2020 has been a rough year for the country and the world as a whole. In addition to the many political upheavals the United States has gone through, the coronavirus has trapped people in their house and raised many stress levels.
The virus has made many people anxious and cut many sleep cycles short, leading to a pattern of poor sleep and increased stress and anxiety. If you’re experiencing this stress in your own life, there are a few steps you can take to mitigate your own stress and decrease the anxiety in your life.
1. Cut down on caffeine
External factors such as the coronavirus or economic conditions may be raising your stress levels, but your caffeine intake is not doing you any favors. Caffeine has been studied extensively and has proven to induce anxiety when drunken in large quantities.
If you’ve made a habit of drinking coffee or tea multiple times per day and are feeling the effects of anxiety, the first step to consider would be decreasing your caffeine intake. If there are events in your daily or weekly life which increase your anxiety consistently, consider cutting down on caffeine before this event.
2. Stop drinking alcohol
Feelings of anxiety and stress can often overwhelm people. When people feel overwhelmed, it’s tempting to reach for the closest glass of alcohol to help them cope and unwind. However, this action is actually counterproductive, as the long-term effects of alcohol actually raise anxiety levels.
Although alcohol is a depressant in the short term, and may help you relax if only consumed once a month or so, the long-term consumption of alcohol will actually alter the levels of many neurotransmitters in the brain, including serotonin. When you alter the levels of serotonin in your brain, you’ll feel more anxious and stressed out as the effect of the alcohol wears off.
3. Write down your stressors
For many, the worst part of anxiety and stress is not knowing why they’re feeling the effects to begin with. Stress and anxiety are often irrational and unexpected, popping up out of nowhere and not settling until you’ve truly taken your mind off them, which can take hours or weeks.
To mitigate this randomness, you can write out your feelings and think through the external and internal factors which could be driving your anxiety. Research has demonstrated that keeping a journal is a great way to deal with negative feelings in a healthy way and can drastically reduce stress levels.
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These supplements are formulated with GABA, B complex, and magnesium to induce calming effects, as well as reducing panic attack frequency and boosting confidence.
5. Talk to a trusted friend or relative
Feelings of anxiety are often bottled up and kept to internal monologues, but this practice can often lead to more frequent and severe stress. Venting or talking calmly with a health professional is a great way to alleviate the stress you feel and progress with a stress-free lifestyle.
Much like writing, the external confirmation and analysis of stress factors goes a long way in eliminating anxiety and will let you lead a healthier lifestyle. Even choosing a relative or friend which you trust and talking out your problems with them is a great way to reduce the stress and anxiety in your life.
6. Increase your exercise regiment
When you experience anxiety, in any form, it often increases your adrenaline levels. The increased adrenaline can make you antsy and give you energy that you don’t know what to do with. This energy increases your anxiety, and the cycle continues infinitely.
However, when you exercise, you burn off excess energy and lower your adrenaline levels, stopping the cycle. The exercise can come in any form, too, it doesn’t have to be ultra-frequent or vigorous. Taking walks every day for just a half hour can drastically reduce your adrenaline levels and make you feel far calmer and more collected.
7. Keep up with hydration
Keeping hydrated is a great way to decrease stress levels, but not drinking adequate amounts of water can actually worsen your anxiety symptoms. Dehydration has been known to cause heart palpitations which can drastically and quickly increase your anxiety and stress levels.
When your heart begins to palpitate, your mind can swirl with worse case scenarios and increase feelings of panic and fear you experience on a daily basis. These feelings in turn can trigger a panic attack. Drinking water frequently and thoroughly will decrease the chances of these symptoms and help you reduce your anxiety and stress throughout the day.
8. Schedule some alone time and ditch the electronics
One of the leading causes of stress and anxiety in the modern day and age is the constant hustle and bustle of people’s daily lives. Setting aside an hour or two just for yourself, to relax and think, can drastically reduce the anxiety you feel and take your mind off the chaotic, “always-on,” world around you.
A large part of this alone time is turning off your phone and other electronic devices such as your television and laptops. You’d be amazed at the difference taking an hour for yourself makes in your life, both year to year and day to day.