Anxiety. Stress. Busy schedules. Feeling like you never have time to breathe.
Those are realities for way too many of us.
Here’s the problem: The more stress we have, the more likely we are to gain weight and the more difficult it is to resist bad food.
We rounded up 15 proven ways to immediately tame that anxious mind and take those stress levels down a notch.
1. Power nap time.
Europeans do it for a reason: A quick, 15 to 20-minute nap will recharge your mind and refresh your body.
2. Deep breaths.
There’s a reason this one makes it onto the list again and again. Take in air for a slow, 5-second count, release it slowly for a 5-second count. Repeat several times.
3. Eat breakfast.
The last thing you want is low blood sugar, which has been shown to cause episodic anxiety. Start the day with a solid, nutritional morning meal.
4. Go for a walk.
Nature should be enjoyed, not avoided. There’s a certain calm you can only find while taking a walk — and taking in all the beauty around you.
5. Find inspiration.
The interwebs are full of motivational quotes — take advantage of them. Next time you’re surfing the web or scrolling through your Facebook feed, slow down and stop to actually read a motivational quote (it might just make your day). You can also visit our Pinterest board for plenty more.
6. Pet your pooch or kitty.
An animal’s soft fur and demeanor are just the thing to take your anxiety down a notch. Plus, caring for a pet can help you focus your anxious energy elsewhere and be a rewarding way to make life a little brighter.
7. Build a support network.
Friends and family are an important piece of the wellness puzzle. There are going to be times you need to talk out your feelings and lean on someone else — that’s what they’re there for.
8. Take a bath.
Soaking in warm, soapy or bubbly water has a soothing effect on your body, which can quickly carry over into your mind.
9. Kick your caffeine habit.
Is a cup of coffee here and there that big of a deal? No. But when you’re sucking them down three or more times a day, it can have a negative impact on stress levels and boost anxiety.
10. Find a love to learn.
Complacency is a bad thing. When you’re eager to take things in and expand your horizons, your mind stays sharper. Even more importantly, it stays busy, so you’re not re-playing all the things that cause your anxiety.
11. Limit alcohol.
It’s tempting to reach for a glass of wine at the end of a long day, but some studies have shown that over-consumption of alcohol can bump anxiety levels in the long-run.
12. Overthinking isn’t helping.
Obsessing over something and mulling it over and over in your head will seldom lead to anything useful. Take a deep breath and redirect your thoughts elsewhere.
13. Keep a journal.
Writing out your thoughts daily is a much healthier way to sort through them than letting the wheels turn with no direction.
14. Own who you are.
No one’s perfect. We all make mistakes. We all have things we don’t like about ourselves. While it’s important to strive to get better, it’s also important to accept who you are. Eventually, you can and should try to learn to love who you are, too.
15. Eat healthfully.
A healthy overall diet is critical. It gets the right nutrition to your mind and body, which leads to a happier you. (Not sure where to start? We can help! Check out our delicious, pre-prepared meal plans to get on the right track.)
What are some ways you deal with stress and anxiety?
Author: Caitlin H
Diet-to-Go Community Manager
Caitlin is the Diet-to-Go community manager and an avid runner. She is passionate about engaging with others online and maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle. She believes moderation is key, and people will have the most weight loss success if they engage in common-sense healthy eating and fitness.