How to Tackle Stress & Anxiety
When life takes an unexpected turn, it can be easy to think that it will never be harmonious again. Whether it’s the stresses of a new job or the loss of a loved one, there’s no need to feel embarrassed to admit if it’s starting to get on top of you. There are lots of little ways that you can help yourself or a loved one feel better every day, and we’ve compiled some of our favourites below:
- Simple breathing exercise – it may sound silly, but adopting a proper breathing pattern has been proven to help people in all sorts of situations, from those with high blood pressure to insomniacs. Here is a simple image to help regulate breathing; draw breath in through your nose as the shapes enlarge, and out through your mouth as they get smaller. View: http://i.imgur.com/Huou7Gh.gif
- Meditation and Yoga – the calming effects of meditation and yoga make them staples for many people in difficult situations. You can find courses at your local gym for all levels of age and mobility, or teach yourself for free from a YouTube.com video or book.
- Do something you love – whether it’s arts & crafts or a jog in the park, doing something you enjoy (even just for 10 minutes a day) is one of the best ways to de-stress. Taking time for yourself is important to nurture yourself and experience self-care and self-love. When we neglect ourselves this puts added stress and confusion on top of already tough situations. Sometimes the best thing to do is focus on you and everything else will fall into place.
- Keep a balanced diet – it can be tempting to skip meals or over-snack when you’re feeling stressed, but eating right is the best way to give your body what it needs to function properly. Keep healthy snacks on-hand and get your mind off your worries by planning the week’s meals ahead of time.
- Make sure you’re getting enough sleep – sleep is vital to overcoming stress, but it can be one of the hardest things to do when our minds are running wild with anxiety. Improve your night’s rest by getting some exercise in the day (whether that’s a walk with the dog or a round of tennis) and try not to get up later than 9am, even if you have nothing planned that day. This way, you’re creating a routine and you’re more likely to be tired in the evenings.
- Calming Music – it doesn’t have to be hours of whale noises, but any music or sounds that you find soothing are perfect if you can’t sleep or you’re feeling the pressure. Even listening to this recording of rain while reading or relaxing can be calming.
- Talk about it – many of us keep our problems to ourselves, often letting the tension and stress get bottled up, this can only end harming your more than opening up and talking about what’s on your mind. There’s no shame in admitting that you need a helping hand, and you’d be surprised by how much just talking to your friends and family can help. You can also contact NoPanic, a charity helpline designed to help people in stressful situations, and your GP is always available if things get too tough.