Life is very fast-paced. It can be very overwhelming with work, family, and personal obligations to fulfill. Such responsibilities can often get too much, impacting your mental health. Mental health problems can affect various areas of life and impair functioning. For example, people can face psychological distress due to financial stress, work, strained relationships, etc. Furthermore, the current pandemic and its side effects have also become a major stressor.
Stress and anxiety are some of the top complaints that people have. It often includes feeling burnout or having anxious thoughts about the future. Although they are normal emotions that humans go through, inability to cope or prolonged exposure to stressful situations can be harmful.
So, let’s look at some healthy and practical tips for managing stress and anxiety.
Pick up healthy habits
Everyone has their way of dealing with stress and anxiety. Unfortunately, some people get into habits like smoking cigarettes, which can be harmful. To manage stress and anxiety, you need to replace bad habits with better ones. If you have picked up smoking cigarettes, try to replace it with vaping instead. Get some vapes from vape shops as a healthier alternative for smoking. It is best not to resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms that can do more damage than good.
Include physical activity in your daily routine
Physical activity is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Hence, research suggests that it is crucial to include at least 30 minutes of exercise in your daily routine. It can have numerous benefits for your physical and mental health. For example, physical activity acts as an outlet for all the built-up tension and gives you a point of focus. Furthermore, it releases endorphins that reduce stress and elevate your mood. In addition to this, staying healthy and feeling good about yourself is also great for your mental health.
Focus on yourself
It is crucial to take some time out of your daily routine and focus on yourself. People often face burnout when they push themselves to the edge and take on more responsibilities than they can handle. So, self-care is essential for maintaining your mental health. You can engage in any activity that you find pleasing. For instance, you can read a book, join a club, take a hot bath, have a spa day, or stay in bed and watch your favorite show.
Procrastination is a common trait in which people put off tasks until the last minute. Although procrastination is not a significant problem, it has some side effects. For instance, if you waste time and put off work till the last minute, you will have less time to complete the task. Hence, you will feel stressed and anxious. So, it is essential to manage your time wisely. It will give you plenty of time to complete your work efficiently and leave some time to yourself.
Human beings are social animals. Therefore, emotional and social support from family and friends can help you deal with stressful situations. Moreover, talking to your loved ones can also help relieve stress and anxiety. On the other hand, loneliness can increase stress levels, cause sleep problems, and more.
Try deep breathing and relaxation
Mental health issues can often present themselves as physical symptoms. For instance, shortness of breath is one of the top physical signs of anxiety. So, try deep breathing exercises when you feel like your anxious thoughts are taking over you, and you can’t breathe. Breathing slowly and deeply helps you calm down and lowers your heart rate. This technique is beneficial for managing anxiety and stress.
Similarly, when we are stressed, we often face muscle tension. Again, you can work on reducing this with the help of progressive muscle relaxation. In this technique, you focus on a group of muscles one by one. First, you tense a group of muscles, hold it for a few seconds, then release it. You have to repeat this process several times. For instance, you can start by focusing on your feet. Curl your toes outwards as hard as possible, hold it for 3-4 seconds, then release. Repeat.
Mindfulness entails being present aware of our surroundings our thoughts without being overwhelmed. Mindfulness is practiced through meditation and MBCT, a form of cognitive-behavioral therapy. It helps us reflect on our thoughts without rejecting or overemphasizing them. When you allow yourself to feel complex thoughts and emotions, it can provide clarity and often help reduce the problems. So, practicing mindfulness can help alleviate stress and anxiety.
There are several ways to cope with stress and anxiety. However, they may not be enough due to prolonged issues or inability to cope. In addition, feeling stressed and anxious almost always can be overwhelming and negatively impact your quality of life. So, if you feel like things are getting out of hand, it is advised to consult a therapist. Therapy is the most effective way to deal with mental health issues. It provides an outlet for all your thoughts and feelings without judgment or bias. It allows you to understand your problems in a better way and identify any underlying issues or triggers. Moreover, therapists help in learning healthy coping mechanisms as well.
People often forget to take some time out for themselves and take a break to pursue their goals. As a result, it leaves them feeling stressed and anxious about the future. Consequently, it can hurt their mental health and overall well-being. Although feeling stressed and anxious can be draining, you can manage it with a few simple tips and tricks. For instance, you can choose to vape, especially if you are a smoker. It can help you in breaking your smoking habit and provide stress relief.
Moreover, you can also go for exercise, meditation, deep breathing, and much more to manage symptoms. Last but not least, you should never forget to take some time out for yourself and engage in some self-care. However, if you feel like you cannot get rid of these feelings, it is best to consult a professional to help you fight the anxiety and stress.
David Tobin did his degree in psychology at the University of Hertfordshire. He is interested in mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.