Everyone experiences stress and anxiety from time to time. For some, however, these feelings can have a serious impact on wellbeing and self-esteem and can even start to produce adverse physical effects. Fortunately, if you’re feeling overwhelmed by stress and anxiety, there are things you can do to turn these emotions around and start feeling much calmer and happier. Here are a few of the most effective:
1. Remember That Your Feelings Will Pass
One of the first steps to overcoming negative emotions is recognizing that they are a fundamental part of everyday life and will soon pass. Rather than trying to suppress your anxiety, accepting the fact that you are stressed out and that life can be difficult will help to put your troubles into perspective and leave you feeling calmer.
2. Learn A Few Coping Mechanisms To Soothe Your Discomfort
Whilst you are waiting for your anxiety to pass, there are a few things you can do to combat the uncomfortable physical symptoms of stress such as a racing heart, quickened breathing, and excessive sweating. These include:
• Practising the 4-8-8 breathing technique: To perform this action, breathe in deeply for four seconds, hold the breath for eight seconds, exhale for eight seconds, and repeat. This kind of deep breathing is designed to soothe anxious feelings and help people feel restful.
• Focus on relaxing your muscles: Anxiety can cause the muscles to feel tense and tight. To tackle this, try tightening and releasing the muscles in your body one by one until you start to feel calmer and more comfortable.
• Come up with some helpful mantras: Developing a few motivating mantras to repeat to yourself during times of stress can be very helpful. Practice phrases such as “I am safe” and “this will pass” every time you can feel an anxiety attack coming on.
3. Try To Eat and Drink Healthily
Some foods and beverages can exacerbate feelings of anxiety, even when consumed in small amounts. These primarily include products containing caffeine and alcohol. Swapping beer and coffee for herbal tea or a simple glass of water could improve your mental health in a dramatic way. Some herbal teas may actually help to lower stress levels. These include chamomile, lavender, valerian root, and passionflower.
4. Get Active
Regular exercise is good for more than just one’s physical health. Indeed, the past few years have seen a significant amount of scientific research into the positive effects of physical activity on mental health. This is because the body releases special chemicals known as endorphins during exercise, which can trigger feelings of euphoria and improve concentration levels. Getting fit doesn’t have to be costly – try going for a walk with friends or a light jog.
5. Get In Touch With Your Spiritual Side
Whether you consider yourself a religious person or not, most of us have a spiritual side. Spending time on your relationship with God, for example, could be a good place to start, as prayer can be a healing and calming process. Meditation is another practice that may help to put things into perspective and improve your mental wellbeing.