Whether you’re dealing with stress from day-to-day responsibilities or recovering from a tragic experience, anxiety can really take a toll on your mood and outlook. It can be hard to focus on yourself during a difficult time, but it’s necessary to find coping strategies and productive solutions that work for you.
If you’re looking for better ways to manage your stress and anxiety, keep reading for eight suggestions that will make a huge difference.
1. Accept What You Can’t Change
Anxiety and stress are often driven by fear of what you can’t control. When you spend time worrying about the unchangeable aspects of your situation, you end up exhausting your mind without actually making improvements. To remedy this, identify the things you can’t control and work on accepting them. From there, you can point out things that you do have the power to change and get to work on them!
2. Be Active
For a simple change, try being more active. Getting regular exercise will have a positive impact on your anxiety and other aspects of your health. Physical activity of any intensity can help you distract yourself from negative thoughts and worries. Try taking long walks, riding your bike, going swimming, or playing a sport to swap out stress-inducing habits with more productive actions.
3. Rethink Your Diet
As you start making positive lifestyle changes, you should also start rethinking your diet. Studies show that certain foods and beverages–like processed snacks and caffeinated drinks–can increase your stress levels and worsen your anxiety. Do a bit of research and swap out those foods for healthier options. When you eat better, you’ll feel better!
4. Get More Sleep
As you make improvements to your daily habits, you’ll naturally start to fall into a better and healthier routine. One of the aspects that you should prioritize is getting the right amount of sleep. When your body and brain are deprived of rest, you’ll start to feel worn out much more quickly. Major life changes and events, like having a baby or starting a new job, can really impact your sleep schedule and add extra stress. Make sure you give your body enough time to recharge so you can handle each day’s challenges with ease.
5. Start a Journal
While it’s wise to start with bettering your body, you should also obviously work on soothing your mind. Whatever you’re dealing with likely comes along with a lot of complex emotions, thoughts, and questions, so it may benefit you to write them down as they come to you. Getting your feelings out on paper can give you an opportunity to process what you’re going through and make sense of conflicting emotions. It may even help you prepare to share your thoughts with others.
6. Stay Positive
While you’ve likely already thought that you need to be positive for the sake of others, you should try to focus on good things for your own benefit. Stress and anxiety make it easy to dwell on things that upset or concern you, but you should push yourself to recognize something positive when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed.
7. Find New Hobbies
If you need to find more ways to focus on the positive things in life, try getting into a few new hobbies that distract you from your worries. Creative hobbies like painting, playing an instrument, and dancing can encourage you to channel your energy into building new skills and making something beautiful.
8. Get the Help You Need
Finally, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to deal with any of this alone. Reach out to trusted friends and family members to talk about your situation, your feelings, and your struggles with anxiety. You’ll be surprised to see how many of your loved ones experience similar problems.
If you’re dealing with a more sensitive issue or you need extra help to manage your anxiety, you may want to seek out professional help. Physicians and counselors can give you expert advice and treatment options. Other professionals, like lawyers, can advocate for your rights and help you resolve the issues that are causing you stress. No matter what you’re going through, there are resources out there to help you through it!
If you’re recovering from a traumatic experience or you’re simply going through a difficult time, knowing how to cope with your stress and anxiety is the first step to recovery. Everyone responds differently to these problems, but there is sure to be a suggestion on this list that will bring you comfort and change your perspective as you focus on feeling better!