It’s easy to get stressed out, whether it’s because you have a busy social life, a hectic work schedule, or are trying to do a million things at once. In addition to being bad for your mental health, persistently high stress levels are also detrimental to your physical health and can have serious consequences if left untreated.
Unfortunately, not everyone can afford to take a vacation or have a spa day every time they feel stressed. In addition to being expensive, vacations and spa days simply distract you from what is causing your stress. They don’t teach you how to deal with the emotions and feelings causing it. Instead, it’s important to learn how to destress on your own so that you can reduce anxiety and live your best life.
1. Take Up Journaling
Until you try it for yourself, it’s difficult to understand how or why journaling is as effective as it is. However, journaling is a form of self-counseling because you talk about things that happen to you, how they make you feel, and how you respond to them. By writing these things out, you can help yourself understand your emotions, which is essential for regulating them in a healthy way.
Best of all, journaling is something you can do anytime, anywhere. There’s also no formula or right or wrong way to journal. You’re having an effective journaling session as long as you’re writing about your feelings and emotions honestly and working through them.
2. Increase Your Activity Levels
Being active and working out stimulates your brain to release serotonin, a hormone that naturally reduces stress levels. Therefore, exercising naturally reduces overall feelings of anxiety, even if you aren’t doing it consciously.
On top of exercise’s natural effect on serotonin, it also helps in other ways. Setting fitness goals or milestones, for example, can build fortitude and determination, both of which are necessary to combat stress. While any type of workout can help in these ways, running, swimming, and other high-intensity workouts will get your blood flowing the most and do the most good for your serotonin.
3. Get Into Nature
This tip isn’t for you if you dislike nature and the great outdoors. However, if you like or even don’t mind nature, it’s one of the best ways to “naturally” reduce your stress levels. In addition to the peaceful feeling that being one with nature can emit, you’re also more exposed to more fresh air when you’re outdoors than indoors, which can have a restorative effect.
If you want to double up on de-stressing, hiking or trail running is the best way to do it. Physical activity causes your body to release serotonin while being in nature reduces cortisol production.
4. Limit Alcohol Consumption
A common myth that most people believe is that drinking alcohol can take away your stress. While it’s true that you won’t be thinking about everything that stresses you out when you’re in a drunken stupor, this is merely masking what’s happening. Alcohol may block your thoughts and emotions, but it actually causes stress rather than reducing it.
Consuming large amounts of alcohol can damage or interfere with neurotransmitters from the brain that help control your emotions. When this happens, you’re more likely to feel anxious because your body is unable to regulate itself.
5. Limit Caffeine Consumption
While caffeine can help you feel awake and alert, it can also contribute to feelings of stress. In addition to speeding up your heart rate, caffeine prevents your body from producing adenosine, which promotes sleep and relaxation. As it’s doing this, caffeine also increases the production of adrenaline, glutamate, and dopamine, which can stimulate anxiety. Therefore, if you already struggle with anxiety, limit yourself to one cup of coffee per day.
6. Meditation and Relaxation Techniques
Another key to overcoming stress and anxiety is to practice meditation and relaxation techniques. Whether that means practicing yoga, deep breathing exercises, or mindful meditation, relaxation techniques can be a great way to master your emotions.
When you’re able to gain perspective, you can work through your thoughts and feelings to determine what’s causing your anxiety and find ways to deal with it.
7. Ketamine IV Infusions
Finally, one of the best ways to combat feelings of anxiety, stress, and depression is with ketamine IV infusions. Ketamine is a dissociative anesthetic drug that increases glutamate production in the brain.
Glutamate is a neurotransmitter that helps with mood regulation and neuroplasticity, a fancy way of saying that your brain teaches itself to relax. You can receive ketamine IV infusions at home or at an outpatient medical facility, depending on your preferences.
Stress and anxiety are all too common in the modern world, but there are many ways you can de-stress naturally. From journaling to exercise to ketamine, it may take some trial and error to find the best fit for your needs and lifestyle.
Getting to the root cause of your anxiety can help you live a happier and more stress-free life, so don’t hesitate to seek professional help if stress and anxiety are beginning to impact your daily life, relationships, or career.