The Most Effective Tips and Tools to Manage Anxiety This Holiday Season from The Most Effective Tips and Tools to Manage Anxiety This Holiday Season

The Most Effective Tips and Tools to Manage Anxiety This Holiday Season

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The Most Effective Tips and Tools to Manage Anxiety This Holiday Season

Steering clear from stress is almost impossible in today’s high-pressure society, even more so during the holidays. Before resorting to prescription drugs, you may want to give a few simple tricks and natural remedies a try.

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Jogging

Studies have found that exercise creates vibrant new brain cells. Physical activity reorganizes the brain so that its response to stress is reduced and anxiety is less likely to interfere with normal brain function. In experiments, when mice that were allowed to exercise regularly experienced a stressor, their brains displayed a spike in the activity of neurons that shut off excitement in the ventral hippocampus, which is the region in the brain that regulates anxiety.

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Smell citrus fruits

When you are undergoing chronic stress, your ability to fight off disease weakens. Research has shown that smelling citrus fragrances can restore the stress-induced immunosuppression, suggesting that they may have an effect on restoring the homeostatic balance.  The aroma of mandarin oil and the smell of grapefruit, more specifically, have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety. Know how to store them properly though.

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Relax in a sauna

Saunas are a great alternative to prescription drugs in helping relieve symptoms of anxiety. Just one infrared sauna session will totally relax your whole body, and your mind will be more calm and clear. Research has found that short periods of elevated body temperature (hyperthermia) can be an antidepressant, according to WebMD.

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Meditate

Meditation helps bring balance back, experts say. Just don’t do it in bed. Breathing properly brings oxygen in the body and helps clear your mind. Studies show that meditation actually changes the way the brain works making it more efficient, by increasing grey matter. It is mainly composed of neurons and helps the brain process information; increased grey matter can make the brain better at managing emotions, controlling attention, maintaining focus.

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Take a deep breath

Learning to breathe properly is a major component when it comes to managing stressful situations. When a person is under stress, his or her mind tends to be clouded making it difficult to think clearly. Before making any decisions take deep, full and controlled breaths. Give yourself time to sit back and relax your mind. This way, you can make rational decisions and think clearly about your current situation.

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Practice controlled breathing

Focused breathing is the one “Super Stress Buster” that evokes the relaxation response that the American Institute of Stress widely recommends as useful for everyone, even kids.  Abdominal breathing for 20 to 30 minutes each day will reduce anxiety and reduce stress. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness.

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Drink chamomile tea

If you are feeling jittery, this herb will help relax muscles, calm nerves, reduce anxiety, and help with insomnia. It also improves digestion and decreases headaches. The most popular way to consume chamomile is in tea form. Research has shown that luteolin in chamomile tea improves cognitive functioning when you’re awake. 

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Take Vitamin D supplements

Some studies have shown that taking vitamin D supplements is also helpful. In general, people who have depression go outdoors less, if at all. As a result, they are less likely to have adequate vitamin D in their blood. The sun is the best natural source of vitamin D, but shorter days mean less of it. Increase your intake with a supplement. You can also eat foods that are a surprising source of vitamin D.

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Add Omega-3s to your diet

Include fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and anchovies in your diet, which are good sources of the essential oil omega-3 fatty acids. They have been shown to significantly reduce the symptoms of SAD as they relieve the general symptoms of anxiety. When patients were given a high dose of EPA, eicosapentaenoic acid, which is a type of Omega-3, there was a statistically significant reduction in anxiety compared to those receiving a placebo, according to Psychology Today.

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Enjoy the process

The holidays are supposed to be happy times. It’s inevitable that you’re going to have to prepare – decorating the house, buying gifts, cooking meals for guests and family…This busy time doesn’t have to be chaotic or stressful. Turn all these chores into games; involve the kids, if possible. Have fun getting ready to celebrate.

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Do less

The holidays are also a time to sit back and relax. You have about 360 other days of the year to stress over work, family and other important issues. Take a step back and relax for a few days; you surely deserve it. It may be difficult at first, but once you say “no” a few times, it will get easier and you’ll feel much better, guaranteed.

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Play outside

Don’t underestimate the power of sunshine. The best time to be outside is when you get the greatest amount of natural light. Set aside 30-40 minutes to be out in the open when the sun is out. A simple walk gives you a daylight boost as well as some exercise. The day is usually brightest in the early afternoons. Sit next to a window if you can’t get out.

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Socialize

Being in isolation may help some people deal with anxiety but being away from people can also make the depression worse. Social media may be a good alternative if people can’t get out because they are still connected to others, but nothing beats one-on-one contact. Having a good support network is helpful. Join a support group to get to know others going through the same thing. Simply going out for a drink with a friend or two can trigger happy feelings.

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Set a budget and stick to it

The holidays have everything to do with money and one’s ability to spend it. Most people feel like they are going crazy because of the overwhelming number of “friends” and family for whom they feel obligated to buy gifts. Those who host a party feel the pressure even more. One effective way to deal with all of that is to set a budget – plan how much you can afford to spend and don’t go a penny over the limit. As an alternative, make homemade gifts or donate to charity in someone’s name.

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Go to talk therapy

Self-help can only go so far. If nothing helps, see a doctor. There is evidence that cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) clearly helps with SAD. A recent study, for example, observed patients for two winters. As much as 46 percent of people enrolled in light therapy reported depression during the second winter, while only 27 percent of those in the CBT group reported a second bout of symptoms. Talking helps patients not feel isolated.

The Most Effective Tips and Tools to Manage Anxiety This Holiday Season