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Relaxation on Demand: 8 Simple Ways to Combat Stress and Anxiety

    Many situations in our lives cause us to feel stressed and anxious. Work, family life and personal challenges often result in pressure which can seem almost too much to bear. Luckily, there are simple things we can do to help us relax and better manage the problems which come our way. If you’re feeling a little overwhelmed, here are some things you can do.

    1. Try Aromatherapy

    Certain scents can be quite soothing. If you’re feeling anxious try incorporating essential oils like lavender, bergamot, neroli, ylang-ylang, and Roman camomile into your personal care or bedtime routine. Some people find scented candles calming while others prefer to use essential oils in their bath water or diffuser machines .If you struggle with sleeplessness, aromatherapy can help to ensure you have a restful night.

    1. Get Some Exercise

    One of the best things you can do to reduce your stress levels is exercise. You get the best results if you develop a workout routine and stick with it. Exercise has been proven to decrease your body’s stress hormones while releasing endorphins which improve your mood and even reduce pain. Your sleep quality can also improve.

    1. Use Less Caffeine

    You may love coffee, but it could be increasing your anxiety and making you jittery. Caffeine is a stimulant which is found in tea, coffee, energy drinks and chocolate.  While it can improve focus in some people when used in moderation, too much can cause adverse effects. If you find you can’t handle more than a couple of cups of coffee without feeling anxious, it’s time to cut back.

    1. Spend Quality Time with Loved Ones

    Having the support of loved ones can make stressful times more manageable. When things get tough, lean on your friends and relatives to help you relieve some tension.  Spending time in good company can give you a sense of belonging and encourage the release of oxytocin. People who don’t have sufficient social support tend to show increased levels of depression and anxiety.

    1. Get Some Comic Relief

    Some friends may make good sounding boards when you’re stressed out but you should also make an effort to hang out with the ones who simply make you laugh. Have you ever felt anxious while you were laughing? Probably not! Laughter can truly be the best medicine sometimes. It relaxes your muscles and relieves tension. In the long term, it can also boost your immune system. Consider watching a funny show or listening to a hilarious podcast.

    1. Don’t Procrastinate

    Putting off things you know you have to do can lead to stress. When you don’t act when you should, you can be left scrambling to make things happen at the last minute. This can get your heart racing and increase your anxiety. Making lists, setting realistic deadlines and breaking large projects into manageable tasks can help you to get more done.

    1. Start Yoga

    Yoga is a great way to foster a deeper connection with both mind and body. As you increase awareness of your body and breath, you may begin to feel calmer. Yoga can improve your mood and help to relieve depression and anxiety. It can lower your heart rate, cortisol levels, and blood pressure.

    1. Listen to Music and Calming Sounds

    Music can be very relaxing. Many people prefer classical, Indian or Celtic music but you can listen to anything which soothes you. The genre doesn’t matter as long as the tunes reduce your heart rate and blood pressure. Consider simply listening to nature sounds or meditation music which blends instrumentals and jungle or ocean sounds.

    Life can be quite stressful at times, but the above tips are simple ways to restore calm. If you’re struggling to manage your anxiety, talking to “a mental health professional can help”