- November 3, 2018
- Posted by: Stephen Coleclough
- Category: Stress
Many people living in the UK suffer from stress and anxiety.
It’s easy to understand why.
We are constantly inundated with bad news about wars in foreign countries, terrorism, random acts of violence and natural disasters.
On top of that, most people experience even more stress and anxiety relating to their career, family life, and financial problems.
Fortunately, there are many effective techniques available to fight back against stress and anxiety.
They range from meditation and exercise through to simply discussing your problems with other people.
This article will share 5 of the best techniques available.
1) Talk to other people about your feelings
It’s important to understand that you aren’t the only person who regularly experiences feelings of stress and anxiety.
Many of your friends and family members are experiencing the same feelings.
However, because of the stigma associated with mental health, most people are reluctant to talk about the issues causing their stress and anxiety.
Break this habit by engaging in honest discussion with the people in your life.
Ask them if they are suffering from stress and anxiety and share your own experiences.
Because the majority of people suffer from stress and anxiety at some point in their lives, it is very likely that your friends and family will have experienced the same feelings as you.
Discussing these topics is important for several reasons:
- It will help you realise that most of the people around you have experienced periods of poor mental health and that you are not alone
- You may be able to obtain some useful tips for dealing with stress and anxiety from your loved ones
- Once they are aware of your feelings, your loved ones will help you get through any periods of severe stress and anxiety
- You may discover that one of the your friends or family members has severe stress and anxiety — meaning your intervention could be very helpful for them as well
2) Learn to control your thoughts
Many people experiencing stress and anxiety don’t have complete control over the thoughts that pop into their heads.
They experience a rapid succession of negative thoughts that trigger feelings of fear, jealousy, anxiety, and self-loathing.
When one negative thought leaves their minds, another one quickly replaces it.
It can be an exhausting experience.
In Buddhist philosophy, these kinds of unsettled, restless, or confused thoughts are said to have come from the “monkey mind”.
Buddhists believe that calming the monkey mind is essential for obtaining inner peace.
Some of the tactics that are useful for calming your monkey mind include:
Meditating for 10 to 15 minutes each day can help you calm your mind and gain more control over the thoughts that pop into your head.
Read this guide to try mindfulness meditation.
Talking to your monkey mind
When a negative thought pops into your head, don’t ignore it.
Actively recognise that thought and process it.
If it is something that needs to be done, make a note of it somewhere.
If it is an irrational fear or anxiety about the future, remind yourself that everything will be fine.
If you are ruminating about the past, remind yourself that you cannot change history and you need to remain present in the current moment.
By actively processing these thoughts, you will ensure they won’t take control of your life.
Give your monkey mind full control for 10 or 15 minutes and write down what it says to you.
You will discover that many of the repetitive thoughts that you experience are irrational fears or problems that can be easily solved.
Using a mantra
Consider repeating a mantra in your mind whenever your monkey brain begins to takeover your mind.
This will stop repetitive negative thoughts in their tracks by replacing them with a positive thought.
Some useful mantras include “I am adventurous. I overcome fears by following my dreams“, “I don’t sweat the small stuff” and “I can. I will. End of story”.
3) Find an outlet for your frustrations
Look for a healthy physical or mental outlet for the stress and anxiety you experience in your life.
Some useful activities include:
- Punching a boxing bag
- Going for a long walk, run, or bike ride
- Taking up painting
- Lifting weights
- Attending a yoga class
- Doing puzzles
- Hobbies like woodworking and pottery
4) Get more sleep
Stress and anxiety can both have a negative effect on the duration and quality of your sleep.
Unfortunately, as the quality of your sleep declines, you will become more susceptible to stress and anxiety, which forms a negative feedback loop.
Avoid this problem by taking steps to improve how well you sleep:
- Cut down on caffeine and other stimulants
- Make your bed more comfortable (better mattress, sheets, and pillows)
- Make your bedroom more comfortable (making it a dark, cool, and quiet space)
- Avoid using electronics or watching television before bed
- Exercise often to ensure you are physically tired when going to bed
- Use aromatherapy to put you in a more relaxed state
- Meditate before sleeping
5) Improve your diet and consider taking supplements
Certain foods can help you deal with stress and anxiety.
Most of these foods work by providing nutrients essential for good brain health or boosting serotonin levels, a brain chemical that can reduce stress hormone levels.
Some of the best foods for reducing stress and anxiety include:
- Complex carbohydrates (wholemeal bread, pasta, and rice)
- Fatty fish (which contain beneficial omega fatty acids)
- Black tea
- Pistachios (not suitable for those with a nut allergy)
- Almonds and other nuts (not suitable for those with a nut allergy, and that does include Amaretto and associated products like ice cream)
- Raw vegetables
- Warm milk
There are also a range of herbal supplements which can be used to reduce stress and anxiety levels including lemon balm, ashwagandha, omega-3 fatty acids, kava kava, Green tea and valerian root.
I hope you enjoyed reading for reading Five Ways To Fight Back Against Stress and Anxiety.
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