Simple Habits to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
by Dew Wellness on Oct 06, 2022
Simple Habits to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Get up earlier than everyone else
Sleep helps to release hormones that make us feel relaxed, positive, and happy. It also increases our productivity and focus. So when you wake up early in the morning, it gives you more time to think about what you want to do and how you want to do it. It also reduces the stress accumulated during the day because there is less time for things to go wrong or for your mood to fluctuate.
Exercise every day
Exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress and anxiety, and it helps improve your mood, sleep quality, concentration, and memory function. Exercise also boosts endorphins responsible for making us feel good about ourselves. So get up from your desk chair once in a while and take a walk around the office or go for a run outside!
You don’t have to go on long runs or hit the gym every day; just do something that raises your heart rate and makes you sweat every few days. You could also try yoga or Pilates if they appeal more than other types of exercise. It can help lower blood pressure and improve mood by releasing endorphins into the bloodstream. Exercise also releases dopamine into our brains, which makes us feel happy and boosts confidence levels. If possible, try exercising outdoors regularly because this can further reduce stress levels by improving moods through exposure to sunlight.
Check email less frequently
Interruptions are the number one cause of stress at work; this is partly because they force you to switch back and forth between tasks, causing you to lose your train of thought and decrease efficiency. The problem is even more pronounced when dealing with email, which requires a lot of switching between tasks: reading and replying to emails, managing your inbox and sorting out messages, and searching for information.
It is important to check email less frequently throughout the day—it will allow you to focus on your main job for longer periods and stay in a state of productivity and calm. Don't worry about having essential things slip through the cracks—organizational tools, such as Google Inbox, allow you to deal with your emails when it's most convenient.
Belly Breathing Exercises to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Belly breathing is a great way to release tension and reduce anxiety. When we feel stressed or anxious, our normal breathing pattern changes. We take short breaths, which can cause us to feel light-headed or dizzy. Belly breathing slows down your heart rate and helps you relax. It also enables you to focus better on the present rather than worrying about the past or future.
How to do it:
Lie down with your hands resting below your rib cage; Take a deep breath in your nose and let it out through pursed lips. As you breathe in, imagine filling up all the space in your lungs with fresh air until they are full. As you exhale, expel all the air from your lungs until nothing is left inside. Repeat this exercise for several minutes until you feel relaxed and calm.
Forget wishful thinking and try mental contrasting
One of the most effective ways to relieve stress and anxiety is through mental contrasting, a technique developed by Gabriele Oettingen. The great thing about mental contrasting is that it's based on solid research. Mental contrasting consists of imagining the future you want to achieve and then mentally contrasting that with your current reality. This allows you to recognize what needs to change to get from here to there, leaving less room for uncertainty since the path has been set out in your mind. When used regularly, mental contrasting can reduce stress and anxiety by helping you find solutions rather than focusing on problems.
Consume more omega-3 fatty acids
An average adult needs about 2-4 grams of omega-3 fatty acids daily. Consuming more omega-3 fatty acids can reduce stress and anxiety and help with other mental health issues such as depression. Omega-3s aren't produced by the body, which is why they're known as "essential fatty acids." They're found in fish, nuts, and oils like olive, soybean, and flaxseed. While it is possible to consume enough omega-3s through your diet alone, it's recommended that you supplement with good quality fish oil or krill oil daily.
Omega-3s have been shown to increase blood flow throughout your entire body, improving blood circulation and lowering blood pressure. Eating plenty of omega-3s will help regulate your metabolism as well as improve insulin resistance.
Mindfulness is a state in which you are fully aware of the present moment without being distracted by thoughts of the past or worries about the future. It can be compared to meditation, in which you focus on your breathing and try to keep your mind from wandering. Mindfulness has improved emotional well-being and physical health when practiced regularly.
Sitting with your eyes closed, taking deep breaths, and focusing on nothing more than the rise and fall of your chest can sound easy enough, but doing it takes practice and gets easier with time. Studies have found that even a few minutes of daily mindfulness practice can help reduce stress and anxiety. And if you're prone to panic attacks or feel like you could use a pick-me-up after a long day at work, trying this technique out could make a big difference in how you feel when things get stressful or when you need to focus on something important.
Hug someone every day
Hugs can help reduce stress and anxiety by increasing the production of oxytocin, known as the "bonding hormone," because it's released during sex and childbirth. It also lowers levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) in the body. Research has shown that hugs relieve anxiety and depression and lower blood pressure.
The best time to receive a hug is when you're feeling stressed out or anxious — for example, before a big test, job interview, or after a bad day at work. When you receive a hug from someone you trust, it can help reduce your heart rate, which causes physical symptoms of stress like increased heart rate and breathing rate, and decreased levels of cortisol in your bloodstream, which helps ease physical symptoms like headaches.
Make new friends
Social support is one of the most important things you can do for your mental health. Research has shown that having a strong social network can protect against many negative health outcomes, including depression and anxiety.
It's not just about having more people in your life but a network of people who love and support you unconditionally, make you feel like you belong and have a purpose.
You don't have an extensive network to experience these benefits; even just one or two close friends can make a big difference!