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10 Ways To Reduce Stress And Anxiety

Since the government declared a nationwide lockdown to curb the rising number of coronavirus cases, people have been advised to stay indoors to protect themselves from contracting or transmitting the disease. And due to this lockdown, many news reports have shown that there has been a rise in stress and anxiety cases [1]. The rise in stress and anxiety cases has been attributed to stress caused by work pressure, layoffs, disruption of social life, loneliness and other such issues [2].

Excess stress and anxiety can have a negative impact on a person's health. It may elevate the risk of various diseases such as heart disease, high blood pressure, diabetes and depression [3].

Fortunately, there are some ways that may help combat stress and make you feel better. Read on to know.

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1. Exercise

Regular physical exercise in any form can act as stress-busters. It increases the production of the brain's feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins. Exercise can also take your mind off your worries by letting you focus on your body. In addition, keeping yourself physically active can help relieve anxiety too [4], [5]. You can try deep-breathing exercises, yoga or mindfulness meditation to relieve stress.

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2. Green tea

Drinking green tea can help reduce your stress levels. Green tea possesses catechins, caffeine and amino acids. L-theanine is an amino acid that has been shown to lower the symptoms of stress and may help with anxiety as well [6].

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3. Chew gum

A study found that chewing gum can lower stress levels at work or outside work, reduce anxiety and decrease fatigue, thereby improving mood. Another study reported that people who chew gum daily are less stressed [7], [8].

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4. Eat a well-balanced diet

Eating a healthy, well-balanced diet has a major impact on your mood and emotions. It can uplift your mood and help you cope with stress. Consume wholesome foods such as avocado, fatty fishes, nuts, oatmeal, eggs, berries, whole grains, citrus fruits and green leafy veggies to help lower your stress levels [9].

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5. Quit smoking

Cigarette smoking can worsen your anxiety and stress levels. Studies have shown that smoking can increase the risk of anxiety. So, try to quit your smoking habit [10].

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6. Get a good night’s sleep

Getting at least seven to eight hours of sleep at night can help lower your stress and anxiety. A good night's sleep will help you to tackle the day's stress more easily and decrease the risk of sleep disorders as well.

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7. Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a treatment method that involves using aromatic essential oils for improving psychological or physical well-being. Aromatherapy is known to lower stress and improve mood with the help of essential oils such as lavender, rose, Roman chamomile, sandalwood, orange and geranium [11].

Chamomile essential oil has been shown to reduce stress and anxiety by calming the nerves. Increased levels of stress and anxiety can lead to insomnia; inhaling chamomile essential oil can have a calming effect on the brain and can help treat insomnia and reduce stress [12].

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8. Write it down

Express your thoughts and feelings by writing it down on a paper. Journaling can help you cope with stress and anxiety. Write down what you are grateful for and focus on the positive things [13].

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9. Take a walk

Take a walk in your neighbourhood and enjoy the scenery outside, as it can help drive the stress away. Take some time out from your schedule and take a walk in the park to help rejuvenate your mind [14].

Note: It is not advisable to WALK AROUND now, considering the lockdown. If you are though, follow the safety guidelines and stay close to home.

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10. Spend time with close friends and family

In these stressful times, it is necessary to talk to your close friends and family as it will help you deal with stress and anxiety in a much better way. Talk to them about what you are feeling as they can help you tackle the problems that you are facing.

Read more about: ways stress anxiety
Story first published: Monday, May 18, 2020, 19:22 [IST]
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