Seven Proven Tips for Calming Stress and Easing Anxiety
From minor trials to major crises, stress is a part of life. Finding effective ways to calm anxiety can transform your mood and your health.
You can't always control your circumstances but you can control how you respond to them. When stress becomes overwhelming or chronic, it can affect well-being. That's why it is so important to have effective tension-relievers at your disposal that can soothe the mind and body.
Read on for seven of our favorite tips for calming stress and encouraging relaxation.
Practice meditation and mindfulness.
There are many different forms of meditation so do some research and find a practice that’s right for you. For example, you might develop a mantra that you repeat in your mind as you take slow, deep breaths. Or, you might take a few minutes to practice mindfulness, which involves being immersed in the moment. Simply pay attention to what you see, hear, taste, touch, and smell. Focusing on the present keeps you from wasting energy on things that have already happened or worrying about what might occur in the future.
Get or give a hug.
Physical touch can do a lot to relieve stress and hugging loved ones can be especially beneficial. When you hug someone, the hormone oxytocin is released. Oxytocin is associated with higher levels of happiness and lower levels of stress. It also lowers blood pressure, reduces the stress hormone norepinephrine, and can produce a sense of relaxation. So, the next time you’re feeling tense, don’t be afraid to ask a friend or loved one for a big hug. It's one of the simplest and best forms of stress relief available.
Take a walk.
Going for a stroll immerses you in nature and brings a welcome change of scenery. It can put you in a better frame of mind and offers the physical benefits of exercise, as well. Whether you take a walk around the campus at lunch or opt for a long afternoon hike on the weekend, walking is an effective way to relax your mind and rejuvenate your spirits.
Create something beautiful.
When you think back to your childhood, you probably spent a lot of time being imaginative. As adults, creativity has a way of getting cast aside but it’s never too late to get back in touch with your artsy side. If you aren't into drawing or painting, consider coloring in a coloring book. Adult coloring books have risen in popularity and for good reason—coloring can be a great stress reliever. Research consistently shows that it has a relaxing, meditative effect.
Choose healthy foods.
A poor diet is associated with a stronger reaction to stressors. Refined carbs like cookies and potato chips can cause a spike in blood sugar. When blood sugar crashes, it causes unpleasant sensations that create more stress and anxiety. Consuming a healthy diet can help you combat stress for the long haul. Foods like eggs, avocadoes, and walnuts contain good fats and chemicals that support mood regulation and energy balance.
Maintain a positive inner dialog.
Most of us are not kind to ourselves. Harsh self-criticism, self-doubt, and catastrophic predictions are never helpful. If you're constantly thinking, "I will never be able to do this,” you’re bound to stress yourself out. Learn to speak to yourself in a loving, compassionate manner. When you call yourself names or doubt your ability to succeed, reply with a kinder and more positive inner dialogue.
Express your gratitude.
Gratitude helps us recognize all the things we have to be thankful for. Whether you're appreciative of a sunny day or thankful you arrived at work safely, think about all the good things in your life. Studies also show grateful people enjoy better mental health, lower stress, and a better quality of life. Strive to make gratitude a regular habit, whether you choose to write in a gratitude journal every morning or share your thankfulness with your family over dinner.
There is no one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief. What works for one person might not work for another. And what works for you at home might not be an option when you're at work or in the community. Keep a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal so you can always pick a strategy that works best for your circumstances.
We hope you found these tips for calming stress helpful. The caring professionals at Vaughn Greene Funeral Services are pleased to offer information that supports mental, emotional, and physical health. If you have questions or want to learn more, please contact our compassionate funeral directors anytime.
About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 25 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.