I thought it fitting to share 8 things I do to reduce stress and anxiety, especially during these troubling times. Andsince everyone manages them differently and the best we can do is try and help each other.
It’s Essential We Need To Reduce Our Stress And Anxiety
As it seems, not more than ever it’s important for us all to reduce our stress and anxiety. There’s no doubt we live in challenging unprecedented times.
Many of us who suffer from anxiety have it especially hard and it’s essential to do things to help manage stress. Even if you don’t experience anxiety, it’s likely you are due to social distancing along. Nevertheless, the good news is there are positive and healthy ways you can reduce or manage your stress and anxiety.
In this article, I’ll cover 10 things I do to reduce my stress and anxiety daily and I hope you benefit from these coping strategies too!
1 – Listen To Music Of Course!
While it might seem the most obvious way to reduce stress and anxiety, many people don’t listen to music. While studies reveal music can relax your spirit and help soothe your soul, it’s important you use it correctly.
The best way to use music to relax is to put down the laptop, mobile phone, and shut the tell too! Get a pair of your favorite headphones, close the door, find your favorite music app and just listen!
Moreover, studies show significant positive changes in cortisol when listening to music. And music also influences stress-related cognitive processes and, as a consequence, physiological responses.
Of course, the genre of music you choose to listen to is entirely up to you. But classical or new age music does produce the best results. It can even slow your pulse, heart rate, and decrease stress hormones.
So, yes, music is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety and personally, it’s my first choice when it comes to relaxing.
2 – Find Your Favorite Podcasts
Of course, I joined the masses as well and listen to them almost daily. I discovered some of my favorites from a website called Vurbl Podcasts as they review them as well. I always prefer reading a good review before diving in because of the millions out there. They also have a great list of wellness podcasts I highly recommend.
Below, you’ll find some of my other favorite Podcasts to help with stress and anxiety.
Below, you’ll find some of my favorite Podcasts to help with stress and anxiety.
- Headspace – great for stress-relief and guided meditation aimed towards stress management and healthy coping mechanisms.
- The Tapping Solutions – focuses on the way stress impacts your body. In addition, it highlights the importance of stress relief and stress management for both your physical and mental health.
- Tranquillity du Jour – Your guide to living a full and meaningful life: creativity, entrepreneurship, mindfulness, travel, style, yoga, making a difference and all things tranquility. Hosted by author, therapist and creative entrepreneur Kimberly Wilson, who lives in DC and dreams of Paris.
More so, in addition to Podcasts about wellness, you’ll find a plethora of other topics you can enjoy as well. All you do is find a topic of interest and search on your favorite Podcast platform.
Personally, listening to Podcasts helps me to relax and takes my mind away from stressful thoughts and worries. If you give them a chance, I think you’ll find they will help you as well.
3 – Gardening Or Planting Eases Stress And Anxiety
Taking care of plants is another great way to find peace and ease stress and anxiety. It doesn’t require a lot and it’s not expensive as well.
For example, you can buy a few easy to care for plants for your home or apartment and discover just how relaxing caring for them can be.
More so, gardening burns calories and provides us with physical activity and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression as well. When you garden, you exercise your upper and lower body, is great for your heart health, and keeps your joints supple and prevents arthritis too.
Flowers always make people better, happier, and more helpful; they are sunshine, food, and medicine for the soul.
If you don’t have a garden, you can still experience the benefits by taking care of houseplants or growing herbs as well. Don’t forget, it’s a great way to spend time with the kids too. Teaching them about gardening is a wonderful way to stay connected.
Fortunately, I own a garden as well as indoor houseplants and find when I tend to them, I forget the world and its problems and enjoy a great sense of purpose and joy as well.
Plus, when you enjoy outdoor gardening, you also enjoy the benefits of Vitamin D exposure. This helps with growth of calcium, bolsters our immune system, keeps our heart and lungs healthy, and reduces the risk of cancer too.
During this challenging time, communing with nature will help you in so many ways. Gardening has multiple benefits and the perfect way to reduce stress and anxiety.
4 – Reading To Relax
Of course, reading to reduce stress and anxiety has many benefits. And a great way not only to relax but to increase skills and continued educational benefits.
For instance, reading can not only relax your body but lowers your heart rate, decreases blood pressure, and eases muscle tension too. Did you know reading reduces stress up to 68%?
Plus, reading can help your brain stay healthy and young and helps with brain clarity can prevent potential conditions caused by stress. Reading could also help slow down or even prevent cognitive decline. And boost intelligence and even social skills.
To illustrate, you can choose whatever medium you like. For example, you can read a timeless work of literature, a romance novel, exciting science fiction, home and garden books. or a self-help book, the benefits are endless.
