Life gets overwhelming and stressful. Stress happens to everyone, so it’s nothing to feel bad about, but it is something to get proactive about.
Did you know that anxiety is a problem that can affect anyone, anywhere? It’s estimated that one in every 13 people around the globe suffers from anxiety.
Unfortunately, the millennial generation appears to be more heavily affected by anxiety, but that could also be a reflection of their general acceptance of mental health concerns and their ability to talk about it. In the past, these concerns were often ignored or hidden. Today’s open acceptance of stress makes it easier to deal with.
Tips to Relieve Stress and Boost Mood
While having occasional anxiety about your grades, your overwhelming responsibilities, and your relationships is common, having an excessive and irrational dread of everyday situations is more serious and could mean an underlying anxiety disorder.
If you think you have more stress than normal, it’s a great idea to get professional help. But for regular anxiety and mood-killing stress, the following tips can help you feel more chill and handle stress better. In addition to this list, you can always find more tips on Facebook @livewelllabsnutrition and Instagram @livewelllabs.
If you hate the gym and lifting weights sounds like torture, then it’s time to try something else. The evidence is in, and exercise is a surefire way to manage stress. So, maybe you try something new like a dance class, or hop on your fixie and ride around a bit, try a simple walk through the park, or grab your water bottle and challenge yourself to see how far you can hike.
All of these things release endorphins, which act as the body’s natural painkillers and sleep aids. Even five minutes of aerobic exercise can have powerful anti-anxiety effects.
The best way to get nutrients and other compounds that can lower stress is by consuming them in foods and beverages. Of course, that’s not always an option, so a few supplements might help boost your mood and get you through stressful times. Try these:
♦ Omega-3 fatty acids are proven to reduce anxiety and inflammation.
♦ Are you an ashwagandha supplement fan yet? You should be, it can reduce the stress hormone cortisol, putting you on a more level field.
♦ Green tea is the perfect drink with polyphenol antioxidants that lower stress and anxiety while boosting those feel-good serotonin levels.
♦ Rhodiola dates back to 77 A.D. (or C.E.) as a well-respected mood-booster, and it’s been proven to reduce stress and increase alertness.
3. Essential Oils
If supplements seem like too much commitment to you, how about trying some essential oils instead. The most calming scents include:
♦ Ylang ylang
♦ Orange or orange blossom
There are a number of different ways to use essential oils, so make sure you read about the ones you want to use and the best way to use them. They can be very strong, so many need to be diluted before use.
4. Live a Decaf Life
Okay, you don’t have to go total decaf, but even cutting back on caffeine can help. High doses increase anxiety, and each person can react differently. If you find that you feel jittery and more anxious after caffeine, cut back.
Getting into a habit of journaling is a great way to identify what situations cause you the most stress. It also can give you an outlet to work out those feelings. Write about them and focus on what’s really bothering you and the potential solutions.
6. Gather Your Crew
Your social circle is a powerful tool when it comes to feeling a sense of belonging and self-worth. But it’s even better than that. Socializing can prompt the release of dopamine and oxytocin. These natural chemicals are connected to your reward system and the feelings of love. What a great way to boost mood and calm anxieties!
Make this time even more valuable by making sure there’s a lot of laughter. Laughing can relieve tension in your muscles and boost your immune system and mood. It also is really good at confusing your body’s stress response and stopping your regular cycle of anxiety.
7. Take Charge
If your life is really too full of commitments and you simply can’t keep up, then don’t. Take charge of your life and your schedule by learning to say no. If you don’t want to do something or it causes you to miss out on things you want to do, then you should say no.
If you are a world-class procrastinator, then it might not be that you have too much to do but that you’re not doing it. Getting in the habit of prioritizing and then knocking things off your to-do list can be addicting and immensely satisfying. But it takes some work and a lot of effort.
8. Practice Mindfulness
Be present at the moment because the right now is where it’s at. If you’re anchored to the present moment and not letting your monkey brain run wild, you’ll be better able to avoid negative thoughts.
There are a lot of different ways to practice mindfulness, some will work for you and some won’t. Give a few of them a try and find your own secret recipe.
9. Take a Tech Break
Put the phone down and walk away from the screen. Hey, tech is great, we know it’s a huge part of your life, but there is an off button, and you can use it. In fact, you should use it.
♦ Less blue light means better sleep.
♦ Avoid text neck by looking up.
♦ Overstimulation from constant use causes stress.
♦ Putting tech aside in favor of friend and family time strengthens relationships.
While taking a few minutes for a tech break is easy, taking a day off or several hours might feel like torture. That’s because you’re addicted.
Try taking breaks in small doses at first, and then add a little bit more time off, or try avoiding another app. Build onto your tech-free time to see if it helps your anxiety.
If you really want to be your best you and live the life you were meant to have, then you need to free yourself from stress and anxiety as much as possible. Fortunately, there are several different methods of relieving stress so you can try different ones, use several at once, switch for different occasions.
You’ll find that once you start taking steps to make yourself happier and remove stress from your life, you’ll instantly be a better you. You got this, and luckily, as a millennial, you’ve got a support system that understands.
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