With the hustle and bustle, we face in our everyday life, finding time for you may prove challenging, especially with day-to-day responsibilities that contribute to our stress. How can we relieve stress and anxiety naturally and still be able to live our normal life?
Though our daily duties provide us some stability, what happens when we don’t take the time to unwind and check in with ourselves?
Mental stability is just as important as having a steady income, taking care of our children, and staying on top of things.
However, sometimes we forget and fail to take care of our emotional and mental needs, which eventually makes us vulnerable to stress and anxiety.
What are stress and anxiety?
Stress is a feeling of both physical and emotional tension. It is your body’s reaction to unmet expectations or needs. Stress can be mental or physical. It causes both physical and emotional tension, making you feel frustrated, nervous, angry, and sometimes hopeless.
Physical signs may include tense muscles, migraines, excessive sweating, and general discomfort. Stress can be positive or negative.
Anxiety is a stress response; it’s a feeling of fear or apprehension about what’s to come. It may result from the fear of making a mistake, being judged, or unmet expectations.
Symptoms of anxiety include excessive sweating, increased heart rate, stuttering, or shaking.
What causes stress and anxiety?
Common causes of stress and anxiety include:
Divorce, college/school, a loved one’s death, chronic illness, debt, more financial obligations, toxic relationships, moving to a new home, and uncertainty.
Some triggers evoke from unresolved traumas and anxieties within a person. These triggers can often stem from childhood memories and cause stress or worry if they are not solved.
When dealing with ‘everyday life stressors,’ one may feel overwhelmed and lose control of their well-being and break down or give up altogether.
Read more to learn how you can relieve stress and anxiety naturally.
Here is how to Relieve Stress and Anxiety Naturally in 12 ways.
1. Eat well
Eating is a necessity. Eating well includes eating food that is vital for your body. Eat frequent regular, and well-balanced meals rich in nutrients and help build and nourish your body.
Stay away from foods that cause an increase in your stress and anxiety levels. These foods include caffeine, sodas, energy drinks, high-fat dairy, alcohol, refined cereals, fried, and processed foods.
Caffeine is one of the psychoactive drugs, and a stimulant people take in the form of a beverage. If you are already dealing with anxiety, caffeine will likely exacerbate that anxiety. So, steer clear of anything containing high levels of caffeine.
Eat more leafy greens, whole grains, anti-inflammatory foods, and those high in Selenium. These foods can help to improve your mood and reduce inflammation.
2.Get enough sleep
Sleep is essential for relieving stress and anxiety. When people don’t get enough sleep, they become nervous, more agitated, and irritable.
Sleep helps to rejuvenate and repair worn-out body tissues. It helps to calm and relax the body. Sleep deprivation increases your anxiety and stress significantly and worsens your ability to cope with life stressors.
Additionally, sleep deprivation can spur things like insomnia and anxiety disorders.
You may wonder how one can get enough sleep if they have trouble falling asleep. If you have difficulty falling and staying asleep, talk to your doctor about it.
Try to practice good sleep hygiene by ;
- Trying to minimize the noise in your immediate environment by making sure you will not be disturbed while resting.
- Maintaining a regular sleep pattern.
- Avoid staying up late into the night.
- If you can’t seem to fall asleep, then you can try things like taking chamomile tea, listening to calming music, or meditation.
You may also like: Insomnia causes often Ignored
Essential oils are therapeutic; they contain compounds that can help minimize health complications when inhaled or applied to the skin. Their aroma can produce a soothing or calming effect on the body.
Essential oils can also help to ease and relieve stress or anxiety. They can as well induce sleep for people who are sleep deprived.
The best essentials oils for relieving stress include lavender, sweet basil, Frankincense, and bergamot. These oils can penetrate through the skin during a deep tissue massage, or you can diffuse them.
You may also like: 16 Best Essential Oils for Anxiety Relief
4. Sing or listen to some calming music
Music can produce a very relaxing and relaxing effect on your body and mind. Listening to some soft music such as classical can help lower your heart rate, reduce your blood pressure, and decrease the level of your cortisol-stress hormones and increase the feel-good hormone –serotonin.
