Stress and anxiety are common problems that can impact pretty much anyone. Maybe you’re dealing with chronic stress due to issues at work or home, or maybe you have an underlying anxiety disorder that’s hard to treat. Therapy and medications can help, but you should also take steps to prevent anxiety and stress in your daily life as much as possible.
Fortunately, there are many impactful ways to reduce your stress and anxiety levels. Some of these require simple life changes and are very simple to carry out. Others might require you to incorporate new daily habits or hobbies that can help improve your mood and relieve your mental distress. No matter what the cause of your issues, here are eight of the most impactful ways to counteract anxiety and stress.
Get Some Physical Activity
It’s no secret that getting active can quickly reduce your stress levels. Physical exercise releases endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel less depressed and anxious. Not only will you feel good while you’re exercising, but the boost in your mental wellbeing can last all day, not to mention you’ll also feel productive and accomplished for getting something done.
Plus, there are tons of ways to introduce more physical activity to your daily routine. If going for a run or hitting the gym isn’t your style, you could try going for a long walk or hiking. You can even get some exercise at home – try yoga, calisthenics, or circuit training. You could even go to a dance or martial arts class for a fun way to get active.
Improve Your Diet
Poor eating habits don’t just affect your physical health – they can also have a huge impact on your mental health. For instance, preservatives often worsen hyperactivity and depression. Too much salt and sugar can cause you to crash and feel lethargic. Overeating or undereating can also worsen mental health issues.
Try to introduce healthy, mood-boosting foods to your diet. Fruits, vegetables, lean meat and fish, nuts, and legumes are all great foods for your brain – as well as having various benefits for your body. With that said, you don’t need to eliminate all your favorite comfort foods – having an occasional treat can also help improve your mood.
Get More Sunlight
Sunlight is incredibly important for your mood – hence why many people feel more depressed during winter or even suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). Not only does getting some fresh air and sunlight make you feel more awake and alert, but it’ll also boost your vitamin D levels which can help reduce stress and anxiety.
You should aim to get at least 20 to 30 minutes of sunlight a day, if not more. You should also keep your windows open to let the light in. This is harder during the winter, especially if you live somewhere where long, dark days are common, but you can also invest in a sunlight lamp for your room.
Take Vitamin D Supplements
Low vitamin D levels are often responsible for mental health issues. Many people suffer from anxiety, stress, and depression due to their vitamin D levels getting too low, and while getting sunlight will help, sometimes you’ll also need an extra boost to maintain optimal vitamin D levels.
Luckily, it’s very easy to increase your vitamin D levels simply by using vitamin D supplements. You can find these in health stores or even buy them online. You might want to take a 4,000 IU Vitamin D3 tablet each day to heighten your levels, or even take more if your levels are especially low.
Set Daily Goals
Goal-setting is an incredible way to take control of your life and achieve the things you want to achieve. On top of that, setting daily goals and completing them will do wonders for your mental health. You’ll feel happier, more confident, and less stressed and anxious overall.
You don’t need to set lofty goals – simply set small, achievable goals each day and make them a little more challenging as time goes on. These goals could relate to your career, fitness, finances, diet, hobbies, or anything else that’s important to you. For instance, you could challenge yourself to write 500 words one day and 1000 the next to help you complete an essay.
Improve Your Finances
Financial health and mental health often go hand-in-hand. If you’re struggling with money and feel overwhelmed by bills, debts, and other expenses, you’ll likely end up feeling much more stressed and anxious. In contrast, taking control of your money can help you counteract the stress and even feel good about your financial status.
Saving more money always helps. Paying more towards your debts can also help. You might want to set yourself a goal to clear your smallest debt as soon as possible before taking on bigger debts. It can also help to enhance your earnings, either by finding a better job or taking on a side hustle such as freelancing, Uber driving, or selling things online.
Start A New Hobby
Learning new things, achieving goals, and improving your skills can all contribute to a better mental state. When you’re focused on a certain hobby or interest, stress and anxiety often fade away as you have something interesting, enjoyable, and rewarding to focus on. That’s why it helps to start a new hobby.
The best hobbies for counteracting stress and anxiety often involve learning something new. For instance, you might want to try learning the guitar, learning a dance, or learning a language. Alternatively, relaxing hobbies such as reading, watching movies, or playing video games can also help reduce your stress and improve your mood.
Spend Time With Animals
Spending time with loved ones is a very effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. While hanging out with your family and friends will help, spending time with your pets is also one of the best ways to enhance your mood.
Whether you have a dog, cat, rabbit, or another pet, spending time playing with them and bonding with them will do wonders for your mental health. If you don’t have a pet, playing with a friend’s pet or even visiting a local animal shelter can help.
If you’re dealing with anxiety and stress in your daily life, make sure you use these tips to counteract it. While it won’t go away overnight, introducing habits and activities that help you reduce these issues can go a long way. As time goes on, you’ll find yourself feeling more happy, confident, and mentally healthy, resulting in a better quality of life overall.