Stress is a common mental problem affecting millions of people worldwide. According to the American Psychological Association, one-third of Americans grapple with extreme stress. The same findings also suggest that about half of Americans believe that their stress levels have increased over the past five years.
Now, stress is part and parcel of our everyday experiences. Feelings of stress emanate from various places, including our workplaces, families, and relationships. Stress is such a common experience that some psychologists have dared to declare the apparent lack of stress a distinct form of stress.
But the fact that anybody can experience stress doesn’t make a living with this condition any bearable. If untreated, stress could result in several medical complications, including anxiety and depression. Unresolved stress may also deal a massive blow to your workplace productivity. Not to mention its ability to destroy relationships. The good news is that stress is easily manageable.
Read on as we unpack the top five stress busters to try out.
1. Have a Solid Workout Plan
Exercise is indisputably one of the most effective ways to combat stress and anxiety. And, there are several studies to back that up. According to this study, people who follow a solid workout routine are far less likely to experience stress and anxiety than those who don’t. But how exactly does exercise help to combat stress and anxiety?
For starters, exercise can improve your sleep quality. Note that sleep disorders like insomnia are usually a side effect of stress. Workouts may also give you a huge confidence boost. Feelings of confidence have been shown to promote overall mental health.
Most importantly, exercise triggers the release of endorphins while also inhibiting the secretion and activity of cortisol. Endorphins are chemicals noted for their mood-elevating and pain-relieving benefits, whereas cortisol is the primary stress hormone. The best part about exercising is that there are several activities to engage in. You don’t necessarily need to hit the gym to have successful workouts. Not when you can engage in common physically stimulating activities like walking, jogging, and swimming.
What’s more, you can continually optimize your workouts using natural supplements like CBD. Purchasing CBD from https://cbdfx.com or other trustworthy e-commerce websites can go a long way in boosting your workouts. Plus, the compound comes with its stress-relieving benefits. More on CBD later on.
2. Chew Some Gum
Sir Alex Ferguson is one of the most celebrated figures in the soccer fraternity. But the first image that often comes to mind whenever soccer enthusiasts picture the former Manchester United Coach is that of him chewing a pack of gum while calmly watching his team beat the hell out of its opponents.
Ferguson may never have admitted it openly. However, numerous reports claim that chewing gum helped calm him down so he could focus better on the game. That might explain why the former Manchester United talisman went through over 3,000 packets of chewing gum throughout his 26-year stint with the English club.
But even if we choose not to benchmark with Ferguson’s love for gummies, one study found that people who chewed gum had lower stress levels than those who didn’t.
Scientists are yet to draw a clear nexus between chewing gum and relieving stress.
However, some researchers theorize that chewing gum may trigger brain waves similar to those of relaxed people. Another possible explanation is that chewing gum promotes blood circulation to the brain. Sustained blood flow to the brain is associated with positive feelings.
3. Try Yoga and Meditation
Yoga and meditation have been used from time immemorial to promote mental relaxation. And while we now have numerous conventional anxiety medications, these traditional practices haven’t lost their appeal. Yoga and meditation work a bit differently in relieving stress and anxiety. Yoga focuses on breathing and blood circulation. As we’ve already pointed out, enhanced blood circulation, especially in the brain, may produce calming effects.
Meditation combats stress by focusing on your breathing and mental concentration. It helps your mind to focus on the present moment by locking out anxious thoughts and feelings. To make the most of yoga’s stress-relieving benefits, insist on poses or asanas specifically designed for stress relief. Examples of such asanas include the cat-cow pose, the standing forward bend, the corpse pose, the child’s pose, and the bridge pose.
4. Try CBD
CBD, short for cannabidiol, is a hemp-derived compound marketed for its numerous medicinal properties. The compound is mainly recommended for pain. But it’s just as effective for stress and anxiety. Cannabidiol combats stress in various ways. First off, CBD may block the stress hormone cortisol.
The compound may also increase the brain’s sensitivity to chemicals associated with feelings of happiness and positivity, such as dopamine and serotonin. Another way CBD may exert its anxiolytic properties is by treating some of the anxiety’s causes and side effects. Examples include pain, muscle spasticity, and insomnia. The best part about using cannabidiol for anxiety is that the compound won’t get you high. That’s a welcome assurance to aspiring cannabis users who’re often discouraged by the plant’s psychoactive properties.
While CBD comes from cannabis, the compound doesn’t induce mind-altering effects. Those properties are attributable to a chemical in weed known as tetrahydrocannabinol (THC).
5. Cut Back Your Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a compound found in coffee, tea, energy drinks, and chocolates. The chemical is noted for its stimulating effects. When consumed in the right amounts, caffeinated drinks can increase your mental focus and improve your daytime productivity. Caffeine is also a potent antioxidant and may help to reduce the risks of various chronic diseases. However, various studies have linked high caffeine doses with stress and anxiety.
Caffeine’s stimulatory effects may also be counterproductive at times. For instance, consuming caffeinated drinks late in the evening may promote wakefulness and prolong your sleep latency, thereby affecting your sleep quality. Note that sleeplessness and anxiety share a cause-effect relationship.
So, it’s essential to consume caffeine in moderation and at the right time. Experts recommend a maximum of five cups per day. These cups should be distributed uniformly throughout the first three-quarter of your waking hours. But perhaps the most important thing to remember is that people have different caffeine tolerance. If you experience anxiety and jitteriness after surpassing a given amount of caffeine per day, then your best bet would be to cut back on the compound.
There are numerous natural remedies for stress and anxiety. To have better luck combatting stress, consider crafting a comprehensive plan that brings together all the above-reviewed treatments.