Even a small amount of stress can fill your daily life with a lot of negativity that makes it difficult to stay optimistic. Chronic anxiety can also affect your health, resulting in conditions like high blood pressure, chest pain and insomnia. If you're experiencing heavy stress, try these activities to lower the effects that your anxiety has on your well-being.
1. Socialise with friends and family
When people think of stress-relieving activities, breathing exercises and yoga may come to mind. However, pastimes as simple as spending time with loved ones can drastically lower your stress levels. The NHS says that one of the most effective ways to ease worries and anxiety is sharing your experiences with friends or family members. They may be able to help you find solutions to your problems and share similar situations they've gone through. Taking time out of your day to laugh is also essential for alleviating stress.
2. Exercise regularly
Exercise is known for its ability to enhance physical health, but there are also psychological advantages. De Montfort University of Leicester says that exercise doesn't only serve as a useful distraction from anxiety, but also improves heart and lung function, which increases the availability of oxygen for nerve functions. Physical activity also triggers the production of opiates and endorphins that lead to a sense of well-being.
Consider exercising with friends to combine the benefits of socialising with those of physical activity. Look for opportunities to participate in group exercise at your local community centre or ask friends to join you for a walk. If you live in a care home, take advantage of the group activities made available to residents.
"Another great way to alleviate anxiety is taking on a new hobby. "
3. Take on a new hobby
Another great way to alleviate anxiety is taking on a new hobby. The NHS says that challenging yourself and setting attainable goals will help you deal with stress and even see things in a different light. For example, consider learning a new language or how to play an instrument. If you're interested in trying a new sport, the NHS offers a "What's your sport?" tool that guides you in selecting the sport that is best suited for your interests and abilities.
"By continuing to learn, you become more emotionally resilient as a person," Professor Cary Cooper, an occupational health expert at the University of Lancaster tells the NHS. "It arms you with knowledge and makes you want to do things rather than be passive, such as watching TV all the time."
At Gracewell care homes, we offer residents a daily group activity to choose from, including social events and exercise groups. To learn more about how we can help, or to find a location near you, contact us today.