Stress and anxiety will always play a role in our lives. There will always be an event or situation that leads to unease and makes us nervous.
No matter how hard we try, we can’t control everything around us and prevent stress or anxiety from surfacing at some point. What we can do is establish habits that help us manage our stress and anxiety more effectively, leading to a more peaceful and fulfilling life.
Have you ever hit the gym after a stressful day at work or school? Do you remember how you felt by the end of your session?
Like most people, you probably felt much better, and your worries felt like distant memories. Of course, exercise alone cannot resolve issues, but it can make us better able to handle them with grace (1).
Exercise is a great way to blow off steam and flood the body with endorphins that bring euphoria and lift our mood for hours (2, 3). The best part is, we don’t have to do lots of exercise to reap the benefits. As little as ten to twenty minutes of moderately intense physical activity can be enough for us to start feeling much better.
Meditation might seem like a gimmick, but the practice has been around for thousands of years and has helped countless people find peace.
The great thing about meditation is that you don’t have to do it for a long time to reap its benefits. Quality matters much more than quantity. You can begin by closing your eyes and focusing on your breathing for a few minutes in the morning or night. Be conscious of your thoughts and allow them to pass without getting emotional or going down a rabbit hole of thought patterns. Free your mind as much as you can and simply exist in the moment.
3. Spend Time With Loved Ones
We are social creatures, and spending time with others plays a vital role in our health and well-being. According to research, social isolation is associated with a higher risk of depression, anxiety, and suicide (6).
Spending time with loved ones is an excellent way to reduce the risk of mental disorders and melt stress. Some studies suggest that being around others promotes the release of oxytocin, a hormone with stress-reducing qualities (7).
4. Learn to Use This Simple Word
Life constantly presents us with obligations. But many people stress themselves out because they can’t use a specific word: No.
While it might sound harsh, saying no is an integral part of stress management because people will always make requests, offer opportunities, and more. Learning what to pursue and decline is vital for time, energy, and stress management.
It’s also important to understand that saying yes to one thing means saying no to something else. So, knowing what opportunities to accept and which ones to decline is important for your health, well-being, and success in life.