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4 Science-Based Tools to Help You Manage Stress & Anxiety

Updated: 6 days ago

Relieve Stress and Anxiety

Here are 4 science-based tools to help you manage stress and anxiety.

1. Understand that stress can actually be enhancing and not debilitating. Epinephrine, norepinephrine, and cortisol, which are released during the stress response, are accompanied by dopamine when we decide to confront our stressors head-on. So, whether stress helps us or hurts us depends on how we frame it in our minds.

2. Go for a walk. When you’re walking, your eyes make constant lateral movements to continuously update your brain on where you are in space. These lateral eye movements quiet circuits in areas of the brain, such as the amygdala, that are responsible for stress. So, moving forward, both mentally and physically, in the face of stress will help you get past it.

3. Take a few physiological sighs. The physiological sigh is a deep, double-inhale through the nose, which is a long inhale until your lungs are almost at capacity followed by a second short inhale until completely full. Then, a long, slow exhale through the mouth. This type of breathing is effective because slow, deep breaths send a signal from the diaphragm to the brain, telling it to calm down. Also, the second short breath reinflates the alveoli in your lungs which also tells the brain to chill.

4. Actively think about the source of your stress and anxiety while using tools 2 and 3 to stay calm. When you consciously call your stressors and anxiety-inducing memories to mind, you're in a better position to process them properly because you're less likely to activate the stress response. Think through what steps you can take to get past them effectively.

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