It’s easy to get caught up in work, school or an overwhelming social agenda, but it can take more than a busy schedule to get us really stressed out. Deadlines, relationships, finances, and medical issues are common causes of anxiety, and while some people handle it better than others, stress can become taxing on the mind and the body. Here are a few things to try the next time you’re fighting anxiety:
1. Laugh it off. Research has shown that laughter really can be the best medicine. When you’re feeling stressed, take a break and watch something funny. Look up a friend’s favorite YouTube clip, or watch a comedy while winding down at the end of the day to decrease the level of stress hormones in your body.
2. Boost your intake of Omega-3. This fatty acid has proven to help increase feelings of general happiness, so while you might be craving sugar, having a small piece of fish or some walnuts might be a better option.
3. Remember to breathe. Shallow breathing can cause even greater stress by causing the heart to beat faster and muscles to tense up. Instead, try taking a few deep breaths, inhaling through the nose and exhaling from the mouth.
4. Limit your caffeine intake. That extra cup of coffee in the morning may actually increase the level of stress hormones in the body and boost your blood pressure, making it harder to relax.
5. Press pause. Take a break from what you’re doing and try acupressure to relieve stress. Use your fingers to press and gently massage the point between your eyebrows where the bridge of your nose meets your forehead.
6. Drink some tea. Chamomile tea brewed and steeped to perfection has tons of calming properties. Even the smell of chamomile can help reduce tension in the body and decrease your level of stress.
7. Talk to someone. Not only does it feel good to vent, but people who engage socially with others often react better in stressful situations. Call up a friend and talk it out, or grab some coworkers and hit up happy hour in order to relieve anxiety.
8. Worry. Working to decrease your stress doesn’t mean you have to avoid thinking about your issues altogether. Schedule yourself twenty minutes or so to really dwell on the problem and give it some attention. Then, after your time is up, let it go and move on to something else positive.