We live in a stressed out anxiety ridden society. There seems to be a direct correlation between the advancement of technology and the increase of stress and anxiety. In the national Stress in America survey, an annual analysis by Harris Interactive for the American Psychological Association, 35% of adults polled since 2007 reported feeling more stress this year compared with last year, and 53% said they received little or no support from their health care providers in coping with that heightened stress. The survey involved more than 2,000 U.S. adults ages 18 and older who answered an online survey in August 2012.
Stress and anxiety have been directly correlated to causing chronic disease, illness and other health problems. While this can be a very sobering thought, the good news is that there are many things you can do from a holistic standpoint to minimize stress and anxiety and the impact it has on your body.
When I was first diagnosed with an anxiety disorder I was prescribed prescription drugs. After about six months I decided to stop taking the medication and to make some lifestyle changes. Below are some holistic tips that you can do to make a difference in how strongly stress and anxiety impacts you. I have done ALL of them to manage my stress and anxiety ...and they have helped tremendously.
- Watch the fish - literally in an aquarium. It is so soothing almost hypnotic. Studies have shown that aquarium watching is great for alzeimher patients, they have a tendency to be much more calm when they can look at an aquarium
- Plant a garden- being in the outdoors and planting a garden is not only good exercise it is great for taking your mind off of the stresses of the day. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment and self-worth to see the results of your labor.
- Positive self-talk - start talking to yourself in a positive way and not constantly tearing yourself down and criticizing yourself. There are many great things about you. Focus on what is good about you. Congratulate yourself when you do something great, treat yourself just because. Negative self-talk is an energy drainer and after awhile you seem to draw even more negative energy your way. Stop the cycle of negativity by speaking positively about yourself.
- Take a brisk walk - one of the most effective ways to get rid of that awful anxious feeling is to take a quick brisk walk. I have found that during these walks rather than think about what is causing me stress and anxiety, look at nature and your surroundings. Soak up the sunshine, breath in the fresh air, enjoy nature. You will soon be feeling better.
- Play Music and Cook Something - it is fun to put on your favorite music and then go in the kitchen and prepare your favorite meal. I have done this many times when I was feeling anxious or stressed. The idea of listening to my favorite music and then cooking my favorite meal took my mind off those thoughts that kept circling around in my head. There is also a sense of satisfaction and fun to be doing something other than worrying and stressing out!
- Laughter - a wonderful way to get the happy hormones going. Watch a funny movie, hang out with people who like to laugh, go to a comedy club, read jokes online. It is amazing what a wonderful impact laughter has stress. You start to feel euphoric and the feeling of anxiety and stress lessens or goes away completely.
- Dance like no one is watching- I know you have heard that phrase before. But it is true! Dancing around your home like you don't have a care in the world is the best medicine when you are feeling stressed. Put on that music and just go for it! It is such a great way to shake off the stress and replace that feeling with an energetic dose of movement and fun.
- Gratitude - when I really started working on being grateful for those parts of my life I had always taken for granted, it really caused a profound change in my life. At first I felt silly but later I learned to really focus on being grateful for even the little things. It sure is better than thinking about all the stressors in your life.
- Music- it is great therapy. Listening to music that calms you,or music that puts a smile on your face. Any music that is uplifting is always good. Try starting your day with music and then ending your day with music. You will be surprised how music can impact you in such a positive way that the feeling of stress and anxiety will begin to melt away.
- Visualization- visualizing something that calms you or brings you joy is also very effective when combating stress and anxiety. I had to learn how to close my eyes and visualize a place that I love to go to that is beautiful and lush with greenery and water. Whatever brings you a since of calm and joy visualize it. Perhaps carry a picture of that place or person. Whenever you start to feel stressed look at that picture or visualize it in your mind. It will help to calm you.
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