Nearly 70 million Americans suffer from stress and anxiety, leaving them susceptible to an array of health problems, including those as severe as a heart attack. Individuals who are stressed make poor decisions, oftentimes miss life, and avoid other people. Stress is known as the silent killer in women. It isn’t a condition that any test will diagnose, yet it is one of the most serious disorders facing an individual.
Visiting a doctor is always ideal when you’re overwhelmed with stress or anxiety. The doctor can refer you to a specialist, if necessary, prescribe anti-anxiety medications, diagnose underlying health conditions and concerns, and detail other techniques that will help you get a handle on stress.
In the meantime, consider changing a few of your habits and adapting a new lifestyle along the way to avoid reaching the point where you need to see a health professional. Simple lifestyle changes considerably impact the stress and anxiety that you feel, and may very well be all that you need to win the battle.
Simple lifestyle changes and habits that can minimize or eliminate stress and anxiety from your life include:
Living an inactive lifestyle contributes to stress and anxiety, as lower cortisol levels in the brain cause an energy imbalance within the brain. At least 2 ½ hours of physical activity per week helps maintain proper weight, but it also refreshes the mind, minimizing stress and anxiety along the way. Jogging, walking, dance classes, and even cleaning the home can to invigorate your mind.
Take a Deep Breath
Things get hectic, and feeling overwhelmed is easy. But remember, you are only human, and can do only so much. Allowing yourself to become stressed over things that you cannot change only adds to the trouble. Deep breathing and meditation can help you learn how to handle the most stressful situations in life with ease. Find ways to relax, whether it is sitting on the back porch early in the morning reading the paper or a walk on the beach. Give yourself daily affirmations and positive encouragement. And remember, just breath, and let go of the things that you cannot change. There is always tomorrow, if you’re not so stressed you cannot perform the tasks.
Change Your Diet
Your emotional state is highly affected by the food and drink you consume. Alcohol and caffeine are two of the foods closely associated with anxiety. If these items are included in your diet, it is time to look for other drinks. Caffeine causes nervousness, irritability, and excitement, but also physical symptoms like shaking. Alcohol is a depressant that can cause distressed emotional state when consumed by someone already stressed or anxious.
Avoid processed foods, as well as those filled with sugar. Instead, grab healthy food choices, and avoid pre-packed and frozen selections. Fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats ensure that you are at your healthiest, most physically and mentally.
Get More Sleep
How much do you sleep? We all feel a little grumpy when we don’t sleep well, but consistent sleep disruptions contribute to emotional disorders. Losing just a couple of hours of sleep per week can have a dramatic impact on feelings of stress, anxiety, and anger, as well as affect your energy levels. Make it your goal to get more sleep.