Five simple ways to quickly reduce stress and anxiety

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If you’re feeling under pressure for any reason, you are not alone. Modern life is stressful. Whether it’s at work, home, or something else, we all feel anxious or stressed at some point. Some people may look carefree and completely devoid of stress but they aren’t. They just hide it better.

Different people cope with stress in different ways. If you’re having trouble coping with yours right now, these five methods can help. Each has been proven to work by those of us who have tried them and the experts who suggested them to us. Try them and see which works for you.

1. Get moving

Any kind of exercise can help you cope with stress. It won’t alleviate it, but it will help your mind and body cope with what’s going on. Whether you take the dog for a walk along the beach, go for a bicycle ride or a run, working your body releases chemicals in the brain that make you feel better.

Exercise can also help clear your mind and give you the time and space to develop strategies for dealing with the situation that is stressing you out.

2. Have some ‘me’ time

Setting some time aside for just you isn’t an indulgence, it’s a necessity. We work long hours, have busy home lives and ask a lot of ourselves. While Malta may have a slower pace of life than many Europeans, we still squeeze a lot into our day. Setting some time aside for yourself isn’t too much to ask.

Forget about work, stop checking social media or your emails and spend some quality time. Do what you want, how you want. It will lower your stress level.

3. Avoid unhealthy coping habits

When under pressure, some people will turn to an outside coping mechanism such as smoking or drinking. This is classic avoidance behaviour and doesn’t actually achieve anything but actually creates another problem for you to deal with.

There is nothing wrong with going out with friends to forget about life for a while, but using drinks, drugs or nicotine as a coping mechanism won’t help.

4. Pay it forward

Doing something for someone else is a well-known way to lower stress. Volunteering, charity work or community work give us a huge sense of satisfaction that can counteract anxiety in a big way. Not only does it help our self-esteem by helping others, you often get to see how much worse your own situation could be.

It has been scientifically proven that helping others makes us feel more resilient and happier. It also helps our minds put our own problems into perspective. Both of which can help with stress and anxiety.

5. Accept things you can’t change

The Serenity Prayer says ‘grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change.’ Never a truer word said. Coming to terms with things out of your control will eventually stop you stressing over them. Making changes where you can will also help. Another saying ‘if you constantly do the same thing, you get the same results’ is pertinent here.

We’re not saying it’s easy to overcome stress because we know first-hand that it isn’t. What we would like you to understand is that no stressful situation is insurmountable. With the right approach, it is possible to overcome everything life throws at us.

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