Reading always calms and centers me. Whatever book or reading materials you choose, you’ll find reading the perfect way to escape and explore the exciting worlds of your imagination.
5 – Candles and Aromatherapy
We all know the how wonderfully relaxing candles and aromatherapy are especially when taking a relaxing bath or enjoying a massage.
In addition, using essential oils to reduce stress and anxiety many benefits and can improve your health and mental well-being.
For myself, I use them both daily to help center and relax my spirit. As soon as I wake in the morning, I light energizing candles around my home. They help boost my energy and calm my mood at the same time.
In the afternoon, I switch to a calming scented candle as the stress of the day comes upon me and my mind starts to wander with worry.
Also, after my shower, I use essential oils for stress reduction like chamomile, lavender, cedarwood, and bergamot to help boost feelings of relaxation.
Organic Rosehip Oil, one of my favorite essential oils, helps with my anxiety. I also adore it in my skincare products too.
If you haven’t tried using candles and aromatherapy to help calm your stress and anxiety, I highly recommend you do. For me, they help me get through the day and help with sleeping issues too.
6 – Get Moving To Relief Stress and Anxiety
We all know the importance of exercise to stay healthy in our every day lives. But, if you can’t get to the gym or if you have medical issues, there’s an easier way to stay fit. Of course, always check with your doctor before you begin any exercise routine.
In fact, you can stay fit staying at home by exercising at home and all you need is 20-30 minutes a day. You’ll want to cover all the major muscle groups in both your upper and lower body. You can try and complete 10-15 repetitions for each muscle group.
Of course, take it slowly and listen to your body. Don’t over do it and always do as much as you feel you physically can. For me, I start out with stretching exercises and then I use light weights for upper body exercise.
My weights are about 3lbs each and I do about 20 reps with each arm to keep my upper body moving. If you can, try some sit ups too but if you have a bad back be careful. You want to avoid causing injury and it’s a good idea to start slowly.
Luckily, I get to walk my dog a lot during the day and walking is my favorite exercise. Now, with good weather upon us, it’s especially nice to get out and walk. It does help reduce my stress and anxiety and always helps me sleep better too.
7 – Daily Journaling
Writing is a great way to relieve stress and anxiety. If you never tried journaling, you might want to reconsider. It’s especially beneficial now during these challenging days ahead. It’s so easy to start a journal and I think you’ll find it very beneficial as well.
For example, you don’t need perfect grammar or writing skills either. Just get a good journal and start writing. It’s as easy as that! I block out at least 20 minutes a day to journal and it’s a great way to forget about the world and focus on some me time.
I’m sure you have plenty to write about and if you don’t, below, you’ll find some topics to motivate you.
Some ideas for journaling
- Write about how you feel and what your day was like.
- Express how you feel today and why.
- Your dreams, hopes, fears, and wishes.
- How does your life need to improve and why?
- Mistakes you made and what you changed to never repeat them.
- What are you grateful for and why?
- What your mental and physical health is like and what you can do to improve it.
- What’s your purpose in life and how you can find a greater purpose.
- The people you love and why you love them.
- What is your most important goal and where you want to be five years from now?
The benefits of keeping a journal are far-reaching and you’ll find it very cathartic as well. According to the University of Texas at Austin, psychologist, and researcher James Pennebaker, he contends that regular journaling strengthens immune cells, called T-lymphocytes. This helps in reducing the impact of these stressors on your physical health. I’d say it’s a win-win!
8 – Cleaning To Reduce Stress And Anxiety
Even if you hate to clean, you might want to reconsider the health benefits. Cleaning is great exercise too and keeping your home germ free during these challenging times, it’s even more important.
Think about it, cleaning requires a lot of physical movement so not only do you burn calories, but it releases endorphins as well. This helps us to blow off steam, release pent up stress, and it’s a great emotional outlet too.
A Clean Home Will Calm & Center You
In addition, cleaning our homes does make us feel more organized and it removes the anxiety you feel when your home is untidy and dusty. Clutter can create negative emotions like confusion, irritability, and worry. Moreover, a clean and tidy space can produce emotions like happiness, calmness, and positive well-being.
In other words, taking control of your environment can help with feelings of despair and loss of control as well. So, cleaning does have many pluses and the end results is a nice clean home!
So, get out your favorite cleaning products and start cleaning today! Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to do all the heavy cleaning in one day. Rather, start by cleaning for an hour a day and before you know it, you’ll not only feel better and accomplish a major project – cleaning your home.
I truly hope this list helps you with your stress and anxiety and you get to pay it forward as well. All we can do in these troubling times is help each other and stay strong!
Don’t forget to read How To Find Freedom from Anxious Thoughts and Feelings too!
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