7 Steps to manage Stress & Anxiety

Stress Management is one of the most challenging things to achieve in these days when we seem to be constantly running from one task to the other and MORE seems to be the key word to everything in life. More of this, more of that: we try to divide our attention between everything and nothing seems to be ever enough. Anxiety is a normal response to stress. With anxiety comes a wide variety of symptoms such as a change in the heart beat rate, shallow breathing and a constant restlessness that translates into feelings of out of control or fear. These feelings are often experienced with an overly active appetite (emotional eating) and an incapacity for sleeping.

A few powerful tips for managing stress and releasing anxiety are:

1 – Spending time in nature

It has been proven that breathing the negative ions that we can find by the sea or in a forest has amazing health benefits to the body, since it has a soothing effect in our nervous system and activates the sense of awe.

2 – Sleeping well

Your cognitive response to stress will be much stronger if you manage to sleep well. An entire post on this subject will follow. But know that lack of sleeping changes our perception of danger and therefore it creates more stress. And then people tend to eat more to compensate for it (emotional eating). If you sleep properly your body will feel more relaxed, your mind will be more resilient and you will experience an overall sense of serenity.

3 – Exercise

Exercising has a major effect in our endocrine system, allowing it to release endorphins and therefore making us feel good. You may have to find an activity that suits your body better. Yoga is amazing for stress relief, especially Yin Yoga due to its meditative soothing effects both on the body and on the mind. Qigong is also quite powerful to balance your body’s energy and is the perfect daily exercise and complement to any physical activity routine.

4 – Nutrition 

People who suffer from anxiety should avoid caffeine. It will just boost your endocrine system in such a way that it will enhance the anxiety instead of helping your body relax. Know that due to their complex and more volatile endocrine system, women are especially sensitive to caffeine.

5 – Meditation

Meditation is a powerful technique that will not only help you find space inside yourself to manage stress and anxiety from a different perspective, as it will create the capacity to be more present, more mindful. A key point in meditation is deep breathing and breathing is one of three ways (and the first one) that the body has to achieve the process of elimination, so breathing has a major role in our health and the quality of our energy. Just try to seat and take deep abdominal breaths for 10 minutes and you’ll notice a wide difference between how you felt before and how you’ll feel after breathing deeply and consciously focusing on the breathing patterns. You may even place one hand over your belly and one hand over your heart so you can simultaneously feel your heartbeat and your breathing pattern. Indeed, Tao breathing techniques may even replace the some hours of sleep, but we’ll leave this subject for a future post.

Another thing that can help you as you give your first steps in meditation is focus on the sensations. Scan each single body part and focus on the sensations you are experiencing when you first lay or sit down to meditate. Staying with your body will greatly help you relax and be present. You can also use active meditations such as Walking Meditation or the Shuang Yang, the soft side of Kung Fu and other Martial Arts or Yin Yoga as you both activate the body and the mind to reach the same goal.

6 – Relaxation Rituals

If you’re still finding it difficult to create space in your current routine for all these steps, start with simple easy steps lie creating relaxation rituals, preferably before you go to bed so you are able to get a good night’s sleep. A few examples: having a cup of tea (choose a tea with no caffeine), take a bath or shower with Lavender, write a few words of appreciation in your Gratitude Journal to align yourself with a high frequency energy, pray to feel yourself connected with God, Nature, the Divine, the Higher Being or simply the alignment in your life.

7 – Aromatherapy

Essential Oils are nerve tonics and it has been proven that some of them have an active effect in soothing the nervous system and relieving stress and anxiety. The main essential oils to relieve stress and anxiety are:

Lavender

Frankincense

Clary Sage

Bergamot

Rose

Neroli

Vetiver

Patchouli

Tangerine

Sandalwood

Petitgrain

Roman Chamomile

You may use the oils in a diffuser or smell them directly from the bottle for an immediate stress relief. In a few days I will share a Qigong exercise that will help you relieve stress and anxiety in just 5 minutes in my YouTube channel.

I will share exclusively with my Patrons a few recipes on how to use these oils to manage stress. You’re not my Patron? Want to become one? Take a look at my Patreon Page.

If you like this post, share it in your social media and visit Skin at Heart’s Patreon Page.

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