Everyday stressors tend to crush our feelings and make us feel unhappy. However, music can increase our enjoyment, allowing us to escape into a world where we feel at peace.
Singing along can help you release any pint up anger and frustration you are trying to bottle up in your mind.
5.Connect with friends
Most people tend to self-isolate whenever they are stressed. Though many people use it as a coping mechanism, it can be dangerous as it may overwhelm, and things may start to blow out of proportion sometimes. Thus, it’s essential to surround yourself with supportive friends.
Being around other people gives us the ability to view things from a different point of view. Being accompanied by friends can help us take attention away from ourselves and enjoy the moment.
So, spend some time connecting with friends. Taking a nice walk out in nature with a good friend can help calm your nerves.
Being social doesn’t mean you have to speak to strangers or large groups. You don’t even need to go out; you can still connect virtually or on social media in some cases.
Try to connect with different supportive communities online and share your thoughts. Self-expression itself is an excellent method of relieving stress instead of keeping your frustrations bottled up.
6.Meditate and pray
If you feel lonely or overwhelmed, meditation and prayer can help. Research has shown that people who pray tend to cope well with stress and live better.
Prayer helps people understand that they are not in control, hence their need to surrender to God. It gives you some sense of hope and an assurance that you are not alone in your struggles.
Another way to achieve relaxation and relief is through meditation. Meditation can help you learn how to control your thoughts and emotions. Thus, you will find yourself being less reactive and more responsive.
To mindfully meditate, you’ll need to find a quiet place where you won’t be disturbed. Sit down or lie comfortably and begin taking deep breaths. Focus your awareness on each inhalation and exhale.
Thoughts will naturally surface in your mind; this is okay. Do not judge these thoughts; observe them objectively. And, let them go by returning your awareness to your breathing.
Each time your mind wanders, allow it to and guide it back to focusing on your breath gently. Do this for at least 15 -20 minutes a day, and you’ll notice you are a lot calmer and more in control of how you respond to the things happening around you.
7. Stop engaging in bad habits such as drinking, smoking, or taking drugs
Bad habits like drinking, smoking, and taking drugs can cloud our judgment. Not only do bad habits cost our peace of mind and, many times, our relationships, but they can cost us our well-being and happiness.
Most people engage in bad habits as a means of trying to cope or escape from their predicament. However, they forget that these habits don’t resolve the problem but instead, they create even more health problems and codependences.
The best way to resolve any difficulty is to tackle it head-on or ask for help, do not use drugs as a scapegoat. You will not solve anything by covering up.
8.Reduce stressors or stay away from them
A stressor is anything that triggers your stress. It can be a person, place, or thing. If there is anything or people that contribute to your stress or anxiety, be honest with them, talk about it, and let them know. Sometimes communication is all that’s needed to resolve an unsettled issue.
If you are in any toxic relationship, try and get help or remove yourself from that relationship. If it is your current job, try to find another one or discuss it with your immediate supervisor. Life is too short; try to avoid or minimize any stressors that are making you miserable.
9.Learn to plan and manage your time and finances properly.
Planning and managing your time and finances more efficiently can relieve most of your stress. Coming up with a reliable plan will take a lot of pressure off your shoulders and place you in a position where you can control what and how you do things.
It helps you to be more disciplined and responsible for your actions. You will get to know how you spend your time and finances more effectively and reduce unnecessary waste. You will also be able to limit the time you spend on unproductive activities.
Planning and managing your time and finances can help you identify any more profound issues that need your attention.
10 .Set realistic goals and expectations.
Be realistic when setting goals and expectations. It’s a good thing to have dreams and aspirations; however, remember everything takes time to develop or mature.
Setting unrealistic goals may produce a certain level of anxiety or stress when we do not meet our expectations. Then, we get discouraged or even reluctant to pursue our dream.
We begin to feel anxious about pursuing our dreams for fear of failure or disappointment. However, these are false fears created by the anticipation of loss.
When we set unrealistic goals, we are likely to fail. Then, we internalize that failure and feel that we aren’t good enough and develop a self-limiting belief. What follows is a failure since we anticipated it before even pursuing the goal. It is a vision cycle that has a simple solution.
The solution includes setting realistic goals, having realistic expectations, and working smart. Set goals that you can achieve and strategize by developing small but reasonable steps towards attaining them.
