Stress and anxiety are normal responses to difficult situations, and nobody would argue that the last few years have been challenging.
While it’s appropriate to feel apprehensive about the future, prolonged, poorly managed stress can lead to ongoing mental and physical health issues.
That’s why it’s important to develop healthy coping strategies to support your wellbeing.
Below, we share three simple tips on managing stress and anxiety to help you get started...
While we’ve always known there’s a strong connection between the mind and body, recent research has proven just how interconnected our physical health is with our thoughts and mindset.
When we constantly worry and chew over anxious thoughts, our body receives signals telling it to prepare for action.
That old flight or fight response is useful in emergency situations, but when the signals keep coming long-term, it can be extremely draining - physically and mentally.
This means it’s important to find ways to manage our thoughts and calm the body.
The best way to do this is by practicing activities that promote calmness, stillness, and mindfulness.
Even something as simple as taking a one-minute break from work to pause can help promote a sense of calmness. Take five deep, mindful breaths to stop those negative thought spirals in their tracks.
Other mindful activities successfully used in managing anxiety include meditation, yoga, breathwork, and journaling.
If you’re not sure where to start, there are some fantastic apps to help guide you, such as Headspace and Calm. YouTube is also filled with a wealth of excellent, free resources.
2. Nurture Your Body
When we feel overwhelmed, it’s tempting to drop some of the simple self-care routines we’re used to. But often, those simple actions can be highly effective at managing stress. Prioritize taking care of yourself, especially when you’re feeling anxious and upset.
Get back to basics and nourish your body with regular, healthy meals and lots of water.
Set yourself up for a good night’s sleep with a supportive bedtime routine. That means a cut-off time for devices and finding soothing activities to get you in the right mindset – whether that’s a warm bath, a hot cup of tea, or a good book.
Exercise is fantastic for managing stress. As much as you don’t feel like it, find ways to move your body every day. Even five minutes of activity can reduce stress levels and encourage your body to produce those feel-good hormones.
You don’t have to do a rigorous workout (although, if that’s your style, feel free to go hard!). Any movement is good – from a walk around the park or a yoga session to an at-home dance party.
3. Make Space for Joy
Stress and anxiety can produce some very big emotions or a complete lack of emotions, depending on your go-to coping mechanism. Either way, it can be challenging to feel positive emotions like joy.
However, one of the best ways for managing stress is to remind yourself how to have fun! Play and laughter are excellent remedies for anxiety.
Watch a funny movie or tv show and let yourself get lost in the humor. Reconnect with activities you used to love, whether that’s riding a bike, playing with your pet, or indulging in your favorite hobby.
Helping others is also a sure-fire way to feel good, so if you’re struggling to find joy for yourself, do something nice for someone else. Not only will you make their day better, but you’ll experience the proven physiological benefits of doing a good deed.
Managing Stress by nurturing your mind, body and spirit
When we take the time to care for our mental and physical wellbeing, we can reduce the impact of stress and anxiety.
Massage is an excellent way to nourish our bodies and minds. It has been proven to lower cortisol (the stress hormone) by around 30% and increase serotonin and dopamine (the happiness hormones) by about the same amount. This also includes chair massage.
Chair massage also promotes a sense of connection, promotes better sleep, boosts immunity, and can lower your blood pressure and heart rate. It’s an excellent tool to add to your toolbox for managing stress and anxiety.
Bodyworkz specializes in on-site chair massage, which means we come to your workplace armed with a portable massage chair, and a professional massage therapist, to help melt away your team’s workplace stress. Talk to us today to find out more about how we can help!