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Tips for Managing Stress and Anxiety

by Byron Hoffman
7 minutes read

Having stress and anxiety is a very common occurrence, it might even been seen as a right of passage into adulthood. No longer do you only need to worry about your report card, it’s now a constant roller coaster ride of stressing about making ends meet, anxious about your inlaws that are coming to visit and making sure the kids don’t break down the house. In this blog post, we are going over a lot of tips on how to manage those stress and anxiety gremlins.

Understand Your Triggers

Identify the Culprits

The first thing you need to do is get to know your triggers. Is it the deadline to a project at work, your finances, an iffy relationship? As soon as you know what sets off your stress and anxiety, you will be able to understand the patterns and get a plan together on how to handle it in the future. Keeping a journal where you track your feelings and situations will also help you see what your triggers are. 

Know Your Limits

We all want to do more, but when you push yourself way over your limits, you are going to burn yourself out and aggravate your anxiety. When you feel that you are going over your limit, take a step back, say no to more responsibility, deal with what you already have on your plate. This is called self-preservation, not weakness. When you acknowledge your limits, you not only try to maintain a healthy balance in your life, but you’re also giving yourself the chance to recharge. Your health is very important, no one is going to erect a statue in your honor when you crash and burn.

Develop Healthier Habits

Exercise Regularly

You have heard and read this many times, but let’s reiterate again why physical activity is a natural stress reliever. You will feel more happy and relaxed, and it’s all thanks to those amazing feel good chemicals that your body gets when you exercise. Yes, endorphins get released when you exercise, but try and do around 30 minutes of moderate exercise. You can jog, do yoga in the garden, or shake it out to your tunes in the living room, but find something that you like to do (even a little) and make it part of your daily routine.

Eat Well

You are what you eat – an old saying but very true, and when you’re stressed and anxious, you will grab any and all things that’s wrong and eat it like there’s no tomorrow. But you can change it, and rather make your eating habits a managing technique for your stress and anxiety management. Stabilize your blood sugar levels and improve your mood by eating a balanced plate of veggies, fruit, whole grains and lean proteins, nutrient-dense foods that give you lasting energy. Get your dose of omega-3 fatty acids from chia seeds, walnuts, salmon and mackerel and see how your anxiety symptoms go bye-bye, while your brain health goes up. Water is not only for the survival of your houseplant, but also for your own survival, so keep your hydration levels in the green zone.

Practice Mindfulness

Meditation and Deep Breathing

You can also manage stress and anxiety by doing meditation or deep breathing exercises. When you feel your levels rising, take a break and focus on your breathing or repeat your calming mantra. Just take the time, and focus on the stillness, it will help to center your mind and reduce that worry meter.

Stay Present

This might be more difficult than it seems, but what it means to stay present is coaching your mind to only focus on the current moment and not go down the rabbit hole of what happened in the past or what might happen in the future. If you struggle to anchor yourself in the now, you can try either mindful observation or sensory awareness techniques. The first is where you focus intently on your surroundings, and the second is where you take note and focus on what you can taste, see, smell, touch and hear. By channeling your inner Grand Master Oogway, you improve not only your mental clarity, but also become more emotionally resilient and you get to appreciate each moment for what they are.

Take Time for Yourself

Engage in Hobbies

When you do what you love (and not work related), you are taking your mind off stress and start to relax. Whether you’re a wannabe Martha Stuward, a book dragon or a garden fairy, do the things that make you smile. 

Prioritize Self-Care

Self-care is not a one-size-fits-all thing, but the end results are. And the results have a positive effect on your emotional, physical and mental health. You will need to plan when each day you will take time to rest and recharge with either a relaxing bath time, meditation and getting your correct amount of sleep in. you will also need to set those boundaries between your personal and professional life, this is your line to prevent burnout. 

Embrace Positivity

Practice Gratitude

Shift your mind on what’s so wrong in your life to what is right by reflecting on the things you should be grateful for. Everyday, write down three things you’re grateful for in your gratitude journal. This will drastically improve your outlook on life.

Challenge Negative Thoughts

Your thoughts are like the compass on what you are feeling, so you need to keep challenging negative and irrational thoughts when they creep in. The only way you can do this is by fighting them with evidence against it. When you ask yourself if there is another way to look at the situation, you will have an epiphany that the things you are stressing and being anxious about, are not that huge of a monster.

Conclusion

Stress and anxiety don’t have to rule your life, even though they are a part of life. You will be able to take control over your stressors when you start using these tips and have a more calmer and balanced life. Use trial and error until you find the sweet spot that works for you.

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