Stress and poor mental health are two of the biggest public health challenges that we are facing. Sadly, this reality is not taken seriously enough because there is still a divide between mental and physical health. Ideally, there should not be one. There really is no health without mental health. That is why we are shedding light on how to relieve the impact stress and anxiety has on the body. However, we will begin by answering one big question.
Are stress and anxiety the same thing? No, they are not. The only similarity is that they are both emotional responses. Stress is typically caused by external triggers such as fighting with a loved one, work deadlines, discrimination at work etc. Anxiety is defined by constant, excessive worries that don’t leave even in the absence of stressors.
They both share similar sets of symptoms such as: insomnia, difficulty in concentration, fatigue, irritability and muscle tension. Both mild stress and mild anxiety respond well to management techniques. However, if stress and anxiety are affecting your day-to-day mood or functioning, consider talking to a mental health professional like a therapist. That way you can get the appropriate help.
The reality is that we will encounter stressors each day of our lives. However, we do not have to crumble each day. This is why it is important to find stress relievers and healthy coping mechanisms to minimize the impact of chronic stress in our systems.
With that said, here are 5 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety:
- Get more physically active. Move your body each day as it helps the body to move out of auto response mode and process any stress stored in your body. If you are currently inactive, start with activities such as walking or jogging. Work towards making it a daily habit to be physically active.
- Work on your diet. Your diet affects each aspect of your health, including your mental health. Not eating nutrient dense foods increases your risk of deficiencies in essential nutrients that help with regulating stress and mood. Some of them being vitamin B and magnesium.
- Practice selfcare. Selfcare does not have to be complicated. It is simply is about taking care of your wellbeing and happiness. For example, doing yoga, reading a book, or taking a nap.
- Build social support systems. Selfcare is not sustainable by itself. Therefore, having or building up your connections are important. Social support is great for your overall mental health. It helps you to cope better with stress and life’s issues.
- Create boundaries and say no more often. It’s important to take control of your life by not putting too much on your plate. Instead, setting boundaries and saying no will help you lower your stress load. You will also be able to spend more time tending to your personal needs or self-care activities.
The bottom line
Although stress is an unavoidable part of life, adopting healthy coping skills helps to improve how you deal with stress. The tips we shared above can help you improve your overall psychological wellbeing.
In case you missed it
We wrote a blog about Managing Stress Through Self Care. Read it to understand how self-care is a foundation that is enhanced by community care.
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