Simple Tips to Reduce Stress
According to Mental Health America, more than 40 million people suffer from anxiety disorders at any one time, regardless of the economy or other mainstream issues. There are a number of things you can do to help reduce stress and anxiety so that you can get back to enjoying life again.
Focus on your physical well-being. It’s difficult to feel happy and optimistic when you are not taking care of yourself. Eating properly, exercising and taking care of any physical ailments can relieve a lot of the tension that only exacerbates a difficult emotional period.
Take your time when making decisions. Letting others rush you into making spur-of-the-moment decisions or making a commitment before you are ready can add additional stress to a changing situation. If others are rushing you, give them a deadline that is more comfortable for you. One of the hardest things for some people to do is to tell people “no” to a commitment. Personal health requires a level of selfishness, so do not be afraid to turn down commitments.
Remain centered on those things over which you have control. Monitor your thinking so that you do not obsess over things you cannot control, such as the stock market, the weather and other people’s feelings.
Incorporate relaxation exercises in your daily routine such as meditation and deep breathing. According to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America, learning deep breathing techniques is one of the most powerful tools to fight growing anxiety and stress. Physical exercises that help to release endorphins in the system also should be included in a daily schedule to reduce stress and anxiety.
There are supplements that may help alleviate stress and anxiety. B vitamins are essential for healthy functioning of the central nervous system. According to the National Center for Health and Wellness, a deficiency in specific B vitamins such as B6, B9 and B12 can lead to an imbalance in your nervous system and may contribute to symptoms of anxiety. The B complex vitamins also help your body to manufacture certain important mood-stabilizing neurotransmitters such as serotonin.
Calcium is a necessary mineral your body needs for a variety of functions, including the proper operation of your nervous system. Calcium occurs naturally in dairy foods, certain types of grains and some green, leafy vegetables like spinach. According to Edmund J. Bourne, Ph.D., author of “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook,” calcium acts as a tranquilizer and may help to calm the nervous system. If you have a calcium deficiency, you may experience overactive nerve cells, a possible cause of anxiety. Taking a multivitamin that includes calcium may help you to handle stress more effectively, according to the University of Maryland Medical Center.
Vitamin C is an essential nutrient that acts as an antioxidant to combat the effects of free radicals. According to Bourne, your body quickly uses up its reserves of vitamin C during times of stress and anxiety, leaving you feeling low in energy. Vitamin C supports healthy functioning of your adrenal glands, which, when functioning properly, help you cope with stress.
Keep a journal, this will help you identify stress triggers and responses so you can figure out what you do that works and what you do that does not work. Find something to laugh out loud about each day. Reach out to your friends and loved ones to offer support to each other.