Stress is a normal reaction that people feel as they encounter changes and difficulties in life. And anxiety can be a reaction to the stress.
But chronic stress can lead to anxiety disorders, the most common mental-health illness affecting people in the U.S. And it can lead to other serious health conditions, too.
So how can we manage stress and anxiety in proven ways?
Approaches to Manage Both
Physical activity decreases tension, elevates and stabilizes mood, and improves sleep. Aim for 30-minutes of physical activity such as walking, at least five days per week. But moving around even 10 minutes at a time can help alleviate stress.
Other mind-body practices such as yoga, breathing exercises and meditation can be effective. These relaxation techniques produce a natural relaxation response in the body. They slow breathing, lower blood pressure, and an increased feelings of well-being.
You could try this guided meditation for stress relief, or this breathing technique to combat anxiety.
If you need more in-depth practice, you can find those by searching “mindfulness based stress reduction near me” on the internet. The Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction program through Duke Integrative Medicine offers in-person and distance-learning courses.
Nutrition and Aromatherapy for Stress and Anxiety
Stress, traumatic life experiences, hormone imbalance and thyroid problems can cause anxiety. So if you haven’t seen your healthcare provider to rule out medical issues, that’s an important place to start.
But excessive alcohol, caffeine, and sugar also can cause anxiety.
A clean and well-balanced diet – high in B-complex vitamins, magnesium, and omega-3s – can support your body’s ability to manage stress and anxiety.
Aromatherapy also can help improve mood, energy, and sleep.
Also, talking with someone – a trusted friend or relative, or a physician or therapist for professional help, also can be useful.
So what have you found that works for you to alleviate stress and anxiety? It’s your turn. Comment below. I’d love to hear from you.
Welcome! I’m Amy, an integrative health coach, offering grace and space for a healthier you. This article first appeared as Step 23 in the “31 Steps to a Healthier You” series. You can access all posts in the series here. And I hope you’ll want to stick around for a while. If so, please subscribe at this link so you’ll get updates.
Walking everyday, pilates every week, prayer, and not procrastinating (that’s the hardest one to accomplish).
I love the intentional way you focus on reducing the stress in your life. Thanks for reading and commenting!