Mental health: Five ways to manage stress and anxiety
With our increasingly packed work schedules, fast approaching deadlines, unhealthy lifestyle habits, and bad diet routines, our mental health is bound to take a toll. And when we're stressed or anxious, we often tend to stick to unhealthy lifestyle patterns (usually smoking and drinking). To help you out, here are five simple ways in which you can effectively deal with stress and anxiety.
It's crucial to follow a healthy and balanced diet on a regular basis to maintain good mental and physical health. Additionally, it'll help enhance your mood. Make sure that your diet is filled with vegetables, fruits, and whole grains, as these will provide you with ample energy. Also, reduce your intake of junk food, and stimulants like caffeine. And of course, never skip meals.
Working out on a regular basis is one of the best ways to relax your mind and body, and improve your mood. Aim for at least 30 minutes of moderate exercise daily. And don't go out of line- simple cardio exercises like running, and biking can help. Other relaxing activities like going out for walks, stretching, and meditating can also prove beneficial.
More often than not, people tend to stick to unhealthy lifestyle choices like drinking and smoking, to cope with stress. But this is counter-intuitive because these habits are bound to deteriorate our physical and mental health. Excessive alcohol consumption and smoking could lead to health conditions like nerve damage, liver damage, cardiovascular disease, and respiratory issues, which will naturally increase your stress levels.
Deep breathing exercises can improve your general mental and physical well-being, by improving respiration, digestion, and enhancing your mood. All this will further help calm down your mind, thus reducing stress and anxiety. Some of the best deep breathing exercises you can try to feel better are Sama Vritti, Abdominal breathing, Kapalbhati Pranayam, Nadhi Shodhana, and Progressive relaxation, among others.
We understand that you are busy, but not getting enough sleep is not a solution. Sleep deprivation could cause many health issues, and yes- stress and anxiety are among them. So aim for at least 7-9 hours of sound sleep each night to fight stress.