Stress and anxiety are common experiences for most people. In fact, 70% of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Here are 16 simple ways to relieve stress and anxiety.
Exercise is one of the most important things you can do to combat stress.
It might seem contradictory, but putting physical stress on your body through exercise can relieve mental stress.
The benefits are strongest when you exercise regularly. People who exercise regularly are less likely to experience anxiety than those who don’t exercise.
There are a few reasons behind this:
- Stress hormones: Exercise lowers your body’s stress hormones — such as cortisol — in the long run. It also helps release endorphins, which are chemicals that improve your mood and act as natural painkillers.
- Sleep: Exercise can also improve your sleep quality, which can be negatively affected by stress and anxiety.
- Confidence: When you exercise regularly, you may feel more competent and confident in your body, which in turn promotes mental wellbeing.
- Try to find an exercise routine or activity you enjoy, such as walking, dancing, rock climbing or yoga.
Activities — such as walking or jogging — that involve repetitive movements of large muscle groups can be particularly stress relieving.
2. Consider supplements
Several supplements promote stress and anxiety reduction. Here is a brief overview of some of the most common ones:
- Lemon balm: Lemon balm is a member of the mint family that has been studied for its anti-anxiety effects (2Trusted Source).
- Omega-3 fatty acids: One study showed that medical students who received omega-3 supplements experienced a 20% reduction in anxiety symptoms (3Trusted Source).
- Ashwagandha: Ashwagandha is an herb used in Ayurvedic medicine to treat stress and anxiety. Several studies suggest that it’s effective (4Trusted Source).
- Green tea: Green tea contains many polyphenol antioxidants which provide health benefits. It may lower stress and anxiety by increasing serotonin levels (5Trusted Source).
- Valerian: Valerian root is a popular sleep aid due to its tranquilizing effect. It contains valerenic acid, which alters gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) receptors to lower anxiety.
- Kava kava: Kava kava is a psychoactive member of the pepper family. Long used as a sedative in the South Pacific, it is increasingly used in Europe and the US to treat mild stress and anxiety (6Trusted Source).
Some supplements can interact with medications or have side effects, so you may want to consult with a doctor if you have a medical condition.
3. Light a candle
Using essential oils or burning a scented candle may help reduce your feelings of stress and anxiety.
Some scents are especially soothing. Here are some of the most calming scents:
- Roman chamomile
- Ylang ylang
- Orange or orange blossom