressors, like in the instance of our jobs. If you are not prepared to leave your job and it is causing you a lot of stress, it is important to find ways to manage that stress. If there are certain co-workers who are adding to the problem, try having a respectful conversation with them about how they can help you out or at least not make things worse for you. You can also use your lunch break to completely leave the building to get a mental break in your day that will allow you to regroup. If it is the amount of work you have stressing you out, try creating to-do lists and check things off as you go so that you continue to feel accomplished and your tasks feel manageable.

Work is one (and probably the most common) example, but there are many other factors in our life that can be contributing to our stress/anxiety. Each case will have its own specific ways in which it can be helped, but let’s talk about general methods of reducing stress that may apply to a situation you find yourself in.

  • Meditate. Meditating at least once a day – whether in the morning, mid-day, or at night – is a great way to calm your mind and center yourself. It is a period of time for you to disconnect with the world and focus on yourself and what you are feeling. Guided meditations are an excellent way to bring positivity into your life.
  • Prioritize. Sometimes just having too many things going on can cause a lot of stress. Being able to look at the bigger picture and prioritize what should be done first and possibly finding things that can be taken off of the list altogether will help a lot with stress management.
  • Prioritize part 2. Another way to look at prioritizing is to decide what deserves your energy and attention and what does not. Sometimes there are things that stress us out that are beyond our control and it is important to be able to remove them from our thoughts and not give them any energy. Instead, focus your energy and attention on the positive things in your life to bring more peace and happiness.
  • Breathe. When you do find yourself caught up in stress and anxiety and it feels overwhelming, take a few moments to breathe. Think of it as a mini meditation where all you are focusing on is your breath and centering yourself. It is a great opportunity to tune out whatever is causing you stress and to focus on something simple.
  • Talk. Sometimes the most helpful thing to do when you’re feeling overwhelmed is to talk to someone about it. It gives you a chance to get out of your own head and see things more clearly. Plus, venting always feels great because you know you are not alone in your problem. Whether the person gives you advice you wouldn’t have come up with on your own or just provides emotional support, you’re going to leave the conversation feeling much better and more in control of whatever is stressing you out.
  • Exercise. Whether it’s running it out, lifting it out, dancing it out, punching it out, or doing whatever you like best, exercising is an incredible stress-reliever. Not only do you create an outlet for your aggression, you also release feel-good endorphins that will help fight off the negativity in your life.
  • Reduce Caffeine. As someone who used to drink 4 cups of coffee a day and constantly had the jitters and was an anxious wreck, I can confidently say that reducing your caffeine intake will work wonders on your stress and anxiety. You don’t need to go cold turkey (I still have 1-2 cups per day), but keep lowering your intake until you feel those daily jitters go away and find that your stress levels have been significantly reduced.

If you have any other methods of stress-reduction, feel free to leave them in the comments 🙂 I’d love to hear your ideas!

Best Wishes for a Happy and Healthy You,

Ashley

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