by Amber White

ChiroHealthUSA Social Media Specialist

The profound effects of stress and anxiety affect more Americans than ever
before. According to Medical News Today, “anxiety disorders are the most common mental
illness in the U.S., affecting around 40 million adults-almost 1 in 5 people.”  It is natural to
feel stress before a job interview or a big presentation, but when anxiety seems to extend
beyond logical worry, and suddenly situations that shouldn’t elicit a negative emotion
become embarrassing, paralyzing, or even life-threatening, it may be time for professional
intervention. There are a few things you can do, however, to manage the everyday stress
and anxiety of life.

Focus on Your Breathing

One of the easiest and quickest techniques you can utilize for stress reduction is to focus on
your breathing. For example, try taking in a deep breath through your nose and imagine
that you are taking in peaceful air and letting it spread throughout your entire body.  Next,
as you exhale through your mouth, imagine that you are releasing all of the harmful toxins,
stress, and tension. Best of all, no one has to know you are doing this breathing exercise, so
no worries about anyone judging you!

Practice Meditation

Meditation has been proven to provide both short term and long-term stress relief and
helps manage anxiety. You may want to incorporate a mantra, or affirming phrase, that
uplifts you, or take a few minutes of quiet time to practice mindfulness. Pay closer attention
to the things you see, hear, smell, touch, or even taste, around you. Being conscious of
these simple things quiets your mind and pushes out stressful thoughts and fears.

Make Exercise a Part of Your Schedule

Physical activity is key in helping to alleviate stress and anxiety symptoms. Exercise helps
lower your body’s stress hormones such as cortisol. Try joining a gym, taking a yoga class,
walking, hiking, or playing pickleball. With a vast array of activities available, there should
be no problem finding one that works best for you.

Hug a Loved One

Whether human or pet, a hug or cuddle from someone you love can be especially helpful in
reducing stress and anxiety.  When you hug or hold hands with someone you love, the
hormone oxytocin is released. Unlike cortisol, this “bonding” hormone is associated with
high levels of happiness and a reduction in blood pressure. Oxytocin also reduces the
hormone norepinephrine, the fight or flight hormone, and can leave you with a sense of

Find the best stress and anxiety techniques that work for you and see how much of a
difference it makes to your overall well-being.