Life is stressful these days. Most of us are engaged in mentally demanding jobs. We might be at a lower risk of physical trauma, but the chances of experiencing stress and anxiety are high. Most of us experience some anxiety now and then. For many of us, constant worries are making our life difficult.
Prolonged stress and anxiety may cause many health issues. Thus, it is vital to manage mood disorders and improve our mood, learn to stay happy, and stay positive. Unfortunately, medical drugs are not an option when it comes to improving mood. Instead, it is something that must be done through lifestyle interventions.
Even our ancestors knew that the best way to manage stress and improve mood is through lifestyle interventions. That is why they stressed the importance of a “Zen lifestyle” or Zen way of life, meaning meditating, eating healthy, and staying focused to attain inner peace and enlightenment.
Below are some practical advice for anxiety relief and improving your mood:
1. Spend more time with your friends, relatives, and pets
Traditionally, people lived in large families, visited relatives, and met friends often. However, nowadays, people are quite isolated. This social isolation is bad for mental and even physical well-being. Everyone knows the benefits of discussing their problems with close friends and relatives. It is such a mental relief. So, build your social support group, and this will boost stress resilience.1
Having a pet could be an option if you live alone, as humans need continuous interaction. Even taking care of pets may be a relaxing activity. It helps divert your mind away from troubles, at least for the time being. Once fresh, the mind has better troubleshooting abilities.
2. Get regular exercise
Stop considering exercise as something that is needed only for physical health, weight loss, or heart health. It has many more benefits. Exercise can be the fastest and most reliable way of reducing your cortisol levels, sympathetic activity, and overcoming nervousness. If you are experiencing mental stress, better engage in outdoor activities. Go for a jog or walk outside instead of a treadmill, as that would be even more helpful.
Remember that exercise should not be a source of stress. Thus, engage in physical activities that you enjoy doing. Playing some sports may be a better option than pumping an iron. But, of course, start moving and remember that something is better than nothing.
3. Get enough sleep
People need to eat, work, and engage in physical activities to stay mentally healthy. However, most people forget that humans need to spend one-third of their lifetime sleeping to remain healthy. Sleep is not just about lying in bed. Thus, ensure that when in bed, you have a sound sleep.
Sleep is a time when your brain reorganizes thoughts, memories, and information. It is also a time for regeneration. Therefore, ensure that there are no disruptions during sleep. Also, remember that sleep quality is as vital as sleep duration. Sleeping for seven or eight hours is good, but you also need to have a night of high-quality sleep.
4. Get more sunlight
It is easy to do and yet not done. Unlike our forefathers, we spend most of our days indoors. However, this means disrupted circadian rhythm, altered brain function, higher risk of depression, hormonal issues, nervousness, and more.2
Sunlight exposure is not just about vitamin D. It helps keep our biological clock in sync. Thus, it ensures that specific hormones are released when they are needed most. It also ensures that specific brain centers and glands like the pineal gland (“the third eye”) work correctly.
5. Listen to uplifting music
Everybody knows that music helps enhance mood. However, people have listed to songs since time unknown. Thus, it is vital to understand that listening to music is one of the oldest and most potent stress busters.
Studies show that music can help reduce stress and anxiety and even boost heart health. It may even reduce pain sensation, improve respiratory health, and enhance sleep quality. Therefore, remember that music may even help prevent heart failure.3
6. Do something you enjoy
Remember that your brain needs frequent breaks. Rest does not only mean sleeping. It also means diverting your attention and participating in activities that bring pleasure to you. This would help rewire your brain, reduce stress and anxiety, help alter thinking patterns, and build stress resilience.
Activities that bring joy depend on individual preferences, and it may mean reading books, spending time in nature, practicing hobbies, biking, practicing mindfulness, and more.
7. Try nature-sourced supplements
Finally, include nature-sourced supplements in your lifestyle. Think of herbs that are known adaptogens and stress reducers. If you are unsure what natural supplements to use, Zenkgo Herbal Mood Plus Supplement is an excellent choice. It works quickly to reduce stress. However, using it for a long time helps build resilience to stress.
Do not forget that a good mood is about making significant lifestyle changes. Thus, practice all the above recommendations regularly, and consider living a Zen lifestyle. It is about cultivating inner harmony amidst the chaos of modern times. It is also about a holistic approach to lifestyle, which includes practicing mindfulness, meditation, living a simple life, and appreciating every moment.
Practicing mindfulness and simplicity are vital aspects of a zen lifestyle. It calls for decluttering both our physical spaces and mental landscapes, fostering an environment conducive to tranquility. By paring down material possessions and eliminating unnecessary distractions, we can focus our attention on what truly matters.
Combining a simple lifestyle, meditation, and mindfulness with dietary measures and natural supplements may help significantly reduce stress. As a result, managing stress and mood issues become manageable.
- Ozbay F, Johnson DC, Dimoulas E, Morgan CA, Charney D, Southwick S. Social Support and Resilience to Stress. Psychiatry (Edgmont). 2007;4(5):35-40.
- Walch JM, Rabin BS, Day R, Williams JN, Choi K, Kang JD. The Effect of Sunlight on Postoperative Analgesic Medication Use: A Prospective Study of Patients Undergoing Spinal Surgery. Psychosomatic Medicine. 2005;67(1):156. doi:10.1097/01.psy.0000149258.42508.70
- Bradt J, Dileo C, Potvin N. Music for stress and anxiety reduction in coronary heart disease patients. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews. 2013;(12). doi:10.1002/14651858.CD006577.pub3