14 Tips to Reduce Anxiety and Stress

Woman receives a facial massage.

By Little Crystals 

For many stress and anxiety have become part and parcel of modern life. We live in a time where many are tethered to a mobile device, social media feed, or email inbox. Media and news outlets bombard us with alerts and updates around the clock and for an increasing number of people there is a blurred line between work and home life. All of this against the backdrop of a global pandemic. Is it any wonder that many are experiencing difficulty coping and feeling increasing levels of anxiety and stress? We'll delve into these two topics and share some tips that can help you remain resilient during this time of uncertainty. 

What is Anxiety?

According to Health Direct, "anxiety is the body’s physical response to a threat or perceived threat. It causes a pounding heart, rapid breathing, butterflies in the stomach and a burst of energy as well as mental responses such as excessive fears, worries or obsessive thinking."

Signs of Anxiety

The Mayo Clinic lists some of the most common anxiety symptoms:

  • Rapid Breathing
  • Increased Heart Rate
  • Insomnia
  • Sweating
  • Trembling
  • Trouble Concentrating

    Stress Definition

    We all experience some level of stress and despite its negative connotation not all stress is bad. In fact, some stress can boost our alertness or give us the impetus to complete undesired tasks; however, when stress is prolonged it can begin to take a toll on our physical, mental, and emotional well-being. The National Library of Medicine defines stress "as a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous."  

    Signs of Stress Overload:

    Here are some common signs of stress overload:

    • Headaches
    • Fatigue
    • Forgetfulness
    • Anger
    • Sleep Problems
    • Drug and/or Alcohol abuse
    • Restlessness

    COVID 19 Related Stress & Anxiety

    The last two years have been fraught with stress, worry, and anxiety for many of us. It continues to be an uncertain time despite the vaccine roll outs. Each one of us has been impacted by Coronavirus in our own way - perhaps you have experienced a job loss, had to navigate online schooling for yourself or your children, experienced health complications, isolation, loneliness, or even worse, the loss of a loved one. 

    Ways to Reduce Stress and Tension

    Here are some tips for stress relief; practicing any or all these activities may help you to reduce stress and tension. 

    Prioritize sleep

    A good night's sleep is paramount when dealing with a stressful situation(s), and a sleep routine can help you to de-stress:

    • Set a consistent sleep time
    • Reduce electronic devices such as cell phones, televisions, and computers
    • Ensure that your bedroom is dark (free from light)
    • Practice meditation for sleep - there are many free YouTube videos on this topic 
        Woman sleeping in bed

       

      Exercise Often

      Each of us is aware of the health benefits of regular sustained exercise yet only a few engage in these activities. The reasons are many: too boring, not enough time, childcare responsibilities, exhaustion and stress. Wait a minute did I just say stress? Well as it turns out exercise may help to relieve your stress by increasing blood flow, strengthening the heart, and taking your mind off of day-to-day worries even if it's just for a short time. My advice would be to wake up a bit earlier than usual and do what you can, alternatively, you can break out your workouts into shorter sessions. Your body will love you for it!

       Woman exercising

       

      Talk with a Friend

      Friends are among life's greatest treasures, and true friends support us through life's ups and downs. A good friend will listen deeply and compassionately without judgement, acknowledge your feelings, and be there for you as much as possible. We should all be blessed with such gems. 

       Friends sharing a coffee together

       

        Begin Journaling

        Keeping a journal of what ails you can be very cathartic and provide a release for pent up emotions. Writing may also prevent you from ruminating on life's pressures; journaling may be especially helpful if you feel alone and unsupported in your tribulations. There are many different types of journals from the traditional diary to an artistic journal. Choose a journal that suits your needs and style and start writing today.

         Girl writing in Journal

         

          Learn to Say No

          If you play an essential role in many people's lives it may be difficult for you to say no, but not doing so from time-to-time may lead to stress, exhaustion, burnout, and anger. Remember that your health and well-being matter too. 

          Girl holding a sign that says no

             

            Practice a Spirit of Gratitude

            I have an aunt that I speak to on a regular basis. I always enjoy our conversations and find her to be such a joyful and happy person. Does she have an easy life? No, she does not, in fact, she works long hours with modest pay, yet she always maintains a positive attitude even during difficult times. So how does she do it? One word: gratitude. According to Very Well Mind gratitude is a positive emotion that involves being thankful and appreciative and is associated with several mental and physical health benefits. Each morning my aunt wakes up and gives thanks for her health and another day. There is a quote that sums this up nicely, "the happiest people don't have the best of everything; they just make the best of everything they have."
            Gratitude Journal

               

              Reduce Multitasking

              Do you read emails while talking on the phone, work while tutoring your children, or text while carrying on a conversation? If you answered yes to any of these questions you're engaging in multitasking. On the surface multitasking may seem like a great way to get a lot done all at once but did you know that it can multiply your stress? William Klemm, Ph.D is a senior professor of Neuroscience at Texas A&M University, and he writes about the perils of multitasking and how to overcome it. 

