Reader’s Digest provides seven tips on how to manage your stress and anxiety without drugs.
1. Use a weighted blanket.
Weighted blankets provide deep-touch pressure, which elicits the same feeling as being hugged or held. This relaxes your nervous system and increases endorphins and serotonin – all of which improves overall mood.
2. Curb your phone usage.
A University of Illinois study found that students who identified with feelings of addiction to their phones and the Internet were more likely to be depressed or anxious. Try to use your phone less and actively seek other ways to respond to boredom.
3. Get better sleep.
People with stress and anxiety are often fatigued and restless. Lack of sleep can worsen anxiety, so it’s important to get a good night’s rest to help calm your mind and keep your body healthy. If you’re struggling to sleep, talk to your doctor.
4. Decrease the fat in your diet.
Studies suggest that high-gat diets can cause weight gain, high blood sugar, and anxiety. Reduce the fat in your diet by eating lean meats and avoiding creamy sauces and dressings.
5. Do yoga.
Yoga is proven to improve your mood and decrease your anxiety by increasing the gamma-aminobutric acid (GABA) levels in your brain. Most anti-anxiety drugs increase GABA levels so yoga is a natural way to experience similar results.
6. Breathe deep.
Anxiety and stress often leads to quick, shallow breathing which puts your body further into stress mode. To calm down, take a deep breath through your stomach instead of your chest and let it out slowly.
7. Get a coloring book.
Color inside the lines with a coloring book of your preference. Studies suggest that coloring within a structured pattern reduces anxiety.