How to Naturally Reduce Stress and Anxiety

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It’s normal to feel stressed and anxious at times, but it’s not healthy to have it dominate or control your life. If the feelings are serious, always consider going to see a medical professional. If you are looking for natural ways to see if you can shake off minor negative feelings, here are a few tips that have worked for me.

Be active: work out at the gym, run, hike, take a class, etc.

You have probably heard it before but there’s a good reason for it: being active is not only good for your body but good for your mind. For me, I have a love-hate relationship with running, but once it is over I feel so accomplished and mentally/physically spent (in a good way). It doesn’t leave time to feel stressed about the “little” things that seemed to be big things before. Even if you aren’t into running, do something active that you enjoy like a workout class, gym time, or even a long walk (dog optional). Bonus points if it takes you outside in nature which can help instill calmness.

One great app that has a huge variety of gym classes, from running to yoga to strength, is Aaptiv. They have a free trial that is definitely worth a try if you’re stuck at home or want some running motivation outside.

See if you can relax with mindfulness: try meditation, yoga, or apps that help you focus on your breath

Focusing too much on what makes you anxious or stressed will only make it worse. I’ve personally found meditation difficult and haven’t been able to do it consistently, but it is one of my goals this year. I’ve had more luck with yoga, which some people call “moving meditation”. It’s critical to find the right studio and instructor, but if you do, it can help you reach the same state of peacefulness and grounding. The number one thing I’ve learned in yoga is the importance of breath and different breathing techniques which can easily be applied to your day-to-day to find calmness.

Improve yourself, find your creative side: start a new hobby, go to a museum (or visit one digitally), begin a new book, paint, etc.

Find what activity you enjoy that helps you relax in a positive way. There is a time and a place for television or video games, but there should also be a balance. If you want to have a clear and content mind you should consider making time for activities that challenge or improve yourself. New creative outlets can help you feel more accomplished and sometimes can even lead to an extra source of income. If that doesn’t sound like something you would be interested in, trying something new such as going to a museum (or visiting one digitally) or starting a new book.

Avoid caffeine, or if you need a little kick, stick to tea

I’ve found if you’re feeling anxious, caffeine can make it significantly worse. Sometimes it’s hard to go a day without caffeine, so if that is you, consider beverages with smaller doses. Black teas or matcha are my “lightly caffeinated” beverages of choice. If you’re interested in learning the benefits of matcha or how to make a latte, check out my post on how to make a matcha latte for beginners.

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