The USA ranked 13th as one of the world’s most stressful countries in 2022. The daily responsibilities and stressors for Americans cause 80% of the US workforce to feel stressed, with 49% reporting that it harmed their lives.
Protecting your mental peace has become increasingly important, especially if you live in highly stressful cities like New York. According to a 2022 study on the most stressful cities in the world, NYC ranked 30th with 14.51 suicides per 100,000 people.
If you live in harmful environments detrimental to your mental peace, consider the following stress management options.
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Role of CBD
CBD reduces depression and has a calming effect on your brain by targeting specific receptors in the brain to increase the release of serotonin. 49% of Americans use CBD to relieve symptoms of anxiety and stress, with 79% reporting its effectiveness.
Its popularity has been rising amongst adults, and according to a recent Forbes survey, 60% of US citizens believe in the efficacy of its medicinal qualities.
On the flip side, the survey also highlights people’s skepticism towards CBD, as 21% of respondents don’t believe it should be legal because it contains components found in cannabis.
However, using CBD is lawful in 23 states of America. Though each state has different requirements and conditions for a medical marijuana card, some cities offer it more readily than others.
Take New York City, for example.
It ranks 1st as the city with the highest cannabis consumption in the world, with a relatively simple process. To qualify for a New York Medical Marijuana Card, you should have a medical condition approved by a medical marijuana physician in NY. These conditions include chronic pain, cystic fibrosis, diabetes, and anxiety.
Once your doctor agrees with your state, you may apply for the card after paying a $50 application fee. After getting this card, you may purchase marijuana legally from dispensaries and grow up to six plants in your home.
While CBD is effective in relieving stress, you may try these stress management strategies either along with CBD consumption or without it:
Stress Management – How Does CBD Help Relieve Stress?
Unsurprisingly, according to the National Science Foundation, 80% of our thoughts are negative. However, you can prevent these thoughts from controlling you by staying mindful. Living in the present is the essence of mindfulness. It keeps you from spiraling into your thoughts by shifting your focus to your body and environment.
Meditation is one approach to mindfulness, with 84% of people meditating to reduce stress and anxiety. Mindfulness meditation affects our brain and biology positively. It’s an effective technique since it allows your thoughts to pass through your mind without judgment.
Instead, you focus on breathing and the feeling of air flowing in and out of your body. Practicing this technique enables you to stop overthinking and focus on the present. Practicing mindfulness is crucial, with 73% of American adults suffering from chronic overthinking.
You can do so by:
- Engaging your five senses
- Not using the phone while eating
- Practicing gratitude
- Checking in with your body
- Observing your surroundings
- Practicing active listening
Overthinking is one of the leading contributors to stress, which keeps you in a fight or flight situation. However, practicing mindfulness can keep you in the present and prevent you from stressing yourself out more than you already are.
Research by the American Psychological Association highlights the importance of sleeping at least eight hours at night for adults. It reports that 45% of adults with less than eight hours of sleep are likelier to feel stressed, irritated, and angry. These results prove that the better your sleeping habits, the more you manage your stress. However, despite its importance, 1 in 3 American adults need proper rest.
These poor sleeping patterns are due to inadequate sleep hygiene, which refers to your routine and bedroom environment contributing to uninterrupted sleep.
To get quality sleep, you should:
- Avoid screen time an hour before bed
- Not eat heavy meals just before bed
- Have a comfortable bedroom with dim lighting
- Go to bed at fixed times
- Avoid drinking coffee before bed
Stay consistent with these adjustments to your routine to see the best results. Remember that you can’t fix your sleep schedule overnight. However, you can start by setting a specified time to sleep and wake up. Eventually, your body will adapt.
Besides improving overall health, exercise reduces stress by releasing feel-good neurotransmitters called endorphins in your brain. It is a happy hormone that helps you feel relaxed, relieves pain, and improves your overall well-being. Studies have found that even five minutes of aerobic exercise can significantly reduce anxiety and tension, like running, cycling, or swimming.
It would be best to allocate 150 minutes to exercise weekly to feel the most difference. Encouraging movement in your body can relieve tension, boost your mood, and improve your health. Also, avoid long periods of inactivity, as it can cause anxiety.
Bottling up your feelings can have negative consequences. Studies suggest it can cause physical and mental stress, increasing the likelihood of developing chronic conditions such as depression, diabetes, and heart illnesses.
It can also increase your chances of developing cancer by 70% and the odds of premature death by 30%. Being unable to express your emotions can also harm your relationships by leading people to believe you’re aloof or closed off.
Talking about your feelings can make you feel vulnerable, but you still need an outlet for them. However, you can try the following strategies if you don’t feel like talking:
- Recording voice messages to yourself
- Squeezing stress balls
- Expressing yourself through art
Many more activities can let you positively express your emotions without venting to others. However, don’t be afraid to reach out when you get overwhelmed. Remember that you have friends and family who care about your mental well-being.
Protecting your mental well-being is a priority to get through the tensions of daily life. You should take time for yourself and recharge to prevent burning out.
It’s okay to take a break when you need it. Remember that self-care is a necessity rather than a luxury.