Stress and anxiety can occur at any time and can be triggered by a wide variety of external and internal factors.
If you are experiencing troubles with either, it is always wise to speak to your GP or a health professional, however, there are a number of ways in which you can reduce the symptoms yourself.
How to reduce stress naturally
What causes stress or anxiety?
A little understanding can go a long way when it comes to facing your stresses and worries. Stress is usually a reaction to an intense or high-pressure situation or situations; work, family and social life can all contribute. It is perfectly normal sometimes to feel stressed; however, too much of it can begin to have an impact on physical and mental health. Stress becomes a problem if you start to feel overwhelmed or can’t cope.
There is no definitive answer to what causes anxiety, although researchers know that it can be triggered by many of the same scenarios as stress. However, you may be more prone to anxiety due to genetics or a hormone imbalance. Your past, physical health, lifestyle or current situation can also affect it.
How to reduce stress and anxiety
Ways to tackle stress and anxiety are often very similar. Here you can learn some simple techniques that help many people who are struggling.
Meditation and breathing
Meditation and the art of being present are useful methods to help give yourself a break. Mindfulness charity mindful.org recommends using meditation to get in touch with your body and emotions to help understand them better. Focusing on the wider present moment can help to carve a gap between you and anxiety. Focusing on breathing is helpful if you find it difficult to switch off.
All exercise is good for mental health, and numerous studies show that regular exercise can help to reduce stress levels. It doesn’t stop there. Exercise can also improve cognitive function, reduce fatigue and boost endorphins, all of which are great for mental health. You don’t have to hit the gym hard to feel the benefits – jogging for 5-10 minutes a day or short yoga sessions can help.
We’ve known for a long time that the way we’re feeling can affect our stomachs. Ever had that knotted feeling or butterflies when you’re anxious? Only recently have scientists started paying more attention to how what we put in our bodies can affect our mental health. A healthy, balanced diet can have lots of benefits, and that includes a reduction in anxiety.
There is evidence to suggest that using a good quality hemp oil can help you to feel less stressed and anxious. It is a non-psychoactive compound taken from the hemp plant, and it works by stimulating the body’s endocannabinoid system which is thought be responsible for helping to regulate mood, appetite and sleep.
A problem shared is a problem halved. We’ve all heard the saying and, in many ways, it is entirely accurate. Talking to someone either on a personal or professional level is often recommended by health professionals as a way to help all aspects of mental health. Counselling is often recommended because it allows you to talk about your feelings in a safe environment, with someone who can help you to understand your thoughts and emotions better.
Self-care is the ultimate tool to allow yourself a little ‘me time’ and really focus on yourself. It will vary from person to person as, ultimately, self-care is all about doing what you love. Doing something creative, having a hot bath or a going for a massage or beauty treatment are all examples, just make sure you make regular time for yourself.
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