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3 Anxiety Reduction Tools That Will Work Today (#2 May Surprise You)

3 Anxiety Reduction Tools That Will Work Today (#2 May Surprise You)

Are you looking for anxiety reduction ideas that really work? Anxiety and stress are related to sleep deprivation, dissatisfaction at work and in relationships, physical ailments such as headaches, and many more struggles that are common today. If you are coping with stress or anxiety, you may be searching for ways to improve your mood, experience more joy and hope, and feel more comfortable or confident in your day-to-day life.

Long-term strategies like psychotherapy, mindfulness practices, and prioritizing overall health are quite effective for managing anxiety and reducing its negative impact. While it’s vital to invest in yourself with ongoing processes like those listed above, there are also ways to relieve anxiety and stress that you can use to get results right now.

These three tools can be used today to relieve stress and improve your quality of life.

1. Get Into The Moment for Anxiety Reduction

Anxiety and stress take you hostage with thoughts about the past or future – taking you out of the present moment. You may notice that you try to control things by over-planning, over-analyzing, or obsessing over details.

Time thinking about the future will disconnect you from what your needs, thoughts, and feelings are right now. This is stressful for your brain and body to maintain. Bringing yourself back to your awareness of the present moment allows you to feel in control of yourself, rather than spinning in circles trying to plan a way to control something in your external world.

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Here is a three-step challenge that you can use now to orient your mind and body in the present moment:

1. For a moment or two try to do nothing but breathe.

2. Look down at your body. Notice the color of your clothes, the comfort level of the chair you’re sitting in, and the way your chest moves as you breathe. Take your hands away from the computer, and rest them on your lap.

3. Look around you. Notice the detail about the things that are in your space. Try to observe without judging anything as good or bad. When your mind starts to wander, bring it back to focusing on this article – and this article alone.

2. Practicing Forgiveness for Anxiety Reduction

Have you heard that a grudge hurts you more than it hurts the other person? It’s better for your own health to forgive someone else instead of holding onto anger. Practicing forgiveness is also a way of releasing fear, anxiety, and stress! Forgiving someone else is allowing yourself to have a new experience – not necessarily of that person (let’s face it, sometimes we need to cut ties), but of the world and people in general.

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Anxiety wants you to make negative assumptions about people and future experiences, convincing you that you’re being protected from more pain by assuming the worst. Forgiving will keep you open to new and better things.

Anxiety and stress are also linked to perfectionism. You may be convinced that you’re being responsible and dedicated when in fact you are carrying a heavy burden of doubt and negativity around with you as you try to accomplish tasks. Forgiving yourself sets you free from the burden of perfectionism, allowing you to accomplish more with more joy.

Here are two ways to practice forgiveness right now:

1. Take a moment to think of someone or something that you have been unable to forgive. Even if it’s not yet true, say aloud “I forgive you.” Practice it a few times, and try again tomorrow, until you are able to release yourself from the pain.

2. Think of a time that you tend to be critical of yourself. Is it difficult for you to allow yourself to make mistakes? Write yourself a note saying that you accept and forgive the mistake. Again, say it aloud to yourself: “I forgive you.”

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3. Use Laughter and Joy for Anxiety Reduction

Laughter releases healing chemicals in the brain that bring relief. It also opens up the possibility to have a new experience in the moment. Novelty experiences, even small ones, are vital for daily stress management. Laughter can also help you experience an emotional connection with another person and help you create a positive memory.

In addition, connection with others is a key component to relief from anxiety symptoms, partially because experiencing frequent fear and stress can be isolating. Connecting through laughter (even via text message!) may break you out of a negative thought process. So, how can you bring some laughter, humor, and connection into your life today?

Here are three ways you can bring humor into your life right now:

1. Do something kind for a friend or acquaintance. It can be anything from sending a link to a funny video, writing a letter of gratitude, or taking time out of your day to help her. Look for the humor in a situation that might otherwise cause you to worry.

2. Do something today that is completely outside of your comfort zone. Put on music and dance, sign up for a martial arts class, or start up a conversation with a total stranger. Did you jump in and practice each example, or were you embarrassed, doubtful, or afraid?

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3. Anxiety may try to stop you from giving these tools a legitimate try. Go for it anyway! You may surprise yourself with what you are able to experience and achieve.

How will you incorporate these tools into your life today?

Featured photo credit: Ryan McGuire via gratisography.com

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Last Updated on March 25, 2020

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

How to Live Longer? 21 Ways to Live a Long Life

When it comes to living long, genes aren’t everything. Research has revealed a number of simple lifestyle changes you can make that could help to extend your life, and some of them may surprise you.

So, how to live longer? Here are 21 ways to help you live a long life

1. Exercise

It’s no secret that physical activity is good for you. Exercise helps you maintain a healthy body weight and lowers your blood pressure, both of which contribute to heart health and a reduced risk of heart disease–the top worldwide cause of death.

2. Drink in Moderation

I know you’re probably picturing a glass of red wine right now, but recent research suggests that indulging in one to three glasses of any type of alcohol every day may help to increase longevity.[1] Studies have found that heavy drinkers as well as abstainers seem to have a higher risk of early mortality than moderate drinkers.

3. Reduce Stress in Your Life

Stress causes your body to release a hormone called cortisol. At high levels, this hormone can increase blood pressure and cause storage of abdominal fat, both of which can lead to an increased risk of heart disease.

4. Watch Less Television

A 2008 study found that people who watch six hours of television per day will likely die an average of 4.8 years earlier than those who don’t.[2] It also found that, after the age of 25, every hour of television watched decreases life expectancy by 22 minutes.

