anxiety-and-stress-relief-2

anxiety-and-stress-relief-2

In today’s hectic world, we could all use some tips for anxiety recovery. Why do we experience so much anxiety, and why do we need anxiety recovery tips? Stress. It’s a major contributor to everyday anxieties, so if we want to combat anxiety, we need to combat stress. The following tips will help you to replace those uneasy, apprehensive feelings with a calm, cool, collected attitude.

Diet

According to Jean Carper, author of The Food Pharmacy, caffeine can increase stress and trigger anxiety in susceptible individuals, especially women. Consider reducing or eliminating caffeine from your diet. Primary sources include coffee, tea, colas, and chocolate (doh!). Consider substituting decaffeinated versions of coffee, tea, and soft drinks. Another idea is to switch to herbal teas and/or grain-based coffee substitutes, like Pero or Roma. Pure water is the ideal choice.

In addition to common food sources, hundreds of clinical studies show that vitamins like the B-Complex and natural herbs like Chamomile, Valerian Root, and Passion Flower help reduce stress and relieve varying degrees of anxiety. Adding such natural alternative medicines to your diet can be as simple as making a tea or taking a supplement, including combination herbal therapies that blend several active ingredient together.

Exercise

Almost any kind of exercise is great for fighting stress and combating anxiety as well. Just avoid those you dislike or consider too difficult. These would likely lead to frustration and subsequent feelings of increased stress and anxiety, the very things we are trying to reduce. Aerobics is a good place to start. Aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, running, bicycling, swimming, and jumping rope. These types of exercise increase circulation and improve cardiovascular fitness while reducing stress and anxiety. Performing these in the outdoors can provide the added benefits of fresh air and sunshine.

The type of exercise we call strength training can also be good for stress relief and anxiety reduction. Strength training is also referred to as resistance training. Weight-lifting is probably the most common form of strength training, but working with elastic bands is also very popular. The downside to this type of exercise is that you do need some guidance to perform the exercises safely and effectively. You could turn to a knowledgeable friend, your local fitness center, or an appropriate video for guidance. The upside is that you will tone your muscles while reducing stress and alleviating anxiety.

Yoga

If you have a resistance to exercising, try yoga for anxiety recovery. The most common form practiced in this country is hatha yoga, a holistic discipline that benefits the body, mind, and spirit. If you are new to yoga, find a beginner’s class in your local community, or find a good yoga video for beginners, one that is gentle and easy-going. The benefits of yoga are many. It will improve your range of motion, posture, and flexibility, while increasing your overall fitness level. The yoga videos produced by yoga expert Lilias Folan are excellent. She is like a friend in the room with you gently guiding you from posture to posture. Typically, one of her video routines will take only 30 minutes.

Tai Chi

Tai Chi shares much in common with the practice of yoga when it comes to anxiety recovery. While both are holistic disciplines benefiting the body, mind, and spirit, Tai Chi is considered one of the martial arts. It has been practiced in China for thousands of years. This gentle healing art will melt away your stress, alleviate your anxieties, and make you feel renewed. You can experiment with this practice by signing up for a Tai Chi class for beginners in your community. There are also many excellent Tai Chi videos on the market for use in the home; these range from easy beginner routines to challenging workouts. Tai Chi routines vary in length, but you can always do as little or as much as you like or need.

Relaxation Techniques

Almost every kind of relaxation technique is great for fighting stress and combating anxiety. One popular technique is called progressive relaxation. After lying down or reclining, tense and then relax each part of the body, starting with the feet and working your way up to the face. Once you complete the exercise, lie restfully until you feel like getting up. Many have discovered this technique to be a great way to prepare for a restful night’s sleep.

Another relaxation technique you may consider using for anxiety recovery is biofeedback. Biofeedback is a form of Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) that involves measuring a subject’s bodily processes, such as blood pressure, heart rate, skin temperature, galvanic skin response (sweating), and muscle tension, and conveying such information to him or her in real-time in order to raise his or her awareness and conscious control of the related physiological activities. While biofeedback is known to be an effective tool for stress relief, it is not a practical option for most people, since it involves a biofeedback machine as well as instruction on how to use it. On the other hand, if you do happen to have access to such equipment and instruction, if would be tremendously beneficial to pursue this remedy. Home biofeedback machines are becoming more widely available; however, these tend to be expensive. Stress and the Art of Biofeedback , by Barbara B. Brown, is a good source of information on this subject.

Meditation

Many people also turn to meditation for anxiety recovery. Meditation has grown in popularity over the decades and is now looked upon more as a practical tool than an esoteric practice. It is simple, easy, and effective. Start by finding a quiet, preferably secluded, place to meditate. Sit in a straight-back chair (or cross-legged on the floor), close your eyes, and silently repeat a simple word or sound, like “one” or “heaven.” Continue to do this for 15 to 20 minutes. Then open your eyes, take a couple of minutes to re-adjust to the room, and get on with your day. You may decide to meditate on an as-needed basis, or you may decide to become a regular practitioner; if you choose the latter, it is best to meditate twice each day – once before breakfast and again just before dinner. Many long-time practitioners report increased productivity as well as increased serenity.

Breathwork

“There is considerable research documenting the effectiveness of breath work in dealing with many common psychological issues, including anxiety,” says Gay Hendricks, Ph.D., breath work expert and author of The Breathing Box healthy breathing program. He especially recommends conscious breathing, which involves simply paying attention to your breath. Diaphragmatic breathing, also known as belly breathing, is a beneficial practice for maximizing the amount of air that gets inhaled into the lungs, thereby improving oxygenation of the body. Practicing conscious belly breathing every day will help to break the bad habit of shallow chest breathing. Deep belly breathing, as well as other forms of breath work, can be very effective in reducing stress and combating anxiety. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton said recently in a television interview that she turns to deep breathing for her stress relief.

The next time you feel uneasy, apprehensive, or worried, experiment with one or more of the above techniques for anxiety recovery. You may find that all it takes is a walk around the block, one less cup of coffee, and a few deep breaths to put you back on track. Exercise, relaxation, and caffeine reduction may be the keys to maintaining a healthy state of serenity.

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