You try to live your daily life as carefree and happy as you’d like, but certain circumstances can prevent you from doing so. It could be a stressful situation, a high-pressure instance, or a traumatic event. And generally, people’s reaction to such things varies. Some people can manage problems more effectively, with some shrugging such challenges off, while there are those who crumble under pressure and get consumed by their stress and anxiety.
Managing the negative effects of stress and anxiety is easier said than done. And in most cases, it’s a constant battle that some people continue to face. But with determination, proper guidance, and the right coping mechanisms, one can overcome its symptoms and diminish its negative impacts.
Stress is how your body responds to an external trigger or situation beyond your control. When something happens that you can’t manage, often, you’ll feel your heart racing, your breath in increments, your palms perspiring, your head throbbing, and your decisions skewed.
In 2020, the top three leading causes of stress in the United States were the pandemic, the rising cost of health care, and mass shootings. These three circumstances are beyond anybody’s control, but thinking about them constantly can make one’s mind go into overdrive.
On the other hand, anxiety refers to an emotional response due to persistent and excessive worry, even without a specific trigger. Mild anxiety can be manageable by applying symptom management techniques and coping mechanisms. However, in cases wherein your anxiety and stress already start interfering with your daily activities and outlook in life, seeking professional help may be ideal.
Furthermore, here are some tips that can help you diminish the negative impacts of stress and anxiety.
Caring for both your physical and mental well-being is one of the best things you can do to combat the effects of stress and anxiety. Essentially, by countering anxiety with better health and doing the things that promote living well, you increase happiness and encourage your mind to feel and think more positively. This can go a long way in helping you manage stress more effectively.
Here are some self-care tips you can do:
A night of good restful sleep can make you feel focused, reduce your anxiety, increase your creativity and maintain your weight. Staging your room for a night of restful sleep can make you sleep faster and longer, allowing you to wake up feeling refreshed and invigorated.
While some may say that being on their phone and social media de-stresses them, it’d be good to note that too much screen time can also hurt and be counterintuitive. For one, staying on your devices with its strong blue light can affect your circadian rhythm and disrupt your sleep patterns. In addition, reading negative news and content could also trigger stress and anxiety.
Social media, for instance, can help you connect with friends and relatives, but it can also wreak havoc on your mental health. And so, it can be helpful to limit your screen time to at least two hours a day.
Investing your time in something that sparks your interest and joy can be another way to help you diminish the negative impacts of stress and anxiety. For instance, if you’re into music, learn to play a new instrument and have something fun and interesting to look forward to on your day off from work.
Being surrounded by people who genuinely care about you can help you cope with stressful situations better. Moreover, physical touch, such as cuddling, hugging, and holding hands, releases dopamine and oxytocin in your body. Essentially, these are your body’s happy and love hormones that crush the presence of cortisol, the hormones related to stress.
A pet like a dog or a cat is a great companion that can give you endless smiles and laughter. They’re loyal companions that’ll stick with you through thick or thin. Research suggests that petting your furry pal can help lower cortisol or stress hormone levels while interacting and playing with them can give you a surge of oxytocin or feel-good hormone.
Dealing with stress and anxiety is no easy feat, but possible. You can reach out to a mental health professional to seek assistance as a good start. You can also consider simple tips such as practicing self-care, spending more time and family, and even adopting a pet.