Stress and anxiety are common problems many people suffer from today. While it’s not unusual to have these issues, constantly being in a state of stress and anxiety can be harmful. Because of this, it’s important to use self-care to help calm their symptoms down. Below you’ll find more information about how self-care can help you release stress and anxiety to prevent damaging your health.
What are Stress and Anxiety?
Stress and anxiety might seem like they are very different from each other, but they are often interrelated. Stress will cause hormones in your body, mainly those that produce cortisol and adrenaline, as a way to help give your body extra strength to get through the difficult situation. Anxiety does the same thing, except it also makes your body’s “fight or flight” response come into work giving your body even more bursts of adrenaline.
What Causes Chronic Stress and Anxiety?
Chronic stress and anxiety can be caused by a variety of different things. Many of their causes are often similar and some things that might trigger them are:
- Family problems
- Relationship problems
- A death in the family
- Being put in a new environment
Symptoms of Chronic Stress and Anxiety
Symptoms of chronic stress and anxiety are often similar. Some signs of chronic stress include:
- Heavy acne
- Digestive problems
- Stomach pain
- Jaw clenching
- Chest pain
- Difficulty swallowing
- Feeling overwhelmed
While anxiety also can have these symptoms, it also has a few specific ones of its own:
- Excessive worrying
- Difficulty concentrating
- Panic attacks
These are just a few examples of the symptoms of chronic stress and anxiety. Some might also have different symptoms as everyone’s body reacts to stress and anxiety differently.
Problems Excessive Stress and Anxiety Can Cause
In addition to these symptoms, having excessive amounts of stress and anxiety can cause many more problematic issues. According to the American Institute of Stress, stress and anxiety can cause problems such as:
- Too much glucose sugar in your liver
- A weak immune system
- Extra oxygen in the body making it difficult to breathe
- High blood pressure
- Weight gain due to overeating
- Rapid heartbeat or heart disease
How to Heal Yourself with Self-Care
Thankfully, there are plenty of ways you can help to heal yourself from chronic stress and anxiety with the use of self-care.
One of the best ways to help keep your body calm from stress and anxiety is to meditate. You should commit about 10-30 minutes per day of meditation to calm your body. This can be done by listening to soothing music, doing yoga, or just sitting in a quiet area and doing nothing. You could also create a calming ambiance by lighting candles and using them as a light source in a dark room.
Spend Some Time in the Sun
Sunlight not only helps to give your body Vitamin D, which is necessary for healthy skin, but works to release serotonin. This monoamine neurotransmitter causes your body to feel better by releasing “feel good” hormones. It will often boost your mood and even reduce common symptoms of stress and anxiety like a lack of appetite and memory lapses.
Exercising can work to help relieve tension in the body caused by stress and anxiety. This doesn’t have to be extreme workouts, although those can be beneficial as well. Some simple anti-stress and anxiety exercises include:
Exercising, no matter what form you decide to do, will also release endorphins. Endorphins give you a “feel good” body aura which can reduce tension and anxiety. In fact, many studies have been done that prove exercising is very beneficial to help combat these problems.
Limit Your Intake of Caffeine
While many often enjoy a cup of coffee, sometimes the high levels of caffeine in it can be troublesome, especially if you have chronic stress and anxiety. Because of this, try to limit your intake of caffeinated beverages. This could include only having one or two cups per day, trying decaf options, or eliminating them altogether.
Get Enough Sleep
Getting enough sleep is a powerful way to help reduce chronic stress and anxiety. Ideally, humans should have about eight to nine hours of sleep per day. This is because your body will have time to relax and lower the level of cortisol it produces during bouts of chronic stress and anxiety.
By trying to get enough sleep, it can also help to regulate normal sleeping cycles which can be affected by these problems. It will also work to prevent you from feeling sluggish and have better concentration throughout the day.
Talk with Someone
Sometimes the best way to help reduce stress and anxiety is to talk it out with someone. This could be with a close friend or family member or with a therapist. Talking things out can help to get things off of your mind which can significantly reduce stress and anxiety.
Teas are packed with incredible health benefits. Some of the best options to enjoy to reduce stress and anxiety are peppermint, lemon balm, chamomile, passion flower, and green teas.
These teas will not only relax muscles in your body, but can help you to sleep better and improve your concentration. Many also are free from caffeine which can work to keep your body calm.
Besides this, tea is also packed with antioxidants, can improve your bones, and keep your heart healthy. Tea also helps to soothe the digestive system which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
Stress and anxiety don’t have to overtake your life. By using various forms of self-care, like mediation and exercising, these two problems can disappear. While it will take some time and patience, by keeping your body calm and relaxed it will not only make you feel better, but keep you healthy as well.
Do you agree with these methods? Do you have other helpful ideas to help reduce stress and anxiety? If so, feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.
Dr. Brent Wells, is the founder of Better Health Chiropractic & Physical Rehab and is widely considered as the top Anchorage chiropractor in Alaska. Dr. Wells is a member of both the American Chiropractic Association and the American Academy of Spine Physicians.
Image courtesy of Pixabay.