               Lady holding baby and typing on her computer

               

                Let Some Things Go

                Do you demand perfection from yourself? Do you feel a pressure to maintain an immaculate home, present a faultless life, execute flawless parties or other celebrations, and/or be a perfect host/hostess? The drive to attain perfection in an imperfect world can lead to stress and worry. Despite what some may say, it's hard to do it all. Sometimes, you have to let some things go.

                Ways to Relieve Anxiety

                Here are some other tips; practicing any or all these activities may help to alleviate some of your anxiety symptoms: 

                Create a Sanctuary in Your Home

                Turn a room in your home into a calming sanctuary; this may be a bathroom, office room, walk-in closet, balcony, or bedroom. Aromatherapy candles, essential oils, relaxing music, a diffuser, flowers, and decorative rocks can be added to create a soothing and peaceful oasis. Furthermore color psychology provides insight into colors that can enhance your well-being.

                Relaxing image of woman with feet in foot rest

                 

                Practice Deep Breathing

                When you feel anxious deep breathing may be of benefit. Think of situations that trigger your anxiety; they may be related to work demands, financial problems, health concerns, relationship issues or family members. Have you noticed how your breathing changes under these circumstances? You may begin to breathe more quickly taking shallow breaths which can lead to an increased heart rate, panic, trembling, dizziness, and difficulty focusing. Deep breathing can improve your sense of calm and may ease your anxiety. Specific deep breathing exercises can be found in the blog titled How Do I Practice Deep Breathing for Anxiety?

                Woman in pool drawing a deep breath

                Surround Yourself with Positive People

                Positive people exude happiness and joy, and their infectious nature rubs off on all who are lucky enough to be in their presence. I wrote about my aunt who is one such person. Her spirit of gratitude allows her to focus on life's blessings, and whenever we speak I feel uplifted. People who are positive build you up, listen fully, encourage you, are non-judgmental, and often help to view life's problems from a different perspective. They enrich our lives and remind us to see the glass as half full. So, how do you attract these people? Sarah Barkley has written a wonderful blog titled 10 Things You Can Do to Attract Positive People.

                Close friends laughing and smiling

                Focus on the Present

                Spiritual teacher and self-help author Ekhart Tolle reminds us that life happens right now: "your entire life only happens in this moment. The present moment is life itself. Yet, people live as if the opposite were true and treat the present moment as a stepping stone to the next moment - a means to an end."

                Crossword puzzle with the words Be Here Now

                 

                Crystal Healing

                While not a substitute or replacement to medical treatments or medication, crystals may aid in increasing your emotional state and physical vitality. Crystals are composed of atoms, and these atoms form a cluster of molecules arranged in a repeating geometric pattern. Natural crystals form deep within the earth's crust where the temperature can reach 900 degrees Celsius. Liquid rock called magma cools slowly and the minerals start to crystallize as they solidify. This process takes millions of years. Wikipedia defines crystallization or crystallization as the process by which a solid forms, where the atoms or molecules are highly organized into a structure known as a crystal. Each crystal has its own energetic vibration frequency based on the way that the atoms and molecules move and interact throughout the crystal. If you are new to healing power of crystals, check out the blog post Crystals for Beginners.

                Crystals for Anxiety & Stress

                 

                Sodalite for Emotional Balance

                Known as the poet's stone, Sodalite was one of the first crystals that I became familiar with when searching for ways to cope with ongoing anxiety and panic attacks while going through a very stressful period due to a demanding work environment that I was unable to change for many years, try as I might. As my ability to deal with my job stresses began to erode and my anxiety and panic attacks spiraled, I began to search for alternate ways to cope until I could change my situation. This search led me to Sodalite, a dark blue high vibration crystal that is purported to help restore emotional balance and calm panic attacks. Sodalite possesses a harmonious energy and this crystal along with mindfulness meditation helped to bring my mental state back into equilibrium many a time. It is a potent crystal that can help with anxiety. Sodalite, whose name is derived from the chemical element sodium, possesses a dark blue color with flecks of white. Today the stone is primarily found in Afghanistan, Canada, Brazil, Italy, Greenland, and the United States. You can buy a Sodalite bracelet here.

