We all experience stress fairly frequently in our lives. Whether you are worried about an upcoming exam, a job interview, or a deadline, life can hand you difficult tasks. Stress can occur when you are triggered by an event that causes you to feel nervous or frustrated. Anxiety however, is a chronic feeling of an impending future. This is caused by feeling fear, worry, or unease. It may occur as a reaction to stress, or when you may not be able to pinpoint the stressors in your life.
The feelings that cause anxiety can be affected by genetics, and small differences in hormones and neurotransmitters like serotonin. In addition, environmental and lifestyle factors can affect your neurochemistry. Chronic stress causes your brain to feel anxious, in order to remember to avoid more stress in the future. Your brain’s reaction to chronic stress can even rewire the way that it operates, creating hyperactive areas of the brain, and causing others to atrophy. Stress and anxiety can also cause health issues such as depression, heart disease, digestive issues, weakened immune systems, fatigue, and weight gain.
When anxiety begins to interfere with your daily life and activities, it poses a threat to your mental and physical health. It is normal to experience stress and anxiety, and luckily there are many things that may help alleviate symptoms.
1. Cannabidiol (CBD) Support
The use of CBD products to support the Endocannabinoid System may help lessen anxiety in response to stressful situations or events. By stimulating neurotransmitter systems, CBD may affect serotonin levels in your brain. This increase of serotonin can improve your mood, sleep, and digestion. There are many methods of using CBD including tinctures, gummies, bath bombs, and more, all available on our site!
2. Essential Oil Aromatherapy
Many essential oils have mood boosting properties. Lavender is a relaxing scent that may create calmness and peace. Bergamot may be used to lift your mood, as it is a bright and fresh scent. Other oils such as frankincense, geranium, vetiver, chamomile, and citrus scents may have similar effects as well.
3. Spending Time Outside
Whether you are going on a hike, riding your bike, or just sitting on your porch, spending time outdoors may brighten your mood. In fact, even just the sounds or presence of nature may help reduce stress and anxiety. By participating in outdoor recreation, you may feel more in control, more confident, and independent. Fresh air and sunshine may help relieve your mind, release endorphins, and bring you clarity.
4. Stretching, Pilates, Yoga, and Meditation
Exercise in general may help manage anxiety and stress by relieving your mind and releasing endorphins. However, moving your body by stretching, doing Pilates, yoga, or meditation may help relieve symptoms of anxiety in a different way. By participating in activities that are focused on your breath, your blood becomes more oxygenated which may allow the brain to calm down. This focus on your breath triggers a physiological response in your body which may decrease your stress and anxiety. (Tip: Try our free Pilates workout video at the bottom of the page!)
5. Healthy Dietary Changes
There are many ways in which the food that you put into your body can affect your mood. For example, caffeine is one of the most common foods that may trigger anxiety. It may cause you to feel more nervous and irritable, and also may cause physical symptoms such as shaking. Other substances that may trigger anxiety and stress are alcohol and sugar. They may impact you by hindering your energy levels, increasing nervousness, and causing sleep disturbances. Dietary changes, including consistently consuming protein, introducing complex carbohydrates, and drinking plenty of water may help with symptoms of anxiety. By starting the day with a protein-filled breakfast, your blood sugar may be more steady which gives you more energy to go throughout the day. Complex carbohydrates, such as oatmeal, whole-grains, and quinoa, may increase serotonin in your brain as well. Drinking plenty of water prevents dehydration, which may also affect your mood.
While stress and anxiety are common mental health issues within the United States, some of these simple lifestyle changes may help manage symptoms. Try incorporating CBD, essential oils, exercise, or a healthy diet into your lifestyle as beneficial supplements to your anxiety treatments.
Related: Workout with Bambi!