Let’s face it: 2020 will go down in history for lots of reasons. Even before the global pandemic, we were spending lots of time in front of screens—phones, computers, TVs. You name it; we stare at it. Factor in the new, work-from-home element of our lives, and we’ve got a major screen issue. And scarily enough, this isn’t just a problem related to human connections. Even if you get plenty of your daily exercise, spending time staring at a screen dramatically increases your risk of heart disease and early death. Not to mention the fact that continually checking in with newscasts and social media apps can increase your anxiety levels. (No wonder you’ve landed here to discover the mother of all anxiety tips!)
All of that sounds pretty scary… and well, it is. But here’s the good news: there’s a simple way for you to manage your stress. It helps reduce anxiety, without costing you a penny. Any guesses? Spoiler: the top anxiety tip you can receive is to get out into nature. As science proves, time and again, fresh air, sunshine, plants, and nature are the best natural remedies for anxiety. Don’t believe us? Just take a look at the stats we’re about to present.
The Power of Nature to Manage Stress
In just a minute, we’ll help you understand why getting outside, or even adopting a plant, are some of the best anxiety tips around. But when fresh air isn’t an option, here are some great techniques for managing stress. From deep breaths to daily check-ins, they’ll help you get through your anxiety and move forward to a better headspace.
Still, if you can get outdoors, there’s plenty of research to suggest this will be your best bet for managing anxiety. Especially if you can sneak in some exercise while you’re out there. How much of a difference will exposure to “green space”—think trees, grass, or even shrubs—make in your anxiety experience? Studies suggest that going outside once a week cuts your risk of mental health problems in half. And, if you’re able to be active outdoors more than once a week? Each additional outing reduces your risk of mental health problems by another 6%. Exercising outdoors is pretty much the anxiety tip of all anxiety tips.
Now, that stat relates to all kinds of mental health issues. But being outdoors is especially helpful for reducing your stress levels—especially if you find a quiet spot where you can sit and listen to the birds chirping, the wind blowing, the leaves rustling…well, you get the picture. Why is listening to natural sounds such a useful anxiety tip? According to research, natural tones are more pleasant than artificial ones. And exposure to these natural sounds reduces pain and anxiety, even in individuals facing dire circumstances such as end-of-life hospice care. So, turn off your TV or streaming playlist. And if you can’t get outside, open those windows and try to hear the birds chirp. That’s an anxiety tip anyone can manage.
Anxiety Tips For Experiencing Nature Inside Our Homes
As we just mentioned, even listening to natural sounds is a great way to manage stress and reduce anxiety. But if you’re stuck in an apartment, and the sounds of the city block out nature’s noise, it may be tough to take advantage of this particular anxiety tip.
Never fear: Tanasi (and science) has you covered. As it turns out, even looking at nature can help you relax and get rid of some stress. Studies prove that enjoying a natural view for just five minutes will help reduce your anxiety levels. Got a beautiful view with trees or greenery from your window? Great, that will certainly help. But even if you just look at a plant in your home, or take a peek at pictures of nature, you’ll still experience similar stress reductions. That’s why many hospitals post nature pictures or paint murals with trees, lakes, and flowers, on the walls of rooms without views. Because, as science proves, again and again, engaging with nature—even in a removed form—is an extremely effective anxiety tip.
How Can Animals Reduce Anxiety?
Keep in mind that nature isn’t just about plants, birds, and trees. Animals are a significant part of our natural world. And interacting with animals—especially pets—is a great way to manage your stress. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), interacting with animals decreases levels of cortisol (the stress hormone) within your body. And in a big way, too—studies show that when you interact with dogs, your cortisol levels drop from 58% to 10%. But when the dog goes away, those stress levels shoot right back up to 48%. So, being around animals is clearly a handy tool for reducing stress and anxiety.
Additionally, as the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) points out, if you own a pet, like a dog, you’ll be more likely to get outside and get active. Which, naturally, ties back into our anxiety tip about enjoying green spaces.
But the stress-busting power of pets goes beyond these two impressive factors. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, 74% of pet owners enjoy self-reported mental health boosts as a direct result of their pet ownership. Specifically, they noted improvements in their instances of stress, anxiety, depression, and loneliness.
And, when you get to the most common household pets—namely, cats and dogs—the health benefits only increase. That’s because playing with these animals gives you an additional boost in serotonin levels (these are the feel-good hormones which also help you fight anxiety.) In other words, now might be a great time to adopt a pet—not only will you reduce existing anxiety levels in your body. But you’ll also be proactively boosting your mood levels.
When times are stressful, anxiety is a natural reaction. But, even when things seem out of control, you can manage your stress and anxiety just by getting outside, watering a plant, or cuddling a furry friend. Need a bonus tip for busting anxiety? Check out these stats on CBD and anxiety, then head into our online CBD store to pick your favorite product (or you can buy ’em all)!