Stress and anxiety can take a toll on our mental and physical health, and with the current state of the world, it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed and anxious. However, there are ways to manage stress and anxiety, and experts have shared their top tips for doing so. Here are 10 expert-recommended tips for managing stress and anxiety.
1. Practice Mindfulness
According to Dr. Sherry Benton, a psychologist and founder of TAO Connect, mindfulness can help reduce stress and anxiety. Mindfulness involves focusing on the present moment and being aware of your thoughts and feelings without judgment. It can be practiced through meditation, deep breathing, or simply paying attention to your surroundings.
2. Get Enough Sleep
Lack of sleep can exacerbate stress and anxiety, so it’s important to prioritize getting enough sleep. According to Dr. Raj Dasgupta, a pulmonary and sleep medicine specialist, adults should aim for 7-9 hours of sleep per night. Establish a bedtime routine and try to stick to it every night.
3. Exercise Regularly
Exercise is not only good for physical health but also mental health. According to Dr. Clayton Cowl, a preventive, occupational, and aerospace medicine specialist, exercise can help reduce stress and anxiety by releasing endorphins, which are natural mood boosters. Find an exercise routine that works for you, whether it’s yoga, running, or weightlifting.
4. Practice Gratitude
Dr. Samantha Boardman, a psychiatrist and founder of Positive Prescription, recommends practicing gratitude as a way to manage stress and anxiety. Taking time to appreciate the good things in life can help shift your focus away from negative thoughts. Consider starting a gratitude journal or simply taking a few minutes each day to reflect on what you’re thankful for.
5. Connect with Others
Social support can be a powerful tool for managing stress and anxiety. Dr. Karen Cassiday, a clinical psychologist, recommends connecting with friends and family, whether it’s through phone calls, video chats, or socially distanced meetups. Sharing your feelings with others can help alleviate stress and provide a sense of relief.
6. Set Boundaries
Setting boundaries can help reduce stress and anxiety by giving you a sense of control. Dr. Katharine Hill, a licensed clinical psychologist, recommends setting boundaries with technology and work, such as turning off notifications during certain times or establishing a designated workspace.
7. Take Breaks
Taking breaks throughout the day can help prevent burnout and reduce stress. Dr. Rachel O’Neill, a licensed professional counselor, recommends taking short breaks every 90 minutes to stretch, take a walk, or simply relax. This can help improve productivity and reduce stress levels.
8. Practice Self-Care
Self-care involves taking care of your physical, emotional, and mental health. Dr. Jamie Long, a licensed clinical psychologist, recommends practicing self-care activities such as taking a bath, reading a book, or simply taking time for yourself. Prioritizing self-care can help reduce stress and improve overall well-being.
9. Challenge Negative Thoughts
Negative thoughts can contribute to stress and anxiety. Dr. Michelle Maidenberg, a psychotherapist, recommends challenging negative thoughts by asking yourself if they’re true, helpful, or necessary. This can help shift your perspective and reduce stress levels.
10. Seek Professional Help
If stress and anxiety are impacting your daily life, it may be helpful to seek professional help. Dr. Kevin Gilliland, a clinical psychologist, recommends seeking therapy to learn coping strategies and develop a personalized plan for managing stress and anxiety.
Managing stress and anxiety can be challenging, but these expert-recommended tips can help. By practicing mindfulness, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, practicing gratitude, connecting with others, setting boundaries, taking breaks, practicing self-care, challenging negative thoughts, and seeking professional help when needed, you can reduce stress and anxiety and improve overall well-being.