There are a variety of well-known tips and techniques for reducing stress and anxiety. Choices like exercising, changing your diet, cutting out caffeine and junk food, going to therapy, and taking medication are all tried and true methods to improve your mental health. This can help you manage your stress to avoid being burned out by stress at work.
However, that doesn’t mean there aren’t any new methods that can also help. Even if you follow any of the common methods of anxiety relief, you can still get a bit of extra relief by trying some of these four relatively new techniques.
#1) Mindfulness Apps
Mindfulness is a widely used method to improve your mental health and reduce stress, anxiety, and depression. It uses controlled breathing and mental techniques to rewire your brain in a way that reduces your mind’s focus on anxiety and its causes. The effectiveness of mindfulness for reducing anxiety has been backed by clinical research.
The issue for most people is finding ways to commit to regularly practising mindfulness, or having an expert around who can help guide them through it every day. This is where the rise of smartphone and app technology has come in. Apps like Calm and Head-space have become huge successes by providing information, tips, reminders, and resources through your phone.
The success and growth of these apps can’t be understated, and it has been accelerated by the pandemic. In 2020 alone, the top 100 mental health apps generated over $1 billion. Not only that, but major companies like Starbucks have begun investing in apps like Calm and Head-space and including it in their benefits as part of their overall way of improving employee mental health.
#2) The 3-3-3 Rule
This is a bit of a strange method that has been developed to help people calm down when they are feeling on the edge of a panic attack or nervous breakdown. One of the big issues in these moments is that your brain is running at a million miles an hour, and you just need it to calm down and stop focusing on all the sources of stress and anxiety that have you on edge. The 3-3-3 rule works like this:
- Look around you, wherever you are, and speak out loud three things or objects that you see. It can be anything – your cat, a book, the water bottle.
- Pay attention to your surroundings and speak out loud three things that you can hear. It can be a lawn mower outside, the electric hum of a light, people talking nearby, and so on.
- One at a time, move three parts of your body. It can be something small like blinking your eyes, flexing your fingers, or rolling your ankle. The important thing is to focus on the movements.
This 3-3-3 rule uses the same kind of general method of mindfulness. It calms your brain down by making it focus on something current, present, and internal to you. It distracts you from your sources of anxiety and stressful thoughts by focusing instead of sensations like sound, sight, and touch. This can help you break the negative cycle of thoughts that have you on the verge of a breakdown, which slows down your brain and makes you feel more calm. This is not a major mental health practice like others, but using it in very stressful moments can be a big help for you when you need it most.
#3) Make Yourself Smile
Every practice for improving your mental health involves finding natural or medical ways to restore balance to the natural chemicals that affect your mood. Natural chemicals like serotonin and dopamine are the two most well known for this, but there are other minor neurotransmitters and hormones as well.
One simple way of reducing the production of chemicals that contribute to stress, anxiety, and depression is to smile. This may seem counterintuitive, but research has found that there is a connection between emotions of happiness and the physical act of smiling.
You can trick your body to reduce stress-causing hormones and trigger a happiness response when you physically make yourself smile. It can be even more effective if you find a way to make yourself genuinely laugh and smile. Watch something that makes you feel happy, like a comedy show or videos of cute animals.
#4) Kratom Tea
Kratom is a tree, and its leaves have been used as a supplement and as a medicinal treatment for issues such as anxiety for centuries in some Asian countries. There are actually several benefits that kratom can provide as a supplement or medical treatment, including reducing pain, blood pressure, and more.
As a supplement, it’s best to go to a seller like Kratom Lounge and get kratom leaves or kratom tea. Pre-mixed tea can include other natural supplements to help your mood, like chamomile, and the heat of the tea can help you physically relax more.
If you need a way to de-stress and relax at the end of a hard day’s work, you can have some non-caffeinated kratom tea to calm down your body and mind. This will also help you get a better sleep at night, which will further help reduce stress and anxiety.
These four relatively unknown and newer techniques for managing your anxiety are all smaller tips and tricks that can help you. The most effective ways to improve your mental health in the long-term is still some combination of therapy, medication, exercise, and mindfulness. However, you can use any or all of these tips above to help a little bit more.
They can help you in a tough situation when you don’t have access to any of the more traditional methods, or they can help you better manage your time to commit to practising mindfulness or therapy more regularly.