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Television promotes inactivity and disengagement from the world, both of which can shorten your lifespan.

5. Eat Less Red Meat

Red meat consumption is linked to an increased risk of heart disease and cancer.[3] Swapping out your steaks for healthy proteins, like fish, may help to increase longevity.

If you can’t stand the idea of a steak-free life, reducing your consumption to less than two to three servings a week can still incur health benefits.

6. Don’t Smoke

This isn’t exactly a revelation. As you probably well know, smoking significantly increases your risk of cancer.

7. Socialize

Studies suggest that having social relationships promotes longevity.[4] Although scientists are unsure of the reasons behind this, they speculate that socializing leads to increased self esteem as well as peer pressure to maintain health.

8. Eat Foods Rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Omega-3 fatty acids decrease the risk of heart disease[5] and perhaps even Alzheimer’s disease.[6] Salmon and walnuts are two of the best sources of Omega-3s.

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9. Be Optimistic

Studies suggest that optimists are at a lower risk for heart disease and, generally, live longer than pessimists.[7] Researchers speculate that optimists have a healthier approach to life in general–exercising more, socializing, and actively seeking out medical advice. Thus, their risk of early mortality is lower.

10. Own a Pet

Having a furry-friend leads to decreased stress, increased immunity, and a lessened risk of heart disease.[8] Depending on the type of pet, they can also motivate you to be more active.

11. Drink Coffee

Studies have found a link between coffee consumption and longer life.[9] Although the reasons for this aren’t entirely clear, coffee’s high levels of antioxidants may play a role. Remember, though, drowning your cup of joe in sugar and whipped cream could counter whatever health benefits it may hold.

12. Eat Less

Japan has the longest average lifespan in the world, and the longest lived of the Japanese–the natives of the Ryukyu Islands–stop eating when they’re 80% full. Limiting your calorie intake means lower overall stress on the body.

13. Meditate

Meditation leads to stress reduction and lowered blood pressure.[10] Research suggests that it could also increase the activity of an enzyme associated with longevity.[11]

Taking as little as 15 minutes a day to find your zen can have significant health benefits, and may even extend your life.

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How to meditate? Here’re 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

14. Maintain a Healthy Weight

Being overweight puts stress on your cardiovascular system, increasing your risk of heart disease.[12] It may also increase the risk of cancer.[13] Maintaining a healthy weight is important for heart health and living a long and healthy life.

15. Laugh Often

Laughter reduces the levels of stress hormones, like cortisol, in your body. High levels of these hormones can weaken your immune system.

16. Don’t Spend Too Much Time in the Sun

Too much time in the sun can lead to an increased risk of skin cancer. However, sun exposure is an excellent way to increase levels of vitamin D, so soaking up a few rays–perhaps for around 15 minutes a day–can be healthy. The key is moderation.

17. Cook Your Own Food

When you eat at restaurants, you surrender control over your diet. Even salads tend to have a large number of additives, from sugar to saturated fats. Eating at home will enable you to monitor your food intake and ensure a healthy diet.

Take a look at these 14 Healthy Easy Recipes for People on the Go and start to cook your own food.

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18. Eat Mushrooms

Mushrooms are a central ingredient in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s GOMBS disease fighting diet. They boost the immune system and may even reduce the risk of cancer.[14]

19. Floss

Flossing helps to stave off gum disease, which is linked to an increased risk of cancer.[15]

20. Eat Foods Rich in Antioxidants

Antioxidants fight against the harmful effects of free-radicals, toxins which can cause cell damage and an increased risk of disease when they accumulate in the body. Berries, green tea and broccoli are three excellent sources of antioxidants.

Find out more antiosidants-rich foods here: 13 Delicious Antioxidant Foods That Are Great for Your Health

21. Have Sex

Getting down and dirty two to three times a week can have significant health benefits. Sex burns calories, decreases stress, improves sleep, and may even protect against heart disease.[16] It’s an easy and effective way to get exercise–so love long and prosper!

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Featured photo credit: Sweethearts/Patrick via flickr.com

Reference

[1] Wiley Online Library: Late‐Life Alcohol Consumption and 20‐Year Mortality
[2] BMJ Journals: Television viewing time and reduced life expectancy: a life table analysis
[3] Arch Intern Med.: Red Meat Consumption and Mortality
[4] PLOS Medicine: Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review
[5] JAMA: Fish and Omega-3 Fatty Acid Intake and Risk of Coronary Heart Disease in Women
[6] NCBI: Effects of Omega‐3 Fatty Acids on Cognitive Function with Aging, Dementia, and Neurological Diseases: Summary
[7] Mayo Clinic Proc: Prediction of all-cause mortality by the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory Optimism-Pessimism Scale scores: study of a college sample during a 40-year follow-up period.
[8] Med Hypotheses.: Pet ownership protects against the risks and consequences of coronary heart disease.
[9] The New England Journal of Medicine: Association of Coffee Drinking with Total and Cause-Specific Mortality
[10] American Journal of Hypertension: Blood Pressure Response to Transcendental Meditation: A Meta-analysis
[11] Science Direct: Intensive meditation training, immune cell telomerase activity, and psychological mediators
[12] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[13] JAMA: The Disease Burden Associated With Overweight and Obesity
[14] African Journal of Biotechnology: Anti-cancer effect of polysaccharides isolated from higher basidiomycetes mushrooms
[15] Science Direct: Periodontal disease, tooth loss, and cancer risk in male health professionals: a prospective cohort study
[16] AHA Journals: Sexual Activity and Cardiovascular Disease

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