This post offers 5 tips on how to deal with stress and anxiety. The suggestions are general principles to help you combat stress and are not intended to diagnose or treat a specific medical condition.
1. Avoid Caffeine, Alcohol And Nicotine
It’s understandable why people reach out for a cigarette to placate their anxiety, a drink to take the edge of their stress, or a shot of caffeine to boost their energy – but these temporary ‘cures’ often exacerbate things. Caffeine and Nicotine are both stimulants. Alcohol is technically a depressant, but can act as a temporary stimulant in small doses. Many times, these substances offer a temporary sense of relief but then magnify and multiply the feelings you are trying to satiate.
Consider replacing these substances for water, chamomile team, or natural fruit juice.
2. Get More Sleep
It’s important you allow yourself to rest. This can be easier said than done, however, when you’re going through tough times. It’s possible that your mind will be whizzing at 100 miles per hour as your head hits the pillow and rather than benefit from the much needed rest your body and mind deserves; you lie there, frustrated, in a state of insomnia.
Consider listening to guided meditations or relaxing new age music as you get into bed. Ensure the room is as dark as possible. Don’t take your laptop to bed with you, as the bright light stimulates your brain waves rather than allowing them to slow down into a state that is more conducive to sleep.
You might not feel like it, indeed, you might not feel like you have the time for exercise when in a state of stress; but exercise is one of the most beneficial activities you can do to reduce your stress levels. Exercise will give you a ‘natural high’ known as an endorphin rush. It will help you feel more in control and able to tackle the mountains of your mind.
4. Consider Changing Jobs / Business
If your job or business is a source of stress there’s a strong chance this is because it’s not aligned with your natural spirit – indeed, when you’re in the wrong job or managing the wrong type of business it can feel like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole. A great approach is to first do a personality test to determine your personality type, and then put into Google a search such as “ENFP jobs” which will bring up jobs and careers that match your specific personality type (please note ENFP is just one of 16 Myers Briggs categories).
If you’re a business owner, these personality tests are particularly useful when recruiting new employees as you can gather great insight into whether the candidate will fulfil the role on an emotional/psychological level rather than just an experience/qualification level.
If you’re stressed out then you probably feel you don’t have time for meditation. You’ve got too many things to take care of to sit still. Meditation, however, is just as helpful as exercise in terms of putting you in the right physiological state to deal with what needs to be dealt with. It’s much better to work through each day from a calm and grounded place of response rather than a tense and stressed place of reaction.