Alternative Ways to Combat Stress Without Drugs
by Annabelle Baugh, founder at cosmeticsurgeryadvancements.
Mental Health Day may now be a distant memory for many, however for individuals that struggle daily with stress and anxiety, every day is a mental health day. Stress can impact anyone, at any time. Sometimes it will slowly build until it becomes intolerable and sometimes stress and anxiety suddenly impacts an individual’s ability to function and perform their daily requirements. The first point of call should always be a GP, who can refer for talking therapies. This may not be easy for some individuals to do. That is why I have researched a number of tried and tested methods that have been shown to help reduce the symptoms of anxiety, including , insomnia, difficulty concentrating, fatigue and panic attacks.
Listening to natural sounds such as, rain or the sound of the sea has been shown to soothe an overactive mind and in turn help improve symptoms of anxiety. Sound therapy will normally take time and repetitive daily listening to start to make a difference and should be continued even when symptoms seem to have gone away.
Pure aromatherapy oils including lavender and rose have been researched in controlled studies and shown to have a significant positive impact. They can be diluted and applied directly to the skin or used in an oil or electric diffuser, with individuals reporting feeling calmer and more focused within a short period of time after initial use. Repeated use has been shown to help maintain these improvements and reduce longer more severe symptoms such as, insomnia and panic attacks.
Exercise and Nature
Exercise, especially when done outdoors will not only release endorphins, spending time in nature has also been linked to lower levels of anxiety and a more stable mood over the longer term. Exercise does not have to be strenuous to be effective, a gentle, daily walk in a setting such as a forest or along a beach is enough to have a beneficial outcome. When access to such places is not possible combining sound therapy with outdoor exercise in any environment may have a similar effect.
Writing a Journal
Writing a journal may seem like a daunting task, especially when anxiety is impacting concentration levels. One easy way to start is by just committing to writing one sentence about how you are feeling ever day. To make this easier you can use the below words to help you get started:
Today I choose to recognise how I felt and I am not ashamed of feeling ……..
Writing down how we feel will help in a number of ways, firstly and maybe most importantly it will give back control over feelings, to the individual writing them down. In addition, just writing down how we feel can help to reduce the negative impact of those feelings.
Ask for Help
Following the above advice is not going to be sufficient for everyone to combat feelings of anxiety and stress. When these emotions are making an impact, asking for help will allow an individual to own and accept their feelings. Sharing the effects of anxiety and stress is an important step towards acceptance, that with the right support, everyone can find a way to control the impact of those symptoms. As the impact of the coronavirus pandemic continues the number of individuals struggling with stress and anxiety continues to rise. No matter why these feelings have arisen, talking to someone is a significant step towards owning and choosing to fight the impact of stress, anxiety and any other feelings that are having a negative effect. Although a GP will be able to help if talking with a GP is too much of a challenge talking with someone who doesn’t know you may be easier. There are various organisations that you can call or text including:
- Samaritans: call 116 123 you can contactSamaritans 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (free from any phone)
- Shout: text 85258 24/7 text service (free on all major mobile networks)
- YoungMinds: text YM to 85258 24/7 text service
If you're based in England, use the webpage to find and refer to mental health services