From time to time, the stress of our daily lives can be so overwhelming that we don’t know what can be done to alleviate it. For people who suffer from anxiety, stress can be extremely difficult to overcome.
Whether you’re experiencing stress because of current life events or frequently experience panic attacks and other anxiety issues, there are things you can do that will help you feel better within minutes.
Here are three steps to help reduce anxiety and stress,
1. Keep Calming Scents Nearby
Scent is extremely powerful and of the our five senses is the strongest tied to memory. Scent also has a huge impact on our bodies through our nervous system as the olfactory nerve, which gives us our sense of smell, sends signals to the parts of our brain that are in charge of mood, memory and emotions. It has been found that certain essential oils behave the same way biochemically that anti-anxiety medications do with nerve receptors in the brain.
The scent of lavender has been found to calm the nervous system, lowering blood pressure and heart rate. Bergamot has also been found in clinical studies to reduce heart rate, blood pressure and stress when inhaled. Other scents known for their calming effects are chamomile, jasmine, clary sage, yuzu citrus, and Ylang Ylang. Purchasing these scents in essential oil form will allow you to enjoy their fragrance on the go, providing you with swift calming relief.
2. Breathe Deeply, Become Present in the Moment, and Focus.
Deep breathing helps to counter the effects of stress by lowering blood pressure and slowing down heart rate. Taking 3 to 5 minutes of slow, deep breaths by inhaling through the nose and exhaling out the mouth can help end an anxiety attack.
After you have taken the time to breathe deeply, you should be able to become present in the moment. Being present means becoming aware of one behavior or happening at a time. Examples of this would be focusing on the warm breeze blowing through your hair, or enjoying the sensation of your bare feet on the carpet. Focusing on your senses helps to release tension from the body.
3. Listen to soothing music
Researchers have found that listening to soothing music helps to lower heart rate, blood pressure, and anxiety. Similar calming affects were also documented when people listened to nature sounds like birds chirping or the ocean washing up on the sand. It has also been found that listening to your favorite upbeat music and belting out the lyrics helps you release pent up stress you’ve been holding in.
Having music you enjoy readily available on your phone, computer or other device you typically carry with you, is a great way to keep an anti-stress buster on-hand when you may need it. Coupled with earbuds or headphones you give yourself access to your own stress-free space. The power of music is amazing!
The next time you feel the tension of stress and anxiety, remember these three steps. You’ll thank yourself for it later!