We all experience stress and anxiety. Sometimes the catalyst is easily identifiable-for instance, a tough day at work. But anxiety can also crop up out of the blue with no discernible trigger. You can be going about your normal daily routine and suddenly feel overwhelmed by it all. It's unpredictable.
The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reports that 1 in 6 Australians have an anxiety disorder. That's about 3.3 million people. Examples of anxiety disorders include:
- social anxiety
- panic disorder
- generalised anxiety disorder
Anxiety can manifest in many ways. Oftentimes it causes physical symptoms that mimic a serious medical condition. There is a misconception that such symptoms are "all in your head." That's not true: the symptoms are real, it's just that they're caused by psychological factors rather than physical ones. According to the Australian Psychological Society, symptoms of anxiety include but are not limited to:
- heart palpitations
- concentration deficit
- excessive sweating
These are unpleasant sensations, to say the least. If you're suffering from anxiety, the worst thing you can do is try to ignore it. Failing to address anxiety is a sure-fire way to make it worse. Don't let it accumulate; take steps to alleviate it as soon as you can.
In this article we list five things you can do to help reduce stress and anxiety before they take a serious toll on your quality of life. Note: while prescription medication may be necessary in some cases, we are focusing on natural remedies outside the realm of pharmacology.
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Physical exercise is one of the best ways to alleviate stress and anxiety. It does so by decreasing stress hormones and promoting positive neurochemicals. Hence, you "feel good" following a good hard workout.
Working out can take many forms: jogging, weight lifting, yoga, boxing, cycling, dancing, intense walking, etc. Find something you like to do and establish a routine for yourself.
In addition to relieving anxiety, exercise can have a preventative effect. In other words, don't wait until you're feeling stressed to start working out: exercise before it has a chance to take hold.
Depending on your circumstances, it may be a good idea to install some exercise equipment in your home, for instance a treadmill or stationary bike. You can have them delivered to your doorstep via an interstate courier.
Take regular breaks
It can be tempting to keep working straight through the day without taking a break. After all, there's tons to do and we only have so much time. But repeatedly pushing yourself up to and beyond the limits of your mental endurance inevitably leads to greater stress and anxiety.
Counteract your workaholic impulses by forcing yourself to take small breaks at regular intervals throughout the workday. Even five or ten minutes is enough to decompress a little and improve your mental state. To make sure you obey yourself, set an alarm on your phone; that way you can't "forget" to take a break.
Aromatherapy is an ancient human tradition which has enjoyed a huge resurgence over the last 10 or 15 years. It utilises the natural therapeutic properties of essential oils of plants such as:
- tea tree
Loaded with antioxidants, these essential oils possess a range of proven health benefits. The essential oil of lavender, for example, is known for its anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, and anxiolytic (i.e. anti-anxiety) effects.
Essential oil diffusers are widely available in stores and online. You can find one on the internet for a low price and have it couriered to your residence. Don't forget to shop around for the best TNT quote beforehand.
Deep breathing exercises have the effect of lowering your heart-rate and inducing relaxation. Set aside some time each day which you can devote to deep breathing.
Here's how it works. First, sit or lie down in a quiet, comfortable area of your home. Close your eyes and free your mind as much as you can. Inhale as slowly as possible, bringing the air deep into your diaphragm; by doing so you're using 100 per cent of your lung capacity. Hold your breath for five seconds. Then slowly exhale. Wait another five seconds before breathing in again.
Repeat these steps ten or more times. When you're finished you will feel relaxed and refreshed. I like to practice deep breathing at least three times a day.
Clean up your diet
Indulging in junk food, while momentarily satisfying, tends to provoke feelings of regret, guilt, and even shame. Over time, these emotions can accumulate and result in serious bouts of anxiety. This is compounded by the knowledge that a poor diet is a major factor behind chronic health conditions like heart disease and diabetes.
Fortunately, there's a straightforward solution to this particular problem: clean up your diet. It can be challenging to break bad dietary habits that have persisted for a long period of time. But if you commit to the change, you'll find that it's easier than you anticipated.
Gradually introduce more fruits and vegetables into your diet-particularly dark, leafy vegetables. One way to do so is to drink a smoothie each morning. You can also buy a juicer and consume the nutrients that way. As your diet improves, so will your physical and psychological well-being.