Stress levels are on the rise across the world as we look to get over a global pandemic and navigate a cost-of-living crisis. It’s not the best world we live in currently, and that’s clear from the numbers who are suffering ill-health as they look to cope.
While many people are stressing about how to pay the electricity bills sober, many are turning to alcohol and drugs, with an opioid crisis and a large rise in the number of people drinking. For some, that’s already come to a point where they need help, checking into drug rehab such as UKAT, to get clean and start again, tackling any stresses in a more efficient and healthy way.
For others, figuring out how to cope with stress is still top of the agenda.
Of course, it’s different for every person. That’s why many people suffer from addiction while others don’t. But what are the best ways to destress, without the need of substances to numb the pain?
Ultimately, exercise is and always will be one of the best medicines when it comes to clearing the mind and reducing stress. It won’t make it disappear, as whatever problem you have will still be there. However, the endorphins you get from running and other forms of exercise will improve your mood. What’s more, exercise will help you clear your thoughts and deal with the problems you do have in a calmer and more efficient manner.
There are lots of different exercises you can take up to help keep you healthy and relieve stress, from team sports to running. Among the most common people take up to help battle stress include:
In the case of the latter two, more and more people are turning to them to combat stress as there are many different positions that can open up your body and calm the mind. It’s that calming presence that can make you feel more focused and clear-minded, which can then ease stress and allow you to tackle it efficiently.
2. Take control
Stress and worrying about problems can often lead you to feel like you’re spiralling out of control. Grabbing that rope to pull yourself up may be difficult, but by taking the step to do so can put you back in the box seat to control the problems you have.
Letting things get on top of you rarely achieves anything, which is why tackling a problem head on can reduce stress and improve your wellbeing. Taking control is empowering and it will allow you to find the solution you need to relieve that stress and get back on with your life.
It isn’t easy, but it’s the number one thing to do to combat stress, and what’s more, you don’t need to do it on your own.
3. Talk, talk, talk
The feeling you get when you finally speak to someone is as much of a kick as finishing a marathon sometimes and it can feel like the whole world has been lifted off your shoulders. Speaking out is one of the best ways to relieve stress as not only are you verbalising everything that’s been brewing up inside you, but you’ll also start to develop a support network that can provide advice as well as seeing things in a different way.
What’s more, by reaching out to people it also works the other way round. You’d hate to think that your friends or family were struggling with stress, even more so if they were turning to drink or drugs to cope. So, by reaching out to them, they will also know that you are also there to support if they need you.
4. Manage social media time
So many people are obsessed with the lives of others these days, and often that comes through social media. Social media only shows the “good bits” of someone’s lives, so comparing your own to an influencer on Instagram can be really damaging.
You may not even know it, but social media could be increasing your stress levels, while also taking up far too much of your time that could be spent elsewhere, such as with friends or out in the fresh air – things that in themselves can relieve stress.
To try and combat this, take some time to manage your social media and commit only a certain amount of time to using it. First, quantify how frequently you are using it, and then commit to using it less. Setting up a log can be a good way to do this, or certain times of the day when you can take a look. This will help prevent you from falling into a social media wormhole which can increase anxiety and stress levels.
5. Enjoy a healthy, balanced diet
What can also hugely benefit you is simply enjoying a healthy lifestyle. An unhealthy diet equals an unhealthy mind with stress also depleting your body of certain vitamins such as A, B and complex C and E. Therefore you need to ensure your body remains topped up with them.
By having a healthy diet, your body is getting the nutrients you need, and that will enable you to have a much clearer mind to try and combat stress. Fatty foods and bad carbohydrates will just make you feel sluggish and not in the right frame of mind to try and tackle situations head on.
There are dozens of great recipes online that are designed specifically to help combat stress, with ingredients such as the following great ingredients to add into dishes:
- Sweet potato
- Fatty fish
And so, so much more. You’d be surprised to know just how many foods can really benefit you in terms of reducing stress levels, so do a bit of research, get your cookbooks out and get cooking!
What’s more, you can do all of the above to live the best life you can and ensure that any stress you may have, can be managed and beaten by you.