Stress and anxiety are a few of the common conditions that people experience. Nowadays, 60% of adults in the United States are suffering from daily stress and anxiety. This phenomenon can adversely affect the mental health of people if not addressed immediately.
Consulting a professional in this field or talking to your doctor can help you manage extreme stress. They can give you some advice, medication, and treatments to help you ease down the stress level you are experiencing. However, aside from outside help, there are also alternative ways you can manage mild stress.
With that said, here are five simple and effective stress relievers you can do to help with your mental health.
Some breathing practices can have positive effects in dealing with your stress. Aside from relaxing and releasing the negative energy stuck in your body, proper breathing can improve your mood, oxygen flow, heart rate, and salivary cortisol levels.
There are two types of breathing people do: chest breathing and diaphragmatic breathing. Chest breathing is for activities with great exertion of force, like sprinting or racing. But when a person is stressed, it tightens the muscles in the shoulder and neck, causing even more stress. Meanwhile, the latter fits best when relaxing your body and emptying your mind.
To do diaphragmatic breathing:
- Get yourself in a comfortable position.
- Fill your abdomen with air by inhaling deep through your nose.
- Relax and gently release the air through your nose.
- Focus only on your breathing to feel the air on your abdomen rather than your chest.
- Continue doing this whenever you don't feel good.
Physical exercises are not only beneficial for your physical health, but it also benefits your mental welfare. In fact, people who regularly exercise are less likely to feel stressed, have anxiety, and acquire depression. Thus, engaging your body with physical activity can keep you away from the dangers of chronic stress.
When you exercise, the level of stress hormone decreases. In exchange, your brain will release the natural painkillers called endorphins to improve your overall mood. Your sleeping quality tends to get better as well, which will positively affect your mental health.
To start, look for exercise routines that fit your level. It is also crucial that you find ones you sincerely enjoy doing rather than being forced to do. Remember that the purpose of your exercising is to help with your mental health, not harm it by stressing over the very same exercise.
Aside from different exercises, you can also incorporate supplements into your daily routine to help you combat the everyday stress you experience. Hence, here are some of the common supplements that you can safely take:
- Omega-3 fatty acid supplements are proven to ease down different physical and mental health problems, including stress and anxiety.
- Green tea consists of stress-relieving properties such as polyphenols, which is a beneficial compound to help yourself stay calm.
- Lemon balm has anti-stress effects and can improve the state of your nervous system.
- Ashwagandha is an evergreen shrub for Ayurvedic medicine to relieve stress and acts as an adaptogen.
- Valerian root is a Europe-endemic perennial plant that aids in stress, anxiety, and sleep disturbances.
However, some supplements can interact with your medication. They may also result in side effects on your body. Hence, it is still best to consult first with your doctor for proper advice before taking them.
Many of us tend to forget that we have friends and family to talk about our problems or express what we feel to them. They are our loved ones who can understand us the most during our stressful times.
Social support from the people you cherish can significantly uplift your mental state. You will feel a sense of belongingness and self-worth by engaging yourself with them. So, don't be afraid to reconnect with them.
You can also plan to hang out with them or take a short vacation, just to clear your mind from your stressors and unwind. Spend valuable time with the people you genuinely love.
Are you a coffee lover? If yes, then here's some bad news for you. Various studies proved that there is a relationship between caffeine ingestion and mental health. High doses of caffeine can actually make you feel tired while increasing your energy at the same time. As a result, you may suffer from caffeine-induced anxiety.
Furthermore, excessive caffeine intake is associated with psychiatric conditions, such as sleeping disorders. It can even get worse with the possibility of developing psychotic symptoms.
So if you are feeling extremely anxious or jittery, it is time to consider reducing your caffeine intake. Although moderate levels of caffeine have beneficial effects on your body, it is not entirely for everyone. Drink less than five cups daily for a healthy caffeine intake.
There are circumstances in our everyday lives that can trigger our stress and anxiety. But that does not mean you cannot do anything to deal with them. By doing these simple and effective stress relievers, you will surely feel much better. However, if worse comes to worst, consider getting assistance from professionals.