The past year has been challenging for most people, leaving many of us with heightened anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, unresolved stress can take a toll on the body, affecting the musculoskeletal, respiratory, cardiovascular, endocrine, gastrointestinal, nervous, and reproductive systems. How can you reduce stress and anxiety? We’ve got some helpful tips.
- Get some exercise. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, and you don’t need to go to the gym. Take a walk, do some jumping jacks, or find an exercise video on YouTube that you enjoy. Exercising for as little as 20 minutes a day can reduce your stress by up to 50 percent.
- Spend time in the great outdoors. Even if it’s just sitting in your own back yard, connecting with nature is beneficial. In fact, it’s been shown to reduce blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and stress hormones.
- Smell something good. Aromatherapy can help improve sleep and reduce anxiety. Whether it’s scented candles or a diffuser, find a scent that calms you.
- Keep a journal. Take some time each day to write about your feelings. Keep a running gratitude list. Write your negative thoughts in your journal, then determine how to replace them with positive thoughts, literally crossing out the negative and replacing them.
- Play some tunes. It’s been scientifically documented that listening to music can lift a person’s mood. Make yourself a happy playlist to play when you’re feeling stressed or anxious.
- While you’re at it, sing along! Even if you can’t carry a tune, sing! It’s been proven to lower stress and increase endorphins.
- Laugh every day. A sense of humor helps keep life in perspective. Don’t have anything to laugh about? Watch a funny movie or Google humorous memes or videos.
- Reach out to people. Connecting with a friend or family member can help alleviate loneliness. Email, call, write a letter, or find some other way to connect.
- Find a furry friend. Cat person or dog person, it doesn’t matter. Research shows that when you pet an animal, your stress hormones decrease, and your serotonin production increases.
- Be mindful. Live in the now. Sit still, close your eyes, and take five deep breaths. Focus on your surroundings, identifying five smells, touches, tastes, and sounds.
- Color. Coloring can be meditative.
- Try yoga. Practicing yoga can improve your mood, release tension, and lessen anxiety and depression.
- Limit caffeine and alcohol. Both can increase stress.
- Get some healthy sleep. This recharges the body.
- Make peace with your life. Accept what you cannot change.
Whether you need behavioral health services or just general medicine for your family in Dallas & Balch Springs, TX, trust Foremost Family Health Centers to care for you. We’ve been providing affordable family healthcare to the Dallas community since we opened our doors as Martin Luther King, Jr Family Clinic in 1986. We want to see you thrive, so we provide comprehensive primary care services, regardless of your ability to pay. Call us at 214-377-0887 or contact us through the website for an appointment.
Important COVID-19 Update: Healthy Cooking Classes and Lactation Classes have been cancelled due to COVID-19. If you are interested in Lactation Consultations, please contact Karen Bell directly to set up a telehealth appointment.