We hear it all day. Climate change, inflation and recession, layoffs, the never-ending drum beats of war, and the looming threat of another pandemic.
Additionally, many of us are battling mental and physical ailments, family crises, and financial instability on a personal level.
We are constantly bombarded with many things that distress and worry us.
If we allow these negative emotions and thoughts to overwhelm us, we may lose sight of the essential things in our lives.
The best way to combat the stress and worry surrounding us is to find beneficial coping mechanisms that keep us mentally, physically, and emotionally strong.
In this article, we will explore seven tips to avoid stress and worry that you can adopt to deal with stress and worry.
1. Exercise regularly
According to research, exercise is one of the best ways to reduce stress, depression, and anxiety.
Doing at least 150 minutes of aerobic exercises a week through activities such as brisk walking, jogging, or dancing can increase your emotional and physical resilience helping you to handle stressful situations positively.
A sedentary lifestyle makes you prone to higher stress levels than those who exercise for at least 30 minutes a day.
It may also expose you to stress-related ailments such as insomnia and chronic fatigue while lowering your immunity, making you more susceptible to infections.
Some researchers have also found that physical activity can be a great addition to treatment for depression and other mental health conditions.
Therefore, exercising for half an hour each day is the best way to loosen your mental and physical muscles.
Exercise clears physical exhaustion, gives your brain a fresh breath of air, and promotes restful sleep.
This keeps you from staying up all night thinking of any issues you may be dealing with.
The only thing to watch out for when exercising is its associated risks, such as dehydration, overheating, and injuries.
You can mitigate these risks by selecting appropriate physical activities for your age and fitness level. You must also exercise for manageable intervals and in a safe environment.
2. Eat stress-reducing foods
There are some foods you can eat to regulate the hormones in your body responsible for stress. An example is cortisol, a hormone that reduces inflammation, controls blood pressure, and regulates sleep cycles.
The body releases cortisol through our adrenal glands when we are emotionally or physically stressed to help us manage the rush of adrenalin that is produced during stressful situations.
However, keeping your body adrenalized during continuous stressful situations can lead to excessive production of cortisol, which triggers inflammation and other physical problems that will worsen things.
Therefore, adopt a diet that balances the production of hormones such as cortisol in your body to ensure you manage stressful situations appropriately.
Some of the foods you should include in a stress management diet include:
- Vitamin C – rich foods such as oranges, strawberries, and grapefruit that strengthen your immunity
- Fermented foods such as Greek yogurt, Sauerkraut, kombucha, and Kefir are rich in probiotics to improve your gut health and reduce toxicity
- Anti-inflammatory foods such as fatty fish, avocados, flax seeds, walnuts, and chia seeds
- Vitamin B – rich foods such as fortified cereals, eggs, and nutritional yeast for healthy cortisol metabolism
- Magnesium-rich foods such as spinach, bananas, broccoli, and dark chocolate for relaxing the mind and body
- Protein-rich foods such as lean beef, quinoa, chicken breast, lentils, almonds, and peanuts to balance blood sugars
3. Adopt habits for stress relief
In addition to managing your diet and physical fitness, adopt habits that will help you to avoid stressful situations and perform your daily tasks to the best of your abilities.
Maintaining a routine that includes these habits will keep you from suffering fatigue, anxiety, low – concentration, and depression, among other consequences of stress.
Some of the healthy stress-busting habits you should adopt are;
- Practicing self-relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing exercises, journaling, and yoga for at least 30 minutes daily to calm your mind
- Taking regular breaks during the day to re-energize and refocus your mind on your daily activities
- Connecting with friends and family by calling them, attending social events, participating in your community, and holding gatherings at home
- Volunteering to causes close to your heart
- Maintaining a simple daily routine of beneficial habits, including essential stress-reducing habits such as exercise, as we discussed above
- Including relaxing activities such as reading and DIY home projects in your day to keep your mind occupied
- Getting enough rest by sleeping at least 8 hours daily and drinking enough water to detox and rejuvenate the body
While doing all the above, avoid drugs, alcohol, and other addictive substances.
4. Avoid procrastination
There are some habits you may be used to that are responsible for some of the stress you are experiencing. A good example is procrastination. This is where you put off working on tasks to tackle them at a later date.
Although it seems like a good idea at the time, you most likely will end up having a backlog of work that stresses you.
Procrastination takes away the time you would spend on activities you enjoy. It may also lead to many incidents of incompletion where you cannot finish some work or task assigned to you at home or in the office because you put them off for too long.
Therefore, procrastination lowers your productivity and increases your stress.
How can you combat this? By writing a daily to-do list and getting as much as you can done.
You can also use techniques to avoid procrastination and increase your completion levels.
Additionally, avoid distractions such as social media or television, and collaborate with people working on similar goals to increase your chances of achieving them.
5. Create healthy boundaries in your life
Do you take on too much? One of the most significant stress-inducing habits is biting more than you can chew.
Creating boundaries around you in your professional and personal life will reduce your stress levels.
One way to do this is by saying NO to anything you feel will interfere with your personal space or time for self-care.
Additionally, do not accept more responsibilities than you can handle at work. Learn to delegate, ask for help from team members, and avoid micromanaging.
6. Ask for help from those around you
There are people around you who care for you and can lighten your load in terms of stressful thoughts and overwhelming responsibilities.
When you seek social support from people you trust, you will find they are also going through difficulties.
This is always comforting because most of our stress comes from thinking we are alone in experiencing stressful situations. Others may have gone through similar and have insights in how to deal with it.
So, reaching out to others when you are feeling stressed is one of the best ways to overcome it.
7. Seek professional help
If your moments of stress and worry are getting out of hand despite your efforts to try the above solutions, seek professional help.
If your worry stems from personal difficulties, find a mental health professional. Should you be experiencing stress and worry caused by difficulties such as workplace harassment, accidents, and reputation, seek out a personal injury lawyer.
These professionals are well-equipped to listen to you and give you advice based on tried and tested techniques that work.
How do you know your stress is overwhelming you? A tell-tale sign is when you cannot carry out your daily responsibilities at home or in the office for lengthy periods.
The same case applies if your stress results in a lack of peaceful communication and interactions, destroying your personal relationships.
A few sessions with a counselor or psychiatrist will give you the tools you need to deal with the stressors in your life in a healthy manner. This will enable you to practically handle any problems you face, ensuring you get your life back on track.
Final thoughts on how to avoid stress and worry less
These are seven tips to avoid stress and worry in your life. If you are going through a difficult and stressful time, you now have a few things you can do to get through the difficult moments.
Share these tips with people you know who are going through overwhelming stress.