                Sodolite 8mm bracelet

                Rose Quartz for Relationships

                Arguably the most well-known crystal, Rose Quartz is popularly known as the Stone of Love and is a member of the quartz family. Often found in Brazil, Namibia, South Africa, Madagascar, and South Dakota, this stone ranges in color from light pale pink to a deep hot pink hue depending on the amount of manganese and titanium that it contains. Rose Quartz emits a gentle, soothing, nurturing, yet powerful energy and is particularly helpful to ease anxiety that is related to love, emotions, and heartache. This translucent stone is a source of positive healing and one of the best crystals for anxiety. If your relationships with others are at the root of your feelings of anxiety, this crystal may help to thwart those feelings and induce a sense of peace. You can buy a Rose Quartz bracelet here.

                Rose Quartz 8mm

                 

                Amethyst to Ease Worries

                With its high vibration and deep purple hue Amethyst is one of the most well-known crystals, and it will aid you to calm overactive thoughts, reduce the chatter in your mind, and promote internal harmony making it an excellent crystal for anxiety. Put it underneath your pillow or near your nightstand to alleviate insomnia and encourage lucid dreams. Place it in the palm of your hand or in the center of the forehead between the brow to help still the mind and improve your meditation practice. Wear it on your person as a natural tranquilizer. Is it any wonder that this crystal is known as one of the Master Healers?
                Lepidolite and Amethyst
                 

                Lepidolite for Calm

                Think of Lepidolite as the therapist of the crystal world. This soft lilac-gray colored crystal found in Africa, Brazil, Greenland, and the US can help to stabilize your mood and reduce feelings of nervousness, obsessive thoughts, and anxiety. Lepidolite contains lithium, a chemical element known for its mood balancing properties; interestingly psychiatrists sometimes prescribe lithium to lessen the severity of anxiety symptoms. This stone has a softening energy that ushers in calm and tranquility encouraging you to feel uplifted and live in the present moment rather than dwell on the past or worry about the future. When turbulent feelings begin to overwhelm you, reach for this stone to center and balance yourself. Lepidolite is also helpful to combat social anxiety; its properties can be enhanced by Amethyst. 
                Lepidolite and Amethyst

                Howlite to Reduce Stress

                Whenever you are experiencing stress and anxiety Howlite is a great stone to turn to. This white stone with the black veins running throughout can be used to calm a harried state of mind, absorb tension and stress, and eliminate grief, trauma, and pain. If your anxiety is keeping you up at night Howlite can help you to attain a deep restful sleep when tucked under your pillow or placed close to your bed. Its soothing and peaceful energy can also help diffuse anger, ill temper, and aggression in both yourself and others. This stone is the perfect anecdote to help you destress and pacify your emotions. Today Howlite is found mainly in the United States and Canada, where it was first discovered in 1868. You can buy a Howlite bracelet here.

                White Howlite Bracelet

                Citrine to Invoke Optimism 

                Like a ray of sunshine on a cloudy day, Citrine can inject a dose of joy, energy, and optimism during fearful and anxious times and help balance your emotions. Ranging from a pale yellow color to almost brown, this crystal can assuage performance anxiety, improve your energy, drive, and self-confidence, and elevate your mood. It is often said that Citrine is Amethyst's sister as much of the Citrine today is derived from heating amethyst to extremely high temperatures. If your feelings of anxiety stem from fear of undertaking a new venture or your career ambitions this is the crystal for you. Often called the 'Merchant Stone,' it can be used to promote success, luck, and good fortune in business and inspire you to take action to achieve your goals and ambitions. You can buy a Citrine bracelet here.

                Citrine 8mm bracelet

                 

                How to Use Crystals 

                There are many ways to use crystals to de-stress and relieve anxiety symptoms:

                  • Wear your crystals by placing them around your wrist, neck, or even tucked in your bra
                  • Carry them in your purse throughout the day
                  • Sleep with a crystal tucked under your pillow at night
                  • Place a crystal in a room or area when you need its healing energy
                  • Add them to your meditation practice to raise your consciousness

                 

                Seek Professional Help

                If your anxiety symptoms and feelings of stress are chronic and debilitating do not be afraid to seek professional help. Remember your mental health is just as important as your physical health.

                 The information provided by Little Crystals is not intended to diagnose, treat, or cure any diseases. Please consult a qualified health care professional for medical advice. This website is for educational purposes only. If you enjoyed this content, please subscribe to our mailing list.

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