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You get a flat tire just as you’re getting ready to leave on an important business trip. Your laptop crashes right before a major deadline. A simple math mistake leaves your bank account overdrawn. The list goes on and on.
These are the everyday roadblocks we all have to deal with. Sometimes we have a bad day, or even a terrible day. At times, it may seem like we have an entire week—or a month—that is horrible. Thankfully, these glitches in the road of life are usually temporary. Tires, computers, and bank accounts can all be fixed.
However, the curveballs that life throws at you can have a significant effect on your long-term well-being and health, unless you learn how to handle them. If you are living in a constant state of worry, anxiety, and stress, it can reduce your life expectancy. Are you always stressed? Finding some natural ways to manage stress and anxiety could benefit you for many, many years down the road.
Six Natural Ways to Manage Stress and Anxiety:
Most of us could probably use a more active lifestyle, and it turns out the exercise is a great way to manage stress and anxiety. Working out and being active actually triggers several responses in the body that can help relieve stress.
Stress-hormones: When you exercise, the body’s stress hormone (called cortisol) is reduced. At the same time, endorphins are released. Endorphins are chemicals that can not only improve your mood, but they can also act as natural pain killers.
Sleep: Getting plenty of exercise also improves the quality of your sleep, and getting enough rest helps you cope with stress and anxiety better.
Confidence: Exercising regularly can boost your confidence, and make you feel more competent and in control. This improves your general well-being, while decreasing the amount of anxiety you feel in your everyday life.
If you dread the thought of going to the gym, that’s ok! There are lots of activities you can participate in that are very enjoyable, while still providing great exercise. Try to find a physical activity that you enjoy, such as rock climbing, yoga, dancing, running, or even just taking a walk in the great outdoors. Walking, jogging, and similar activities that require repetitive movements of your large muscle groups are particularly useful for relieving stress.
2. Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine
Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine have been used to treat stress and anxiety for thousands of years. During an acupuncture session, an acupuncture physician uses ultra-fine needles to stimulate various acupuncture points throughout the body. The acupuncturist treats the underlying imbalances that are causing your anxiety, rather than just treating the anxiety itself. They believe in treating the entire body and mind as a whole.
Many people who receive regular acupuncture treatments find them to be extremely calming and relaxing. The treatments are not painful, and many patients even fall asleep during a session. Acupuncture provides a safe, drug-free way to reduce anxiety and stress that is just as effective as pharmaceutical antidepressants, without the dangerous side effects.
Chinese herbs are often used in conjunction with acupuncture to help balance the body’s energy levels so that you can better manage stress. Because Chinese medicine focuses on treating the entire body, each patient receives a customized treatment plan that could include Chinese herbs, lifestyle changes, and massage, along with regular acupuncture treatments. Many patients notice positive results after just one treatment.
With today’s hectic lifestyle, eating a proper diet has become more and more difficult. Some scientists even believe that our soil has become so depleted of nutrients that you simply cannot take in adequate nutrition from food. Supplementing with essential vitamins and minerals each day is a smart way to help your body cope with stress and anxiety while improving your overall health.
Supplementing with Omega-3 Fatty Acids can reduce anxiety symptoms by as much as 30%. Personalized vitamin packs can take the guesswork out of making sure that your body gets exactly what it needs to cope with daily stress and anxiety.
Some herbal supplements have been shown to help combat stress and anxiety, too. Herbs like lemon balm, valerian, and kava kava are great for reducing anxiety levels. Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine for treating stress. Even green tea can help to lower stress and anxiety because it contains polyphenol antioxidants that can boost serotonin levels.
4. Yoga and Meditation
Yoga is becoming more and more popular for people of all ages because it’s a relaxing way to get some exercise while reducing stress. There are several different styles of yoga, but they usually have the same goal of calming the mind and body through stretching, proper breathing, and meditative techniques.
Studies show that yoga could be just as useful for treating anxiety and depression as antidepressant drugs. It can also enhance your mood and improve overall feelings of well-being. It is believed that these benefits come from the effect yoga has on the nervous system and your body's stress response.
5. Spend more quality time with your pet.
Petting and cuddling with your pet could improve your mood and reduce stress. Some studies have shown that interacting with pets triggers the release of oxytocin, a chemical in the brain that promotes a positive mood. Pets also provide companionship, keep you active, and give your purpose, which are all effective in reducing anxiety and stress.
6. Learn how to say no.
You can’t always control the amount of stress in your life, but sometimes you can. Take charge of the things in your life that cause you stress and are under your control. If you find that you are always overloaded, overwhelmed, and juggling too many things, you may need to learn how to say no sometimes. Don’t take on more than you can handle.
Stress and anxiety are an unavoidable part of life. The way you choose to manage them each day, can impact your overall longevity and well-being. Doing everything you can to decrease your stress levels and reduce anxiety in your life just makes sense.