Stress is something we all deal with at a certain level; some experience higher stress, whereas others don’t. Regardless of how stressed you are, it’s essential to control your stress levels. If you have noticed your stress levels elevate in the past months or years, it would be best to take care of your mental health.
You can do many things to control your stress levels, and the best part is, you don’t have to take medications. Let’s talk about the ways to deal with stress and how to lower stress levels.
Subconsciously, you might be elevating your stress levels without knowing. For example, you might be stressed about a presentation at work or stressed about your exam tomorrow; whatever is causing you stress can most likely be eliminated by doing one thing: preparation.
Uncertainty is what causes stress, so if you are not prepared for your work presentation or exam, ask yourself if you prepared? If not, then that is something you need to do in the future. Being prepared will eliminate most of your stress, if not all. There are many things you can do, which will help you prepare.
- Write your daily goals; this will allow you to execute and be prepared.
- Make sure to start preparing for a big event before the deadline, give yourself sufficient time to prepare
- Please don’t make things more significant than they need to be. Even if you perform poorly, it’s not the end.
You can do these things to stop feeling anxious and to feel less stressed throughout the day. Preparation is the most underrated aspect of stress.
If you are stressed for different reasons, then there are other things you can do which will lower your stress. Exercising has been shown to reduce stress and increase dopamine levels in your body. There are many benefits associated with exercising, including:
- Better heart health
- Lower risk of diseases
- Lowered blood pressure
- Enhanced senses ( smelling, hearing)
- Better mood
- Stronger bones and muscles
- Increased energy
- Stress relief
These are some of the most common benefits associated with exercising. Also, remember that stress is what causes fatigue. If you exercise, you won’t get tired quickly. Make sure to exercise at least three times a week; this will allow you to control any anxiety triggers and overall stress.
If you notice yourself feeling anxious for no reason, you should consider deep breathing even after preparation and regular exercise. Deep breathing exercises can help you cope with stress and also lower blood pressure naturally.
Having a mind that is always on “go-mode” can increase anxiety; hence slowing down your mind is a must. There are many deep breathing exercises, but we will discuss the best one for stress and anxiety.
- Start by sitting comfortably and in an upright position.
- Close your eyes and breath in for four seconds
- Hold your breath for two seconds.
- Release your breath for 8 seconds
- Repeat at least 5 to 10 times to notice a difference.
Breathing exercise can help you reduce stressors, making it a must to follow. You can also meditate every day for 10 minutes to reduce stress. Meditation has been shown to reduce anxiety and depression; people who regularly deal with stressful events will greatly benefit from daily meditation.
You can do many forms of meditation, but we recommend guided meditation if you are a beginner. Guided meditation can help you learn the basics of meditation and eventually help you meditate on your own. Make sure to find a secluded location and start meditating.
Keep Yourself Occupied
You might have heard the saying, “An idle mind is a devil’s playground.” Keeping yourself occupied will help you cope with anxious thoughts, find new hobbies that keep you engaged and away from anxious thoughts.
If you can’t find any hobbies, start reading a book. Learning through reading can help you eliminate distractions and keep your mind focused on the book. Hence, you see many successful people who promote reading; it is one of the most distressing learning methods. Read a book that helps you better your finances, career, or help you think more positively.
You can even read fiction novels and comic books if you would like. Make sure not to check your phone when reading, as that can cause you to lose focus. Besides meditation, keep your brain learning and occupied, as this will keep you away from anxious thoughts.
Avoid or Limit Caffeine, Nicotine and Alcohol
One of the biggest stress management tips given by experts is to stop consuming high amounts of caffeine. A high amount of caffeine intake throughout the day has shown to increase anxiety; consider having most of your caffeine before 4 pm.
Besides caffeine, alcohol and nicotine have been shown to increase anxiety. Even though smoking and drinking can help you control your stress temporarily, we recommend lowering the amount of nicotine and alcohol you consume if you want to be less anxious. A good rule of thumb is to drink no more than fourteen drinks a week if you are a man and seven drinks a week if you are a woman. With tobacco, the less you consume, the better.
If you are a heavy drinker and would like to reduce your alcohol intake to lower anxiety, consider not drinking alcohol for a month. A month break from alcohol will give you the time to reevaluate your drinking habits and be more cautious, moving forward.
Dealing with stress is not a one-time exercise; you need to actively focus on your mental health by following an exercise routine and daily mental health routine to keep your stress under control. Remember, we all have stress in our life.
Some might have more stress than others, but it’s our job to take care of our needs by giving time and energy to exercise our body and relax our mind. Make sure to do all the things necessary to take care of your mental health, even if it means letting go of certain things.