Stress and anxiety go hand in hand and is something that we all experience at one time or another. Owning a business has put me smack dab in the center of anxiety filled experiences but it has also allowed me to learn how to deal with it in a positive way.
When it comes down to it, most anxiety stems from chronic stress. Short term, acute stress is actually a great thing for our bodies to experience. It's the fight or flight response we naturally have. It lets us know to run when we see danger. It keeps us protected. Chronic stress is long term and continuous. It can be from a stressful job, a negative relationship or anything else in your life that causes you to constantly worry.
My first and foremost suggestion is to take a look at your stress levels. What is something that drains you and leaves you constantly stressed out? What can you do to adjust it? Changing careers might not be in the cards but the way we approach our life stressors might be just the thing we need to adjust. Here are some of the ways I personally have learned to take charge of my stress and anxiety.
1. Have a normal workout routine.
Being active is a great way to make you feel great and reduce stress. I recommend this to anyone. Working out use to be my go to stress relieving activity. Now that i'm teaching so many classes during the week I don't always have the energy to do the same types of workouts I use to enjoy (high intense, long runs, etc). Find something that works for you and fits into your lifestyle. My workout routine is not necessarily in the gym anymore. I teach during the week and outside of that I Iove hiking, kayaking, yoga and walking. For the average person who doesn't teach 12x a week, I suggest shooting for at least 30 minutes a day and get a good mix of strength straining, stretching and cardio vascular workouts. Find things you enjoy doing and schedule them into your day.
2. Yoga and/or meditate.
This has drastically helped me deal with stress and anxiety. Meditations can be different for different people. I like to follow along with a guided meditation anywhere from 10-30 minutes. I usually lay on my back with my legs up a wall. I try to do this daily and typically do it mid afternoon when my stress begins to kick in. I also like to add in a few yoga flows with it. That helps me connect my mind and body and bring me back to a calm state of mind.
3. Nourish your body.
Hydrate and eat foods that help energize the body. Stick to whole, real foods and work towards creating balanced meals. When we take care of our bodies, our bodies will take care of us.
4. Get enough Z's.
Get your sleep! I need at least 8 hours for me to function properly and be productive throughout the day. Have a relaxing bedtime routine. I try to limit my cell phone use, I get my diffuser going and enjoy a comforting cup of tea.
5. When all else fails.
When anxiety hits and I can't get out of the moment I like to do this little activity.
Think of 5 things you can see
Think of 4 things you can hear
Think of 3 things you can touch
Think of 2 things you can smell
Think of 1 thing you can taste
This helps calm the brain down and bring you back into reality.
Your action item this week is to find one activity you can do daily to help reduce stress. Let me know how it goes!
My name is Hanna Kuyper and my mission for iamwell comes directly from my past experiences. Read more