Work smart, not hard. Set SMART goals. You need to ensure that your goals are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time-based.
11. Face your fears
Fear might keep you from dealing with weightier or overwhelming problems you are trying to run from. It could be holding you from attaining your goals or going for your dreams. Things may get out of control or stagnate if you do not step up and confront the fear itself.
The best way to overcome any feelings of fear is to face them. But how do you do this?
- Get to know your fear.
It is easier to fight an enemy, you know than the one you don’t know. Knowing your fear makes it easy to strategize and use the best way to handle it. That way, you won’t be scared of the unknown.
- Talk about it with someone you trust.
Discussing your fears with someone you know and trust can minimize your problem’s severity and reduce them to a manageable level.
- Take baby steps to overcome it.
Take small manageable and realistic steps to overcome your fears.
12.Engage in physical activities
Physical activities are good for our physical and mental health. These can be structured exercises or recreational activities such as playing basketball, swimming, biking, skiing, dancing, and much more.
Exercise help pump up our endorphins levels. Endorphins are chemical our brains produce that makes us feel good. Regular exercise increases the release of this hormone, increasing our self-confidence, self-esteem, and mood. These feel-good hormones help to lower the release of stress hormones and improve our overall being.
If exercise isn’t your thing, you can start a hobby or some fun stress-relieving activities. Hobbies are fun and a great way to destress from a busy day. You can try art or DIYs, play an instrument, do puzzle games, or try new recipes.
They can help reduce boredom and overwhelm caused by stress. They can help you get away from the things that cause you stress.
Engaging in your favorite hobby can help you forget your worries and help you burn some calories. Make exercise part of your regimen and experience robust health.
13.Journal your thoughts and feelings
It’s unhealthy to bottle up your feelings up. If you feel as though you have no one to confide in, get yourself a journal dedicated explicitly to journaling your thoughts and feelings.
When you write down your thoughts and feelings, you get some relief. Those heavy feelings are no longer inside you, but you transfer them on a piece of paper. It’s kind of equivalent to beating a punching bag to remove your anger, which you can do as well!
However, you can always keep a personal journal to track your emotions. You may even find specific patterns and identify some stressors when you reread your journals. Doing so can help you find ways to avoid or solve them.
14.Stop being a people pleaser.
Some people feel bad when they say no or fail to do what other people want them to do. They feel guilty when they fail to fulfill other people’s needs or demands because they fear being a disappointment or upsetting them.
Therefore, they try to do or say yes to everything they are asked to do even when it costs them their happiness and overall well-being. This is very unhealthy and can contribute to you being more stressed and anxious.
Learn to put yourself first; do not ignore your feelings and happiness just because you want to satisfy other people’s needs. You can still help others but make sure you take care of yourself first; remember you have only one life, which is you, do not waste or ignore it at the expense of other people’s happiness.
Set clear and healthy boundaries, and learn to say no. Do not allow other people to take advantage of you. Let people know your stand on matters affecting you or them. Feel free to share your feelings or perspective on the issues affecting you without fear.
Be truthful, stop pretending to be what you are not, or express feelings that are not genuine. Be yourself and honest with people even when that affects your relationship. Find a way of expressing your emotions in a friendly but firm manner. You will be less anxious and stressed when you tell the truth.
15.Stop trying to be a perfectionist all the time.
Being a perfectionist is not flawed, but it can cause stress and anxiety when it is overdone. Most perfectionists try hard to avoid mistakes but get everything right. They sometimes become unhappy with the end product or outcome of their hard work.
When they fail to achieve their desire, they may start labeling themselves as failures or start hating themselves whenever they make mistakes. Failure to them means the end of the world; they may continue procrastinating and feeling ashamed of themselves.
Understand that you human, and as a human being, you are subject to failure. Do not expect to get everything right; failure is inevitable, sometimes, but it is not the end of the world. Be optimistic and willing to try again whenever you fail.
Stress and anxiety is something we all face at some point, to varying degrees; the only difference is how we handle it. Please do not allow stress or anxiety to overwhelm you. Try these 13 ways to overcome it, but seek medical advice from your doctor if you feel stuck.