Stress and anxiety are omnipresent in today’s materialistic society. As a result, millions of people across the world experience stress and anxiety on an almost daily basis. Chronic stress over time can affect your physical and mental health. You may have diabetes, hormonal imbalances, and even heart diseases. Plus, mental health issues like insomnia and depression may plague you.
However, many natural interventions and coping mechanisms can help you tide over these undesirable outcomes of stress and anxiety.
So, without further ado, let's delve into five ways that help manage these triggers.
Consider Taking CBD
CBD or cannabidiol is a non-psychoactive compound derived from the Cannabis sativa plant. Unlike its close cousin, THC, which is psychoactive, CBD does not produce the quintessential “high” associated with cannabis. Instead, this compound may induce a sense of calm, and people use it to get relief from anxiety and stress-related conditions like insomnia. The market is flooded with several varieties and brands of CBD products. However, you may need to consult an expert who may guide you on the dosage and the particular CBD blend. Your healthcare provider may suggest pure CBD potions or full-spectrum CBD products, which also contain some percentages of THC.
Physical exercise acts as an effective tool in dealing with stress. A study showed that indulging in aerobic exercise at least two days per week helped reduce perceived stress. Also, regular physical activity significantly alleviated depression symptoms.
Some studies have proved that physical exercise improves mood, while a sedentary lifestyle can further increase stress and lead to sleep disturbances.
If you lead a sedentary lifestyle, then it's time to tweak your routine and make time for some physical exercise. You can start with gentle exercises like walking, jogging, or biking. For a more fun workout, join a Zumba class which not only gets you moving but helps you mingle with people. Select an activity that you enjoy the most. This way, you are more likely to follow it and get into a consistent exercise routine.
Your diet significantly affects how you feel at any given moment. Studies have shown that consuming highly processed foods and foods with added sugar can increase your stress levels. For instance, you might experience sluggishness and brain fog after consuming high-calorie, low-nutrient foods like burgers and fries.
Furthermore, chronic stress may cause you to reach out for more palatable but unhealthy food. This habit may ultimately lead to poor health and mood outcomes.
Its common knowledge that not eating whole-balanced meals can cause nutrient deficiency. Few such nutrients like magnesium and B vitamins help regulate stress and mood.
Hence, always focus on eating balanced meals that help maintain your overall health. Consciously try to include foods like fresh vegetables, fruits, fish, nuts, and seeds that nourish your body and build resilience to stress.
Minimize Screen Time
Today, we live in a wired world where gadgets like smartphones and laptops have become a necessary part of our lives. Our phones are constantly buzzing with notifications about work emails, SMSs, and social media activities. This constant barrage of information has led to our brains being wired 24/7.
Although necessary, these gadgets can inadvertently increase our stress levels. Many studies have linked excessive smartphone usage to increased stress and mental health issues. Also, spending more time in front of such screens leads to poor psychological outcomes and a significant increase in perceived stress levels amongst kids and adults.
Studies have also shown that excessive screen time negatively affects sleep, increasing stress. In hindsight, try to use your electronic devices to a bare minimum. Inculcate a practice of not using your smartphones close to bedtime. Also, you can build up on this practice of staying away from your gadgets by going on a digital detox from time to time. Start following this ritual, especially on weekends when you are off work or stay away from devices on vacations.
Consider Taking Supplements
As mentioned in the above sections, nutrition plays a role in our ability to cope with stress. Many minerals and vitamins affect our stress responses and mood. Any deficiency in one or more such nutrients can affect your mental health and ability to combat stress. Moreover, adding certain nutrients as supplements can alleviate stress and enhance mood. For instance, depleted magnesium levels are often found in chronically stressed people. For the record, magnesium supplementation can help combat stress in chronically stressed people.
Similarly, supplements like Rhodiola, B-vitamins, Ashwagandha, and L-theanine have stress-managing properties. For example, Ashwagandha is a potent adaptogen widely used in Indian Ayurveda for natural healing.
But, dietary supplements should be used with caution. We recommend you consult experts if you intend to take supplements for your stress issues.
The Bottom Line
We all face stress in our daily lives. The key is to find simple yet effective tools to help manage stress symptoms. The strategies mentioned above are simple enough to be incorporated into your routine to help manage stress symptoms. Besides, other inventions like reducing your caffeine intake, spending time with family and friends, and practicing mindfulness are effective coping mechanisms in fighting stress. Also, spending time amidst nature, yoga, and even simple things like cuddling can help relieve stress. You can practice various stress-reducing methods to find what works for you.