Stress and anxiety are on the rise in the United States and worldwide. Statistics show that an estimate of 40 million Americans live with a form of anxiety disorder. Stress is the demand a person’s brain places on their physical body. When there are competing demands by the brain, the body feels stress.
There’s a thin line of difference between stress and anxiety as both are emotional responses due to a certain trigger. Some common examples of triggers include a work deadline, an argument, inability to work, or a chronic illness.
Many people increase the stress and anxiety in their lives unconsciously. For that reason, it’s important to stop behaviors that cause unnecessary stress and encourage actions that reduce stress.
Here are ten efficient ways to reduce stress and anxiety in 2022:
1. Use Electronics Less
Cut down the use of electronic devices like computers, smartphones, and tablets, even though they seem unavoidable in everyday life. Using electronics too often may increase levels of stress and anxiety in individuals. Studies have suggested that there’s a significant relationship between excessive use of electronic devices like smartphones and stress.
2. Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Taking too much caffeine causes increased anxiety due to the “fight or flight” response the substance causes. Alcohol also changes serotonin levels in the body affecting the brain’s chemical balance and causing anxiety.
According to the FDA, 400 mg of caffeine per day shouldn’t cause adverse effects. For alcohol, it’s advisable not to drink more than two drinks per day for men and a drink daily for women. A standard drink is 4 oz of wine, 1.5 oz of 80-proof alcohol, 12 oz beer, and 1 oz of 100-proof alcohol.
3. Take Personal Time
Take a break and spend more time outside relaxing. Research shows that spending time in green spaces like forests, parks, and serene environments helps manage stress. Make time for leisure activities like hobbies or games to calm pressure. After breaks, you will perform better and become more efficient.
Socializing creates a form of emotional support that helps reduce stress and anxiety. Social connections help reduce the damaging effects of stress and anxiety. However, it may be difficult to socialize normally with family and friends due to quarantine and the pandemic. Consider using phone calls, video calls, and social media messaging.
5. Acknowledge Triggers
Identifying and acknowledging triggers can help individuals develop suitable coping techniques to manage stress and anxiety. You shouldn’t avoid your triggers, as doing so can increase symptoms of stress and anxiety. Common anxiety triggers include caffeine, negative thinking, financial concerns, and social events.
6. Understand How to De-escalate
Prepare to de-escalate when feeling overwhelmed to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. For proper anxiety de-escalation, you need to escalate relaxation by controlling breathing, increasing physical activity, and harnessing worry. It’s advisable to confront worry and sometimes think about the worst-case scenario and ways to overcome it.
7. Accept Imperfection
Accepting imperfection will make you stress less over the outcome of many events that can raise anxiety. Note that accepting imperfection doesn’t mean being carefree about responsibilities or goals. It signifies the freedom and permission to perform tasks without tying the outcome to your self-worth.
For instance, you may put all your effort into a task and get bad feedback. However, don’t let that affect your self-worth.
8. Learn to Say No
Taking control of your personal life and learning to say no can reduce stress. Learning to say “no” is especially important for people that find themselves taking more than they can handle. Ensure that you are selective about what you take on and say no to things that heighten stress levels.
9. Stay Healthy
Practice healthy habits like exercising, eating balanced diets, and performing regular medical checks. Many studies prove that regular exercising improves symptoms of anxiety. It’s also advisable to consume more whole foods like fruits, beans, and vegetables.
Maintaining a regular check with the doctor is also important to stay healthy. Perform sensory screenings on eyesight and hearing. Consider using progressive glasses frames to protect recommended lenses.
10. Do What You Love
Engaging in fun activities and hobbies are some of the best ways to ease stress. Some common activities you can try include gardening, knitting, and painting. Whatever your interest is, studies show that they are likely to reduce stress levels and cause a better mood.
Take Back Control!
You can take back control of your life and feel reduced stress levels with only a few steps. Take time to review your activities to know what part needs fixing up. If you’re experiencing any other signs of stress and anxiety that seem abnormal, consider speaking to a licensed doctor.