7 Tips to Decrease Stress and Anxiety

For many, 2021 hasn’t proven to be any less difficult than 2020 so far. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, here are a few helpful tips to decrease stress and anxiety.  

  1. Exercise.  Exercising regularly, even for only 10 minutes a day, lowers stress levels by decreasing cortisol (the stress hormone) levels in the body, causing the release of endorphins (the body’s natural pain killers), and promotes better sleep quality.  Additionally, exercising improves self-confidence which is a huge mood booster in and of itself! 
  2. Try essential oils.  More and more studies are concluding that aromatherapy works to combat stress!  Just breathing in calming scents such as lavender, rose, frankincense, or sandalwood can help to decrease feelings of anxiety.
  3. Reduce caffeine intake.  We love a good cup of coffee, but studies show that high doses of caffeine can increase anxiety.  If you’re one of those people that consumes a venti cup of coffee on the daily, you may want to consider switching to a tall or grande size to see if it has any effect on your stress and anxiety levels.  *Remember, coffee isn’t the only source of caffeine!  Caffeine levels in sodas and even chocolate can be plentiful so be sure to check nutrition labels of food and drinks you consume regularly.
  4. Practice gratitude.  If you’re struggling to look on the brightside, take a few moments each day to list out what you’re grateful for.  Gratitude practices can help take your mind off of what is stressing you out and help you begin or end your day with a more positive outlook.  
  5. Chew gum.  It may sound weird but studies have shown that chewing gum promotes blood flow to the brain and causes brain waves to mimic those of relaxed people.  Try it out when you’re feeling especially stressed!
  6. Create a social support network.  Even just having one person to call on when you’re feeling stressed or anxious can do wonders for your mental health.  Just be sure that the people you surround yourself with are supportive and aren’t contributing to your increased stress levels! 
  7. Say NO!  If you’re stressed out because of an overwhelming amount of work, take a step back and determine whether or not every item on your to-do list absolutely has to be done by you.  Delegate as needed and say NO when you just can’t add anything else to your plate.  

We hope these tips help you to breathe easier.  Sending our readers lots of positive vibes!

-The Vantage Hospice Team