Everyone gets stressed at times. Whether it’s at home, the office, in the streets or just commuting home, there are things that can make you feel stressed everywhere. When you get stressed it spikes your blood pressure, lowering your body’s defenses and ability to stay calm, which can cause feelings of anxiety and social phobia.
However, you don’t have to go to a spa or a weekend retreat to relieve all the stress in your body to stay calm. You can be your own stress-busting reliever. All you have to do is learn is how to spot what’s making you feel stressed and stay in control when you feel pressure rising.
Here are some quick tips for reducing anxiety, which can in turn reduce social phobia through lightening your mood and giving you a clearer perspective on things:
Multiple research studies have found that daily meditation can alter the brain’s neural pathways. This can make you more resilient to stress and just a few minutes of meditating each day can help reduce anxiety. There are many great meditation apps you can download on your smartphones that can guide you through a meditation.
2. Deep Breathing
Just by taking a 5 minute break and focusing on breathing deeply is a powerful anxiety-reducing technique. This is because it activates the body’s relaxation response.
“Try slowly inhaling to a count of 4, filling your belly first and then your chest, gently holding your breath to a count of 4, and slowly exhaling to a count of 4 and repeat several times” as suggested by Marla W. Deibler, PsyD, a clinical psychologist and director of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia, LLC.
3. Be Present
Focus on what’s happening in the moment when you feel stressed. When we are anxious we tend to think ahead and stress out on the uncomforting thoughts on what might happen in the future. You need to check whether this is what is making you feel anxious and slow down. When you spend time in the moment and focus on your senses, you naturally feel less tense and more calm.
4. Reach Out
Be more open about how you feel at the moment to your siblings, friends, parents or any of the closest people that you trust and you can draw support from. Your real life social network is one of your best sources of support to help you handle stress and anxiety better.
5. Laugh Out Loud
As they say, ‘laughter is the best medicine’. Laughter is a good anxiety reliever, it also raises feel good hormones which serve as a strong counterbalance to anxiety and depression. The best way to use laughter as a stress and anxiety reliever is sharing those joyful and humorous situations with friends and family. You can arrange a weekend gathering at your place and binge watch your favorite shows or have a movie marathon. Sharing fun times with friends is one of the most effective ways to counter low thoughts that can make you feel anxious.
6. Get Moving
Exercise is an excellent stress and anxiety reliever. It helps lighten your mood and release feel good endorphins that give you a new perspective on things. You don’t have to stick to a stiff exercise regimen in order to get moving or become a gym bunny. You can use the stairs instead of the elevator, walk or jog around your block during weekends or walk your dog to your nearest park. Get out and enjoy your local surroundings instead of sulking in your bedroom or slumped in front of the TV all day.
7. Be Grateful
No matter how your day turns out, there are always positive things that you can be grateful for. Keep a gratitude journal to remind yourself that life is not that bad at all and there are a lot of things to be thankful for.
As wellness coach Joni Emmerling puts it, “Being thankful of all your blessings keeps out the negative thoughts and worries.”