We have read it in magazines and online articles everywhere – exercise, eat healthy meals and get a hobby. But aside from the usual tips, are there little things we can do to help beat stress and anxiety? I made a little research and discovered some activities we can add to our daily routine to keep us from being weighed down by stress.
- Wake up at the same time.
Have you ever encountered the phrase circadian rhythm? It refers to our body clock – a cycle that tells our body when to rise, eat and sleep. Apparently, having an inconsistent time to wake up disrupt the body’s rhythm and leads to a feeling of tiredness, whether we slept shorter or longer hours than the usual. Getting up at the same time each day can actually help beat stress by giving the mind sufficient time to condition itself for a day’s work.
- Eat snacks. And turn it into a mindfulness exercise.
Yes, the usual response we call “stress eating” can be helpful when used as a mindfulness exercise. Mindfulness is the practice of keeping a moment-by-moment awareness of our environment through capturing what we think, feel, and sense with our bodies. When we chew our food and focus on how it tastes and texture, it can actually turn into a meditation.
Moreover, there’s a chance that your thought of being stressed is because of skipping a meal or feeling hungry. Dr. Drew Ramsey, the author of The Happiness Diet, explains that the connection between the stomach and brain is huge. Studies support the idea that our belly is a major mediator of the stress response. So pick a filling snack like a hard boiled egg, avocado, or a handful of nuts because it may be your tummy that you need to deal with.
- Get some chewing gum.
Keeping a handy gum in your pocket to chew when you get stressed actually works. It doesn’t just freshen your breath. According to a 2008 study, it can reduce anxiety and improve alertness when you’re managing multiple tasks.
- Learn progressive muscle relaxation(PMR).
Okay. PMR is a new thing for me but I found out this technique is used even for children and teens trying to relax. How do we actually perform it? Focus on your muscles, one area of your body at a time. For example, you can start with your toes going up to your leg muscle. Slowly tighten your muscles for five seconds and then release. Continue until you’re done with all muscle groups of your body.
- Set aside time to worry, then let it all go.
If you are a worrier and just can’t help but find something that stresses you out in a day, this can work for you. Researchers from a study in 2011 found that people can actually cope with problems better if they will set aside 30 minutes each day to just sit and worry. However, the worrying period should be confined at that: just 30 minutes. Doing this will keep you from being miserable the whole day. This exercise is coined by a psychologist in the 1980’s as “stimulus control of worry.”
Daily relaxation can also work for you. Check out this video with simple habits that help me beat stress.