So, smoking, drinking too much, not getting enough sleep, overdosing on caffeine, and hanging around people who stress you out can all increase your stress levels. But, when you try to give up these harmful habits to help with your stress and anxiety, which ones are the best to replace them? Often, replacing an addiction with another practice can be a great way to help you quit the first one.
Relieve stress and improve your overall well-being
For example, those who smoke may want to replace smoking cigarettes with vaping, which is less harmful but provides them with something to do instead of lighting a cigarette. Others prefer to swap unhealthy habits for good habits, which are drastically different. For example, someone who drinks too much alcohol may start lifting weights to give them something else to do instead of having a drink.
We’ve dedicated this whole article to exercise already, but it’s so important that it needs to be mentioned again. Regular exercise is one of the best lifestyle habits you can have when it comes to improving your mental health and ensuring that your stress levels are under control.
Participate in walking, running, cycling, swimming, and yoga activities. Or even weight lifting or playing a team sport can boost physical fitness, improve strength, and increase self-esteem and confidence. All of which can help to improve stress and anxiety. Exercising itself releases feel-good chemicals in the brain and has been clinically proven to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression.
Stop stress through meditation
When it comes to combatting stress, meditation is a great habit to take up and integrate into your lifestyle. For centuries, meditation has been used to help people deal with their stress and anxiety levels and feel calmer within themselves. Meditation helps you find the positive energy inside yourself and feel more connected and at peace with yourself and the world around you.
Those who meditate regularly find that stressful situations no longer overwhelm them as much. They are calmer, more relaxed, and able to take on more and more. Whether you are a spiritual person or not, there is no doubt that mindfulness meditation can help you to feel more relaxed and in control.
Even sitting quietly and collecting your thoughts can help reduce stress. Meditation requires breathing deeply, which will oxygenate your brain and give you more energy to deal with your anxiety. You can do mindfulness meditation at home or in a class. You can also use various essential oils or music to aid you.
Getting creative can be one of the best ways to deal with stress. And the best thing about using creativity to combat stress is that you don’t have to be particularly artistic to do so successfully. Many studies directly relate getting creative to lower stress levels, with adult coloring books and apps for stress being a huge success.
The simple act of coloring in pictures, or perhaps doing something creative such as baking, needlework, or even DIY, can be very therapeutic. And distract your thoughts and focus from your stress and on to something else. So, if you’re feeling stressed, it might be time to consider taking up a new creative hobby.
Friends and Family
Mentally strong people do not dissociate themselves from those closest to them. When you’re feeling stressed out, it can be easy to try and hide your stress levels from your family members and close friends, as naturally, you don’t want them to be worried about you.
However, knowing when to ask for support and having the best people around you to offer that can be very important when it comes to effectively managing stress. Building and maintaining solid relationships with your family and close friends means you will have somebody to talk to when the going gets tough, which can be extremely helpful for stress.
Having somebody to talk to and confide in about whatever is stressing you out can help you by giving you an outsider’s perspective, which can often help by putting your thoughts into a better mood. Also, having people to turn to can stop you from taking too much on yourself and give you more time to relax and maintain your mental health.