The best ways to relieve stress and anxiety

by Phil Lowe
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In modern times it has become popular to complain of stress and anxiety. In the work environment, it can be seen as a sign of someone who is working hard and doing a lot of tasks. In social circles, it can portray a busy and successful lifestyle. Yet, anxiety and stress are afflictions that should not be celebrated, and those that do suffer them should not continue to go through these struggles without seeking a solution. Generalized Anxiety Disorder is described as excessive worry about things. If in a space of six months you spend more days worrying than not, you may suffer from GAD. If that sounds like you then it is important to find help.

People are often ashamed to find help when it comes to GAD. This is because many people who don’t have it and don’t actually stress that often still like to complain about it (for attention or to appear busy). Even those that do suffer from it often wear it is a badge of honor. Many others who suffer from GAD simply see it as a weakness, a short term problem that will go away, or a defining character of who they are. They don’t see it as something that needs to be solved.

The truth is that GAD and any form of stress or anxiety can make your life unstable, can impact relationships, work, and your physical and mental health. If you suffer from this condition there are many ways to remedy it. The first and most acceptable way is to seek therapy. Therapy is the best way to solve stress and anxiety as it allows people to face the worries in their life and examine if they need to change the things they are doing, the way they are doing things, or simply their outlook. In a recent study that examined the solutions to stress; 71% of those who used therapy found it beneficial. There were other solutions tested as well.

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The solution that came second in the test was yoga. 54% of those who tried yoga found that it significantly improved the symptoms of GAD that they were experiencing. Yoga is something that you can do at home or in a studio, for any length of time, at any time of day. It can fit easily into your schedule and will benefit both the mind and body. If you are suffering from GAD but don’t want to see a therapist then yoga is a fantastic option instead. 

Another option often talked about is stress management. Again if both therapy and yoga are not suitable for you, stress management is a solution worth exploring. However, it should be noted that in the same study mentioned above only 33% of those who tried stress management found a noticeable improvement in symptoms.  This shows that while there is a range of treatments available to help with GAD, none are as successful as therapy.

Physical exercise is a great place to start though. GAD can be worsened by missing out on key parts of a healthy life. If you are not sleeping enough, not exercising enough, or not eating right then your stress and anxiety will likely feel a lot worse. Yoga allows you to relax the mind and body but other forms of exercise can be just as useful. If you are someone that enjoys running or going to the gym these too could be used as effective treatments. Meditation too can be used as a practice of mindfulness. However, if GAD is seriously impacting your life then therapy is the most proven way to solve it. Don’t suffer any longer, find the help you need.

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