Sometimes you just need to take a deep breath
Stress and anxiety are the normal reactions to unusual changes in our lives. Especially since the last year, after the outbreak of COVID-19, stress levels are generally high because people are concerned about their health, the health of their loved ones, unemployment, finances, and much more.
Stress is the feeling of frustration and nervousness whereas; anxiety could be a reaction towards stress. Anxiety is the feeling of fear and unease. Stress and anxiety when prolonged; can severely hamper your goals and eventually your life.
Your Action Plan!
1. Exercise daily
Start your day with a walk or some exercise. Just some light exercise or a little walk will definitely help. Exercising relieves stress by increasing blood circulation. Reasons to consider exercise a great way to cope with stress and anxiety are:
- Exercising releases ‘endorphins’ which are also known as ‘happy hormones’. So, this for sure will be a good start of the day, relieving your stress and allowing you to concentrate well throughout the day.
- Exercising boosts confidence, as your body feels replenished, you too will feel more competent.
- You will sleep well after exercise and this will automatically let go of your stress.
2. Deep breathing
Deep breathing helps to relieve stress and anxiety effectively. Sit in a relaxed position and consciously breathe for about 5 minutes. You can try this method:
- Inhale the air slowly from one nostril and fill your lungs completely with fresh air. Then remain as such for a few seconds.
- Exhale the air from another nostril.
- Practice it until you start feeling good. Deep breathing really helps to cope with anxiety effectively.
3. Eat a well-balanced diet
Maintaining a well-balanced diet can greatly reduce anxiety. Try adding foods that contain carbohydrates, Vitamin B and Omega-3s.
- Consumption of Vitamin B leads to good mental health. Vitamin B is found in fish, eggs, meat and dairy products.
- Omega-3s helps to reduce depression and anxiety. Nuts and seeds are a good source of omega-3s.
- Carbohydrates help regulate the production of neurotransmitter ‘serotonin’ which helps us remain calm.
4. Have a good sleep
Good sleep is essential for a fresh mind and body. If you find it difficult to sleep, aromatherapy (a relaxing technique that involves using aromatic materials like essential oils, etc.) works wonders! According to research, lavender oil helps to slow down the heart rate and relaxes muscles —thus promoting restful sleep.
5. Talk to someone
Reach out to a friend or family member whom you trust and you feel comfortable talking to. Talk through the problems gnawing at you. Even if you are feeling anxious for no specific reason, share your feelings. Speaking your heart out is a wonderful way for feeling lighter.
Meditation literally rewires your brain and helps you de-stress. Meditation increases the grey- matter of the brain. Simply sit with your eyes closed and concentrate on your thought pattern, or your breathing pattern, just noticing what is going on inside you.
Take a break from your daily routine, and do something different. Nurture yourself by doing something that makes you happy, which could be as simple as spending some time observing nature.
8. Practice laughter therapy
Take a break to laugh and giggle! Laughing for some time produces happy hormones in the body. Try watching some funny videos or recall funny incidents you had with friends and family.
9. Live in the present
Don’t stress yourself thinking about future plans or what happened in the past. Focus on your present. “What is”; rather than “what was”, or “what might be”.
10. Be grateful
Saying ‘Thank you will make you focus on the positive. Be thankful to your Creator and His creations. This will wash out the negative vibes and help you attain a positive outlook towards life!