5 Ways to Tackle Everyday Stress and Anxiety
The past year has certainly been one of the most stressful in living memory for many people. Along with a global pandemic, a growing number of people are reporting increased levels of stress, anxiety, and concern. In the US, over 18% of the adult population complains from experiencing anxiety, and the added worries about health, employment, and safety only add to this further.
5 Ways to Tackle Everyday Stress and Anxiety
However, stress and anxiety do not have to take over your life, and by paying attention to some key aspects of everyday living, you can start taking control of them to enjoy a healthier and calmer life. Read on to find out how.
Take a look at your diet
While factors outside your body might trigger stress and anxiety, the things that happen within have a much bigger influence than you may think. One important area to address is what you eat, as a healthy diet or lack of, can significantly impact how you respond to stressful situations. Stressful events can have various physical effects, from changing hormonal levels in your body to increasing blood sugar levels. By taking care of what you eat, you can help your body stabilize more easily after any stressful fluctuations.
A healthy diet should be well rounded and meet all your nutritional needs, as well as be enjoyable to eat and include the following:
- a variety of fruits and vegetables
- foods rich in protein, including lean meat, eggs, nuts, fish, lentils, and beans
- a mix of complex carbohydrates
- a small range of foods rich in natural fats
- occasional indulgences enjoyed in moderation
Ensuring that you are eating the right foods, paying attention to when, and how often you eat will also help you manage stress. If you find that you do not eat regular meals or do not leave enough time to prepare and eat food, feelings of hunger may exacerbate stress. So rather than eating too many snacks and vending machine treats to get through the day, take the time to enjoy a filling and healthy meal at regular times. A nutritious diet helps protect your body from stress and makes you more mentally resilient.
Move more every day
Fitness can be a huge game-changer when it comes to tackling stress and anxiety. Regular exercise can help you feel more energized, improve your self-esteem and sense of confidence, and reduce feelings of sluggishness and tiredness. Moving your body can help release endorphins through your body, which increase feelings of wellbeing. If you’ve ever experienced the so-called “runner’s high,” where you can feel excited, invigorated, and even euphoric after a burst of intense activity, then you’ll know how good it can feel.
Moving more to help relieve stress and anxiety doesn’t mean that you have to sign up with a personal trainer or start a pro-athlete fitness regime unless that’s a serious goal. Just making time to move 20-30 minutes daily in various ways can have a considerable benefit, improving both your physical and mental health. Try activities such as walking, running, swimming, cycling, fitness classes, yoga, or hiking. Doing this regularly can help improve feelings of lethargy that often accompany stress and anxiety and encourage you to feel more focused on enjoying the present moment.
Get a regular health check
When life gets stressful, it can be easy to overlook other aspects of your physical health, but it is always essential to take care of your physical wellbeing with regular check-ups with your physician. While stress can also significantly impact your body, misunderstanding or ignoring symptoms that you may be experiencing because of health anxiety can also lead to more serious concerns if they are not adequately addressed.
Try to have regular assessments to keep your overall health in good condition. If you are experiencing worrying symptoms, try to find relevant and useful information and address them. For instance, if you are worried about your vision, this can dramatically impact your everyday life, so it may be worth asking yourself, “is there cataract surgery near me” if this is something you need.
Start a journaling habit
Writing down your worries can have a surprisingly positive impact on reducing stress and anxiety. When kept in our minds, stressful thoughts can begin to appear all-consuming and impossible to address, but by writing things down, you can start to get a better sense of perspective, as well as helping you find possible solutions.
There are many approaches to starting a journaling habit, from filling in a bullet-diary. You can list brief, simple points and lists of what you may be experiencing daily, to less structured approaches, such as a daily diary. However you do it, it can help cover both your worries and concerns and remind yourself of the positive aspects of your life. Practicing gratitude and making a list of enjoyable things in your everyday life can also remind you of what there is to look forward to around you.
Seek professional help
If stress and anxiety are having a continued and serious impact on your everyday life, seeking professional help and support can make a huge difference. A professional specialist can help you make sense of what you are experiencing, suggest positive ways to reduce stress sources in your life, and help you develop useful tools and techniques to help you cope.
There are various professional types of help to choose from, so it is worth researching them to understand which might be best for you. These can vary from therapeutic practices and holistic approaches to more medically focused strategies.
Ways to Tackle Everyday Stress and Anxiety
While you may not find the right solution immediately, getting advice from various people can often help you find the best approach for your individual needs in life.