Stress changes the way you see and interact with the world. It’s nearly impossible to comprehend and enjoy even the smallest things when you’re too wound up to function. Is anxiety ruling your life? Is stress totally stressing you out?
Here’s what you can do every day to relieve your worst anxiety symptoms and live life to the fullest, no matter what.
1. Practice meditation
According to Mental Health America, meditation has many benefits to both physical and psychological health. In addition to reducing stress and easing anxiety symptoms, it’s also an effective tool for managing chronic pain. You don’t have to sit cross-legged with your eyes closed to feel its effects, though. Yoga, deep breathing exercises, and even walking alone or spending time with a pet allow you time to reflect on and deal with your many racing thoughts.
2. Eat more blueberries (yes, really)
Start your day with the right foods to stop anxiety before it has the chance to wake up. No, you don’t have to eat blueberries with every meal — or even every day. Do incorporate more antioxidant- and B vitamin-rich foods into your daily diet though, Men’s Fitness says this can help combat stress.
Oatmeal, spinach, and almonds are also excellent anxiety-crushing foods, keeping your brain in balance and your cortisol levels in check.
3. Find relief in fitness
Fitness is just as good for your mental health as it is for your physical well-being. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, people who exercise regularly experience anxiety at lower rates than those who don’t. Physical activity triggers the release of endorphins, mood-boosting hormones that can help ease your anxiety symptoms. Just 150 minutes of exercise a week can make you a less anxious and much healthier human.
4. Phone a friend
Spending time with friends is a great way to combat stress, says Cleveland Clinic Wellness. However, if you’re dealing with symptoms of social anxiety, it’s not always easy to meet up with friends when you’re on edge. Texting and messaging apps aren’t quite the same as seeing someone in person, but scheduling a daily chat with a supportive friend might still help improve your symptoms. It can help guide your mind away from your anxious thoughts, even if it’s only a temporary solution.
5. Prioritize your sleep
Sometimes, sleep falls a little too low on your list of priorities — which only increases feelings of stress. When anxiety takes control of your brain, getting a good night’s sleep is one of the best remedies to ease your symptoms, says Scientific American. That’s easier said than done, of course, since anxiety can also interfere with your sleep. When you feel overwhelmed, sometimes it’s best to relax.
Try these strategies to fall asleep faster and get some much-needed rest.
6. Have some tea
Many types of tea contain chemicals that relax you. Committing to a mug of hot tea in the evening or a glass of iced tea during the day can help keep you calm even when stress threatens your sanity. The Huff Post suggests drinking chamomile, peppermint, or green tea to calm your anxieties and relax when you’re home alone. Tea is quick, easy, and relatively inexpensive to prepare and store, making it a natural remedy definitely worth trying.
7. Detox from social media
Is your phone doing you more harm than good? According to Anxiety.org, your fear of missing out could be contributing to your constant worry and stress. You don’t have to quit social media entirely — staying connected with friends is good for your mental health. At the end of the day, though, take an hour or so to unwind — without your phone in hand. This gives you time to relax and reflect, without a steady stream of notifications to distract you.