10 Hacks to Cut Anxiety and Stress Down
By Charles VercoustreSaturday, October 9, 2021
Do you recognize yourself?
You feel like you're always exhausted AND struggling to sleep, your heart is racing, you're easily hurt and feel depressed without a reason, you randomly panic, you're working extra hours and don't get the job done, you're easily irritated?
We hear you.
You're amongst the 20% of the American people suffering from anxiety. You're not alone!
As Bruce Lipton demonstrates in his inspiring book The Biology of Belief, there is a direct interaction between your mental balance and your physical health. We can do better at aligning the mind and body while having a big city life.
We're no gurus, but here's a list of social, mental and bio hacks to improve your peace and harmony.
1. Spend more time off with loved ones
"Without data, you're just another person with an opinion", right? So let's get some data. An easy way to take a glance at a subject is to use google trends. While typing "stress" in Google trends, it's stunning. The lower points of the curve are during Thanksgiving and Christmas. Family moments.
So getting closer to your loved ones seems to take you away from googling Stress - probably meaning that you feel less concerned by it. Another interpretation could be: those times are off for a majority of people. Taking time off, leaving your job for a few days or weeks is probably very sane for your mental health. And I bet you'll be back stronger.
2. Best is the enemy of the good
Especially if you live in a big city, there's a tendency to just never stop the hustle and add more pressure on a racing lifestyle and challenging projects. You want to make 6 figures, then 7, then 8, then 9, it's easy to never get satisfied with what you have.
Don't get me wrong, challenging yourself and personal growth are important. We believe that ambition is not a perversion. But it has to be correlated with a positive ideal and not an everlasting chase of simply “more” stuff (money, IG followers, work titles, individual performance, pleasures, hype and the list goes on).
3. Eat healthy meals
Have you heard that "Food is medicine"? We've all been through this feeling after a heavy stop at Five Guys. Sure you liked it on the spot, but how do you feel one hour after? Ask yourself how do you feel after a healthy meal made of wholefood and organic veggies and plant-based proteins? Naturally energized, easier digestion and happier mood.
About that, we invite you to take a look at Darien Olien's book Superlife, he's very good at correlating healthy food with mental and physical health. OK, one Five Guys here and there is not gonna kill you...
4. Watch humor videos
Is it proven that laughing improves mental health? Actually… yes. And the best evidence is that laughing releases endorphins… a chemical naturally produced in your body that has a direct effect on your mood. It also helps stimulate many organs like heart, lungs and muscles plus soothe your tension. Beyond biological effects, laughing mentally tells your brain to let it go, turn your back on all this seriousness that is deeply anxiogenic. So enter here Friends or other comedies, one man shows or your most funny friend!
5. Voicing your gratitudes everyday
At first, you're reluctant to do it. Am I looking a little ridiculous vocalizing my gratitudes? I mean, who cares. Guess what, we now know that it is effective. Studies have been conducted on stress and mental health and the link between verbal gratitudes and a better mood is made.
So! How to do it?
Here is a simple technique easy to implement to your morning or evening routine: voice out loud (not in your mind, it works less, don't be shy) 3 things you are grateful for today. I promise, even after the worst day of your life, you can spot 3 things. If the day was rough, focus on very simple things, like some sunlight on your face, the beauty of the architecture, a kind word heard, a good dish, a touching song etc.
6. Pinpoint the root of your anxiety
Anxiety is biological AND psychological. Either way, it comes from something, sometime, someone or somewhere and it's your job to find its source.
People can help but you're the one who has the answers to those questions: How long has it been going? Did it start after a specific event? Did I feel like that in the past given different circumstances? Is there a mental pattern? Am I genuinely aligned with my lifestyle?
7. Get good sleep and do sport
Studies have shown that sleepless nights raise anxiety level by 30%. The link between anxiety and sleep is almost obvious. Sleep deprivation has a direct impact on your mood, nervousness, mental clarity, ability to socialize and other down sides that we have all experienced.
Now, what's the egg and what's the chicken? If you're anxious you're probably struggling to get good night sleep, and when you have sleeping troubles you're more subject to anxiety.
Some good first steps: eat healthy (see above) and do sport, get physical exercise, go for a run or to the gym, if you don't like it, go for a walk, 30' should be enough to see the difference.
8. Cut down coffee
Not to brag out but we can help with that! It's now documented that coffee may have an impact on your stress levels.
Don't get me wrong, if a vast majority of Americans drink coffee, it's because caffeine is a potent nootropic for energy and focus. But with an average of 100 to 120 mg of caffeine in your cup of joe, the effects on your adrenal glands trigger adrenaline throughout your body and eventually crashes your nerves down.
And then, what do you do? You take another coffee. Brilliant. You've just started a pitfall.
Read here why you should totally or partially switch to Okana instead. Made of the healthiest and perfect amount of caffeine, mixed with the best adaptogens and superfoods, it reconciles energy with mental AND physical health.
9. Let it go
It's like trying to swim against the flow of the river. Maybe it's a good idea to switch direction.
It's a natural reaction for humans to respond to an attack by fighting against it. In the case of anxiety, how about looking at it from another direction? How about becoming your own inner and mental Gandhi? Stop fighting against your stress.
Take some time to acknowledge your stress. Accept its presence and look at what exactly it reflects. It's no news that the best things happen when you turn your weaknesses into superpowers. You're stressed? Great chances you're someone sensitive and sensitivity is a pure gem in a world filled with heartless hustlers.
10. Find a meaningful pastime to get involved in
When anxiety is more mental than physical, most often it comes from a misalignment between your lifestyle and true values. You're a hardcore vegan working for a corporate bank? Doesn't seem like a true alignment, does it?
Does that mean you have to quit and help save the turtles in Mexico? Probably not, you probably don't have this freedom anyway (kids, loans, lifestyle, etc.)
So then what about getting some more time off and dedicate it to a cause that's meaningful to you. Not to the people you expect appreciation from. Something for you. It can be non profit, a valuable leisure, spending more time in nature, going on a trip. Let's be creative here.
At Okana, we crafted a beverage that's no bullshit about providing healthy energy, sharp focus, holistic wellness and an immunity boost. Basically a not-a-coffee that doesn't crash you down but takes care of your body AND mind.
Why? We claim that mental health is the key cause of today's western societies.