10 Ways to Reduce Your Stress Levels
It’s easy for stress to sneak up on you. Today, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety on a daily basis. Between busy work schedules and modern family life, many people are searching for ways to bring short-term stress relief. While you can’t always control your circumstances, here are 10 tips to lower your stress levels.
1. Exercise for 30 minutes a day
Any form of exercise or movement can decrease your stress levels. This includes walking, jogging, dancing, bicycling, yoga, tai chi, gardening, and swimming.
2. Consider supplements to lower your stress levels
Several vitamins and supplements have been linked to reduce stress levels. These include the following:
- Rhodiola rosea: Used to reduce stress, combat fatigue, and increase mental performance.
- Melatonin: Improves sleep cycles, regulates circadian rhythm, and has been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety.
- Ashwagandha: Classified as an adaptogen, which helps your body manage stress.
- L-theanine: Lowers heart rate and blood pressure, and has positive effects on mental and physical symptoms of stress.
- B Vitamins: B1, B2, B3, B6, and B12 help maintain a healthy nervous system and reduce fatigue.
- If you have a question about which supplements our pharmacists recommend for stress, please give us a call at (877) 447-7077.
3. Reduce your caffeine intake
Caffeine is a stimulant that can increase your cortisol levels and lead to negative health effects. Since caffeine stimulates your “fight or flight” response, it can also worsen your anxiety.
4. Write down your thoughts
Journaling can help reduce stress by allowing you to express your thoughts and feelings about a particular situation. It can also help individuals to critically review a situation from a different perspective.
5. Spend times with friends and family
People who regularly interact with friends and family have increased levels of oxytocin in their system and lower levels of anxiety. Socialization makes us feel more confident in our ability to cope with stressors.
6. Practice mindfulness meditation
Mindfulness meditation has been shown to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, reduce pain, and improve sleep. Mindfulness can help improve your mental health by calming your mind and body.
7. Listen to a soothing playlist
Music reduces the amount of stress hormones, such as adrenaline and cortisol, that your body releases. If you are feeling stressed, try listening to a peaceful playlist for ten minutes.
8. Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing helps you avoid the “fight-or-flight” response to stressful situations. To practice deep breathing, lie down and close your eyes, then breathe gently in through your nose for six seconds and out through your mouth for six seconds. If you continue this practice for a few minutes, you will notice your body relaxing.
9. Take a nap
A short dose of sleep can help strengthen your body’s ability to manage stress. Sleep also strengthens your immune system and reduces fatigue.
10. Try guided imagery
Guided imagery involves imagining yourself in a calm, peaceful place, such as a beach, open field, or forest. Simply close your eyes and imagine yourself in the scene, taking note of each sensory experience. After a few minutes, return to the present moment and resume your day.
You don’t need to suffer from stress alone. Chronic stress disrupts nearly every system in your body and can wreak havoc on your health. At Central Drugs, one of our friendly pharmacists can help you get to the root of your stress response and provide recommendations to relieve your symptoms. Give us a call at (877) 447-7077 to get started or schedule a free consultation.