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12 Effective Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Stress and anxiety are inevitable in today’s world. Although, some amount of stress is necessary to enhance one’s performance; too much of it is can be dangerous. Similarly, too much anxiety can also be detrimental to one’s performance and also health. Hence, it is very essential to learn ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety

The most common ways to combat stress and anxiety are discussed below:

Stay Active and Exercise Regularly:

Exercising on a regular basis can help prevent stress and anxiety. Putting the body through physical stress can actually help in the management of mental stress. Maximum benefit can be obtained when exercise is done on a regular basis.

The reasons why this is one of the best ways to relieve stress and anxiety are that exercise

Lowers Stress Hormones: Regular exercise can drastically reduce the level of stress hormones (like cortisol) in the body. In addition to this, exercising produces endorphin, which is the chemical in the body known to stimulate a good mood.

Improves Quality of Sleep: Inadequate sleep and poor quality of sleep can negatively affect stress and anxiety. Regularly exercises help the body get better sleep, which helps in the management of stress and anxiety.

Improves Confidence: Exercising makes a person confident and motivated. It makes the person more competent and goal-oriented. This, in turn, improves the mental well-being of the person, thus proving it as one of the effective ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

Exercising can be done in any form. It can be regular visits to the gym or other physical activities such as dancing, walking, yoga, sports or anything that involves repetitive movement of large muscles.

Health Supplements to Manage Stress and Anxiety:

Special health supplements are also popular ways to relieve stress and anxiety. While some of them are available over-the-counter, some may require a prescription. However, before taking any supplements it is advised to consult a physician.

The most common health supplements for relieving stress and anxiety are listed below:

  • Lemon Balm: It is a natural product extracted from the mint family. It is known to have an anti-anxiety effect on the body.
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: Studies have shown that omega-3 supplements are known to reduce anxiety by about 20%.
  • Ashwagandha: This is an Ayurvedic product that is known to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Green Tea: Green tea is known to contain antioxidants that are proven to reduce stress and anxiety.
  • Valerian Root: Valerian root is another natural product that is known to improve sleep and thus lower anxiety and stress.
  • Kava Kava: Kava kava is a popular supplement used to treat mild anxiety and stress.

Aromatherapy to Relieve Stress and Anxiety:

Burning scented candles or lamps with essential oils can have a calming and relaxing effect on the mind and body. The process of using scents to calm the mind is called aromatherapy. Studies have shown aromatherapy helps reduce anxiety and stress, thus improving sleep and stabilizing blood pressure after cardiac procedures.1

Some of the calming and soothing scents include:

  • Rose
  • Lavender
  • French vanilla
  • Neroli
  • Sandalwood
  • Geranium
  • Orange blossom
  • Frankincense
  • Roman chamomile
  • Bergamot
  • Vetiver
  • Ylang-ylang.

Reduce Intake of Caffeine:

Caffeine is a stimulant and is known to increase stress and anxiety. Caffeine is found in beverages such as tea, coffee, chocolates, energy drinks, etc. Reduce caffeine intake and other stimulants are one of the important ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

Journal Entry to Relieve Stress and Anxiety:

Writing down thoughts in a diary can help in managing stress. It is recommended to write positive things in the diary and jot down the ways to manage stress or anxiety. This helps in distracting the mind and it helps in channelizing the energy towards something constructive.

Chewing Gum:

Sometimes, chewing gum can help in increasing blood flow to the brain. It also creates brain waves similar to those seen in a relaxed person. This is an easy and quick way to relieve stress and anxiety. It produces a sense of well-being and calmness. However, make sure to have sugar-free chewing gum.

Family Time as a Way to Relieve Stress and Anxiety:

Spending quality time with friends and family is known to produce a happy hormone called oxytocin. Friends and family can support us emotionally and boost our confidence. It gives us a sense of being loved and self-worth, hence these too are effective ways to relieve stress and anxiety. Spending time with a pet can also be beneficial to the body. It can also keep you physically active.

Laughter as the Easiest Way to Relieve Stress and Anxiety:

Laughter can help the body in multiple ways. It is very hard to stay stressed while laughing. Even if it is forceful laughing it is still helpful to the mind. It helps in releasing tension from the body and is an important way to relieve stress and anxiety. Laughing can be practiced by watching comedy over TV, having a hearty conversation with a friend or by enrolling in a laughter intervention group.

Learning to say NO:

There are some situations in life that can be avoided by simply saying a no. If a situation is known to produce anxiety or stress, simply avoid it and stay away from it. Avoiding certain things can be the best ways to relieve or avoid stress and anxiety.

Yoga and Meditation

Yoga and meditation can help in getting touch with the inner self. It has a positive effect on the mind and can help in uplifting the mood. It helps in lowering cortisol level, blood pressure level and helps in elevating GABA level which is a neurotransmitter which helps in controlling mood and overall wellbeing. Cognitive therapy, deep breathing, mindfulness thinking, and positive thinking are other strategies and some of the best ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

Physical Gestures:

Physical gestures such as cuddling, hugging, kissing, etc. can help a lot in reducing stress and anxiety. It increases the level of oxytocin and reduces the level of cortisol. Although it may sound simple, these are helpful ways to relieve stress and anxiety.

Music as a Way to Relieve Stress and Anxiety:

Listening to soothing music can have a positive effect on the body. Slow-paced instrumental music, nature sound, etc. can help in relaxation and meditation. Try some of these effective ways to relieve stress and anxiety and find out the most suitable one. Make a habit of practicing it every day so as to stay stress and anxiety-free and enjoying every single day to the fullest.


Also Read:

Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Sheetal DeCaria, M.D.
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Sheetal DeCaria, M.D. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:August 23, 2019

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