Guest Post: Reducing Stress And Anxiety
Stress and anxiety is a normal part of life that everyone experiences to some degree. Sometimes it can feel like your life is being controlled by these negative feelings. Especially at times when the future is uncertain and the present is unstable. It’s important to remember you have control over your own feelings, and there are many small things you can do to reduce stress and anxiety in yourself on a regular basis.
Acknowledging Your Stress and Anxiety
The first step towards beating your anxiety and stress is noticing how it’s affecting you. Sometimes we notice the symptoms of stress and anxiety without acknowledging our emotions. If you feel more tired than usual, or if you can’t get to sleep; if you’re forgetful or restless or quick to anger, all of these can be signs of stress and anxiety. The more aware you are of how you behave when you’re experiencing stress, the better you will get at combatting it.
The quickest and easiest method to control stress and anxiety also happens to be one of the most effective. Giving your brain and body a boost of oxygen is a proven way to reduce negative feelings and bring awareness of your current mental state.
Cressida Smalls, a health writer at Australia2write and Writemyx, recommends the 4-7-8 breathing cycle: “Close your eyes if you feel comfortable. Then try breathing in for four seconds, hold your breath for 7 seconds, and exhale for 8 seconds. Make a noise with your mouth each time you breathe in or out, something like a soft woosh. Repeat the cycle a few times and you should start to feel more relaxed.”
Keeping active is an essential part of being alive, so it stands to reason that it’s a good way to combat stress. Often the reason stress and anxiety affect us is because we feel trapped in our thoughts. Feeling some level of physical stress in your body can pull your attention away from your mental stress, relieving anxiety.
You set the level of exercise you are comfortable with; you don’t have to go for a ten-mile run every time you feel stressed. However, regular repetitive exercises like walking or running are shown to be most effective. Try your best to factor exercise into your routine to lower stress and anxiety on a regular basis.
Tackling Anxiety through Journaling
If you find yourself regularly bothered by repetitive anxious thoughts, writing them down might help. The act of writing down your worries can help interrupt thought cycles and put your anxieties into perspective. Once you have more clarity on your negative feelings, you can also use a journal to write down your positive feelings. Or include things to be grateful for.
“There’s no one right way to write a journal,” says Katrina Harding, a lifestyle blogger at Britstudent and Nextcoursework. “Try to focus on what works best for you. One idea might be to create a bullet point at the end of each day with a list of five things you were worried about and five things that went well. Hopefully as time goes on you’ll struggle to fill the first list and struggle to pick only five for the second!”
Connect With Others
Reaching out and connecting with other people is a great way to get through stressful moments in your life. Openly talking with your friends or family can help share the burden of your negative thoughts and anxiety and give you a sense of perspective. It’s not just theory: communicating with others has a physiological effect on your brain that is shown to produce oxytocin and reduce stress.
Learn To Say No
If you’re feeling stressed or anxious, it might be because you feel overstretched between responsibilities. Often we want to demonstrate that we’re strong and capable by taking on lot of responsibility, even if we don’t have the time and energy to do so effectively. At times when you’re feeling worn out, saying no to things is a way of taking care of yourself. This isn’t a sign of weakness or giving up. It’s a sign that you want to stay fit and healthy enough to take on the next challenge when it arrives.
Michael Dehoyos is a health writer and editor at Dissertation writing services. He assists companies in their marketing strategy concepts as well as being a part-time yoga instructor. He contributes to numerous sites and publications, including Assignment Help and PhD Kindgom.
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