Reducing stress and anxiety doesn’t have to be difficult. There are many ways to help you feel better and some new ways might be effective for you. You know, I was astonished by the fact there are over 18 million adults between the ages 18 to 54 who have some form of anxiety disorder.
1. Breathing – I know, breathing might sound to simple an answer to help stress and anxiety. After all we breathe in and out all the time, when a person is going through stress or anxiety their breathing changes. When stress is a factor, individuals tend to shallow breath than breath normally. And shallow breathing changes the chemistry in our bodies. Our bodies tell us to breath based on the carbon dioxide levels in the blood and not from the oxygen levels.
2. Gentle Massage – Massages can be beneficial in two ways. One, through tactile contact, and two, through the actual pressure and massaging the muscles.
3. Touchstones – Touch Stones are one of the best comforting anxiety and stress busters. You know, people have been using their own versions of touch stones all the way back to ancient times. And every culture has different variations, but they all have the same general meaning, to comfort, heal and to protect. The touch stones described here are designed to comfort you through stressful moments, more decrease than heal emotional upsets, and to protect you simply by knowing your touch stone is right close to you when you need help.
So what exactly is a touch stone?
Touch stones are any objects that give you a high degree of emotional comfort. They are very personal, small and light weight enough to carry in your pocket or a handbag. The surface should have some sort of smoothness so you can place your fingers and rub the surface. They are there to help ground you back to comfort when you are experiencing anxiety and stress symptoms. You can pick any object you wish, a stone, a pendent that was a special gift from a favorite friend, or even a special token. I generally carry around a silvery stone that has special meaning for me. I have heard people call touchstones “worry stones”, but I do not like to limit a touchstone to just a stone.
So how do you use a touch stone?
Simply carry around your touch stone in your pocket, or someplace close to you and when you are going through something stressful, have anxiety, place your hand in your pocket and grab your touch stone. The special feelings you have towards your object counteracts the effects of stress and anxiety merely through the good memories you have associated to it.
4. Walking – Walking for some reason walking clears my mind enough that solutions to problems I was thinking about just pops right in the mind. And if you are stressed out trying to think of solutions to problems, try taking a nice walk.
5. Candles – Watching candles burning in a quiet room helps to bring your mind back to a focus point instead of on worry and anxiety. One of my friends had several scented candles in her computer room. Her computer room seemed very uplifting and in a way the air even felt lighter. These candles were not only beautiful, and wonderfully scented, but they also were placed in a relaxed environment.
6. Walk Near Moving Water Especially Waterfalls – Moving water and waterfalls have many qualities that are just wonderful for you. First, the rushing sound of moving water calms your mind and body. And second you not only are misted with sparkling water, you are unknowingly surrounded by negative ions.
You can not see negative ions, taste or even smell them, but we inhale them in abundance in certain areas especially waterfalls even your shower give off large amounts of them. Negative ions create a wonderful state of well being. They are known to release certain mood chemicals like serotonin. And serotonin is an excellent stress buster giving you that light, uplifted, refreshed feeling.
7. Air Purifier – Yes, purifiers with built in air ionizers can help reduce stress and anxiety. They generally work by emitting negative ions and clean the air by attaching to dust and pollutants and sinking them.
8. Rock Salt Crystals – Rock Salt crystal is known to be one of the most efficient emitters of negative ions that improve the air quality.
Salt lamps create a wonderful miniclimate that is similar to the air after a light spring rain. The light bulb in a salt lamp is the activator. The heat from the light bulb slowly warms up the salt releasing negative ions into the room resulting in uplifting moods and occational snickers.
9. Heat Pads – Relieves tension and stress around the neck and shoulders. Every night I use a hot rice heating bag on my stomach or lower back while I am falling asleep. Placing a heating pad on your chest when you have anxiety in your chest or panic attacks really help tremendously.
10. Clearing your Thoughts – Clearing the thoughts going through your mind is not always easy especially when you are going through stress and anxiety symptoms. To easily clear your thoughts simply sit in a quiet room and close your eyes. And when a thought comes to your mind gently brush it away and clear your mind again. The thoughts will become less and less until your mind is finally clear of any thoughts and there is only the feel of the room around you.
11. Lavender – Lavender is known to be very calming and soothing to the mind and body. And spritzing your bedroom with a light lavender scent will help you to relax and sleep better.
12. Stretching – Stretching relieves all kinds of tension in the muscles. And personally, I think there is no better way to relax muscle tension, next to messaging, than having a good stretch. Just reaching above your head and reaching up into the sky like you are trying to grab on to the stars relaxes the arms, shoulders and back. I also like to sit on a mat on the floor, put my knees up and slowly lower my back one vertebra at a time until I am lying on the floor. This stretching is completely relaxing to my back giving each vertebra attention through the stretch.
13. Lessen Caffeine Intake – Caffine can agrivate stress especially anxiety.
14. Wear Favorite Comforting Clothing – On days were you can predict a stressful day, wear your favorite clothes if you can. Even just one article of your favorite clothing helps.
15. Spend time with your Pet – Just the simple act of stroking your pet reduces stress and anxiety. So take a little time down time with your dog, cat or even your bird or ferret.
16. Sit in a Quiet Room for Awhile – When life just gets to hard, I take a minute, close the bedroom door and just sit on my bed for awhile. I just shut out the world and concentrate only on the comfort of my bedroom.
17. Listen to Easy, Uplifting Music – Mellow out with quiet, comforting music. Whether you prefer, country, gospel, classical or instrumental, peaceful music helps to uplift your spirits.
18. Wash your Face with Warm Water- The simple act of washing your face not only cleans your face but also uplifts you by taking a minute of time to take care of yourself.
19. Splash of Color – For women, make up really helps. I am not a fan of makeup but lipstick makes me feel better.
20. Spritz your Favorite Body Spray – Aromas can be extremely benefitial to reducing stress and anxiety especially spritzing a favorite “flavor” that gives you good memories or just smells nice to you.
21. Open the Curtains – Sunlight helps to inhibit the production of melatonin. And melatonin makes you sleepy.
22. Watch Your Favorite Movie – If you want to forget about the world outside your door, then try this method that helps me out. I like to clear my mind any stressful or negative thoughts and watch my favorite movie.
23. Cleaning – Stress and anxiety has a way of giving you nervous energy. I know you probably do not want to clean the whole house, but the simple act of cleaning can focus that energy into what I call “Putting Anxiety to Output Energy”.
24. Float Your Stress Away – Write Down all of your stress, worries and anxiety and float the paper down a moving body of water.
25. Bring a Little Outdoors Inside – Waterfalls help ionize the air with negative ions, so buy a little novelty water fountain and keep it in your bedroom or living room.
Ask yourself what is causing anxiety in your life? Can you solve the problem? Then you keep that thought and take a nice walk outside.