Natural ways to deal with stress and anxiety
*the advice here is not intended to be a replacement for medical advice and prescribed medication should be used until otherwise directed by a GP. These ideas are intended to reduce stress and anxiety levels on a day to day basis.
- Get outside
Fresh air is so beneficial to your health and wellbeing, and can really help to reduce feelings of stress and anxiety. We spend more time indoors than ever and this has such a major effect on not only our physical health, but our mental health too. Exposing your lungs to fresh air and your senses to the smell of flowers and plants increases oxygen and serotonin levels in the body, which in turn contributes to lowering stress levels and increasing feelings of calm, happiness and relaxation. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or stressed then get outside and go for a walk. The benefits will really help to boost how you’re feeling and time away to think really helps with clarity and reducing anxiety.
- Move your body
Exercise has some incredible mood boosting benefits. Not only does it make you feel good about yourself in general but it boosts brain activity, releases feel good endorphins and nourishes the brain cells. Exercising makes your heart beat faster, allowing more oxygen to pump into the brain. Moving your body has a positive impact on depression, anxiety, stress, mood and sleep patterns. You don’t have to spend hours in the gym – you can exercise at home with a fitness DVD, weights, a HIIT Workout or if you like to get out of the house, go for a walk/run or find a class local to you that you enjoy.
- Catch some zzz’s
Sleeping for 8-10 hours a night has shown to be invaluable for mood stabilisation and reducing feelings of stress, panic and worry. If you struggle to go to sleep at night, try using essential oils such as lavender or camomile to help you to relax – you can add drops to your bath, pillow or treat yourself to a herbal bedtime tea. It isn’t always possible to get a full nights sleep, especially if you are caring for someone who needs assistance during the night. If you can, try and catch up in the day with a power nap or by taking some time to yourself to relax whether it’s with a hot bath, a good book or a sit down in the garden.
- Are you having a laugh?!
Laughing releases endorphins which promote an overall sense of well being and helps to decrease stress hormones. Spend time with people who make you laugh, or watch your favourite feel good comedy. It’s important for our mental health to have friendships and socialising regularly helps to prevent loneliness as well as improving our sense of importance and wellbeing. Talking to friends is also a great way to vent and release feelings of anxiety and stress.
If you are struggling with feeling overwhelmed or stress, anxiety, depression and feel that you need extra support and would like to speak to someone the following helplines are available for on hand, expert advice:
03444775774 (Mon-Fri, 9.30am-5.30pm)
03001233393 (Mon-Fri, 9am-6pm)
116123 (free 24 hour helpline)