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10 Easy Strategies to Limit Stress and Anxiety

Do you feel overwhelmed with everything going on in your life? Do you have too much to do and too little time? Me too. Let’s talk about how we can cope and strategies that take little time and help in the long run.

Do you feel like this? It’s time to take a breath.

In this life, we are constantly on the go. We speed through life as if on a train going fast and pausing at destinations. Instead of getting off at the stop, we rush through and never catch our breaths. I can tell you that I’m a wife, mom, student, and writer. I have so much on my plate I get overwhelmed.

I was diagnosed with General Anxiety Disorder last year after panic attacks, claustrophobia in large crowds, and inability to function normally. A little backstory is that I was mostly home bound for three years. My anxiety is much more manageable, but there are still days I struggle.

We all have work, meetings, deadlines, and more that we are constantly dealing with. At times, we have no time for ourselves or to spend with others. There’s always an assignment, a meeting with my kid’s administrators, deadlines at work, and personal deadlines for my writing. I’m always doing something. I rarely sit down to pause and take time for myself.

I used to do yoga and meditate and I lost time for that too. Not everyone wants to do yoga or sit down and try to breathe through the thoughts zipping and zagging through our minds. Sometimes you may say, shut up about mindfulness. I understand where you are coming from. It can be hard to balance.

So, I’m giving you 10 easy strategies that don’t take too much time and have long-term benefits.

10 coping strategies for stress and anxiety

1. Go outside

This would be a gorgeous spot to sit and read a book.

It’s that simple. Try and spend at least 10 minutes outside breathing in fresh air. Studies show staying inside without access to the natural air filtering through causes headaches and lack of oxygen. Getting outside and breathing in fresh air can alleviate headaches and you can soak in some Vitamin C.

Personally, I spend time outside under a large tree and read a book. I like to take my laptop outside sometimes and write. A change of environment can often alleviate anxiety (in most cases) if you try and find quiet spots to sit outside.

2. Go for a Walk or Hike

I love to go hiking when I have time or when I’m stressed.

If you are into fitness and enjoy hiking, you can get out and hike off that energy you have pent up. It will get those muscles working and your mind will be at ease when you get up that hill or pass the mile mark. I enjoy it and I love nature. Two loves in one. How can you go wrong?

If you don’t like to hike, you can simply go for a walk with a friend or alone. Take some time to walk at least 20 minutes a day. I know we don’t have time, but you’ll thank yourself later. This walk, I should clarify, isn’t part of your commute. This is time uninterrupted and singular to enjoyment. It can be fast or you can slow it down and stroll.

3. Reduce Caffeine Consumption

Coffee can lead to anxiety and stress

This is really hard for me because I usually need it to get through the day. However, I found that I was consuming too much caffeine and it was making my anxiety worse. I would suggest trying to limit your caffeine in small increments. If you drink it all day, try starting with spreading it out over time. Chances are, you’re more addicted to caffeine and making your stress or anxiety worse.

I also suggest trying to drink some decaffeinated tea in between. You may love to drink hot beverages. Start with tea and make sure to check in with your doctor. They are a good reference into ways you can manage how much coffee or caffeine you are in taking. I did this recently and now know my limit. If I go over it, I pay the price.

4. Chew Gum

Gum can help with brain redirection

This one threw me at first. I thought, how the heck is that going to help? It turns out the mundane movement of chewing gum helps your brain to to relax. It can help regulate your stress by calming yourself. The same goes for anxiety. If you feel yourself starting to tense up or get agitated, pop a piece of gum in your mouth for a few minutes.

5. Laugh

Laughing helps you to improve your immune system and relaxes your muscles. The more you laugh, the more relaxed you become. Studies show people who laugh more have less anxiety, depression, and stressful moments. I love watching funny videos on Youtube. My personal favorites are kids and animals. They are hilarious.

6. Cuddle, Hug, and Kiss

Affection including hugging, kissing, and sex reduce stress by releasing Oxycontin and relieving stress. It lowers your cortisol levels (stress hormones) and increases your ability to relax. Positive physical contact is a great way to relieve stress. This isn’t just with a significant other. I hug and cuddle with my kids and it helps a ton. Go cuddle someone or an animal for awhile. It will help you immensely.

7. Deep Breathing

I talked about oxygen before but this is a simple form of meditation that will give you long-term benefits. If you take deep breaths your body relaxes and it will help your brain to change into the emotional part. If you are anxious or stressed, you feel like you are in the fight or flight mode. In that portion of the brain you are unable to think rationally or function to the best of you ability.

When you can relax and feel safe and regulated, you move into the emotional portion of your brain. This is where you can take the time to figure out what you are feeling. These emotions can be positive or negative. When you’re in that portion, you regulate and move to the prefrontal cortex.

The prefrontal cortex is where you reason and make decisions. You critical think and you use most of your skills when you are more regulated stress wise and emotionally. This is what I like to call, the “sweet spot.” Remember that our brains don’t fully develop until we are 26 years old. There is a lot the brain goes through and your stress only inhibits your ability to rationalize and function normally.

8. Try a supplement

Before you turn to supplements, I do recommend you speak to a doctor first. There is such thing as too much vitamins. Be wise and be careful if you choose this path. According to Health-line these are the supplements that you can try and a little info about each one.

  • Lemon balm: Lemon balm is a member of the mint family that has been studied for its anti-anxiety effects (2).
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: One study showed that medical students who received omega-3 supplements experienced a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms (3).
  • Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat stress and anxiety. Several studies suggest that it’s effective (4).
  • Green tea: Green tea contains many polyphenol antioxidants which provide health benefits. It may lower stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels (5).
  • Valerian: Valerian root is a popular sleep aid due to its tranquilizing effect. It contains valerenic acid, which alters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors to lower anxiety.
  • Kava kava: Kava kava is a psychoactive member of the pepper family. Long used as a sedative in the South Pacific, it is increasingly used in Europe and the US to treat mild stress and anxiety

9. Use Candles and Incense to Relax

There are a ton of scents that can help you relax. Here is a list for you to look at.

  • Jasmine
  • Lavender
  • Peppermint
  • Rose
  • Sandalwood
  • Chamomile
  • Lemongrass
  • Pine
  • Ylang Ylang
  • Bergamont
  • Orange Blossom
  • Geranium
  • Apple
  • And more….

There are others that you can try too. This might get you started and may help you put up in your space to help you with some relaxation. Also, you light a candle while you take a bath with lots of bubble or salts or oils. Pamper yourself.

10. Learn to say NO!

You can’t do it all. So, you need to learn to say no. Don’t volunteer if you know it will put too much on your plate. Be realistic in making goals for yourself. Don’t be afraid to speak up and say no when someone tries to pile it on you. The world won’t end if you say no. Be assertive and brave. Put yourself first.

There you have it. I gave you 10 strategies to take some stress and anxiety away. They are simple and you can find time to use them anyway you see fit.

I hope that helps you with ideas on who to limit stress.

2 thoughts on “10 Easy Strategies to Limit Stress and Anxiety”

  1. Great post, Ruth. Thank you for sharing. I’m so impressed you are managing your anxiety disorder so well. It gives me hope. I must try these techniques this week.

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