10 Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are normal, though often times they’re heavy emotions to carry. More than 40 million U.S. adults suffer from anxiety and though it is a treatable disorder, it can have negative affects on the body and leave us feeling helpless.
Feeling these heightened emotions activates our nervous system and floods our bloodstream with two things: adrenaline and cortisol. These two hormones raise blood pressure, spike our blood sugar and increase our heart rate. This response to stress originated in ancient times when our ancestors had to out run wild animals looking for a good meal. This is called “Fight-or-flight.”
Unfortunately, in modern day, things like finances, challenging relationships, social pressure, the COVID-19 pandemic, and many more issues can keep us awake at night. Existing in that heightened state of stress can take a major toll on our health and how we live life. Living with constant stress can result in weight gain, memory loss, depression, higher risk of heart disease, stroke and sometimes even premature death.
When dealing with stress you may experience one or more of the following symptoms: poor sleep, headaches, unexplained weight loss or gain, loss of interest in the things you enjoy, constant worrying, excessive alcohol or drug use, anger or irritability, and the inability to concentrate.
GETTING STRESS AND AXIETY UNDER CONTROL
- Use CBD Oil
A great starting point is to help balance your endocannabinoid system. If you haven’t checked out our Understanding CBD blog, we break down exactly what our endocannabinoid system is, how it works and how CBD interacts with it. However, in short, it is a naturally occurring system made up of three parts: cannabinoids, endocannabinoids, and metabolic enzymes. The three parts work together to help maintain homeostasis in our body. Studies have shown taking CBD can help activate the cannabinoids responsible for fear and panic responses, which in turn can help reduce stress and anxiety.
According to Bonnie Goldstein, MD, author of Cannabis is Medicine, a recent case series reported on the use of CBD for anxiety and sleep and found almost 80% of participants reported a reduction in anxiety in the first month alone.
Plenroot Farms offers a range of high-quality CBD oils. Available in both full-spectrum and isolate CBD. Check them out here!
Though I’m sure you’ve read this somewhere down the line, I’m putting it here because of its importance. Exercise isn’t only good for weight-loss. When participating in a physical activity our bodies release what is called feel-good endorphins. These endorphins help boost your mood and reduce the feeling of anxiety you may be holding onto. Consider this “meditation in motion”. Use this to your advantage, even if it’s only going for a daily walk!
- Eat better
Eating healthy doesn’t only strengthen your immune system, but has potential to stabilize your mood. A great example is dark chocolate. Yes, if you love chocolate you’re going to love this. Believe it or not dark chocolate can help relieve stress, improve cognitive function and boost your mood. Just make sure the chocolate you’re eating is the best quality and without fillers and junk!
- Connect with people who support you
Lean onto the people who care and love you the most. More than likely the people who love you are willing to take your hand and help you build a plan to better the situation you find yourself in.
- Limit Alcohol and Stimulants
Alcohol and other stimulants may make you feel better in the moment, but in the long run it’s doing more harm than good. It’s torturing your body and tearing it down. Nourish your body with your favorite fruit and vegetables and wash it down with a big cup of fresh water!
- Meditate/ Yoga
When you practice activities that relax your body, you’re counterbalancing your adrenaline and cortisol. Making these activities a habit and practicing them regularly will become a lasting tool to help reduce stress and clear your mind to better your health.
- Get enough sleep
Poor sleep is no better than no sleep. Getting into a constant and regular sleep pattern of 7-8 hours a day will not only help reduce stress, but it will help with concentration, with mood and can help sharpen your judgment and decision making. Don’t let stress take a good night sleep away from you!
- Clear your schedule
Sometimes taking a day for yourself can be a perfect reboot. Do all of the things you love. Take a walk on the beach, read your favorite book, or watch that movie you’ve been waiting to see! Do something that makes you happy. Or better yet, catch up on the sleep you’ve lost!
- Take a shower
Nothing feels better than taking a hot shower. Hot water relaxes your nerves, and reduces tension in your muscles, so take advantage! Soak in the warm water and enjoy the alone time!
- Try something new
Is there something you’ve been keeping a close eye on? Do something that brings you happiness. Take a hike on a new trail, start reading a new series, plant flowers, or find a craft to work on. Research shows doing something you love can reduce your stress by almost half. Who says a hobby is a waste of time? I say not!