Here at doppel, we spend a lot of time speaking to our community about managing stress and anxiety. Many of our doppelgängers are looking for natural solutions to anxiety and so we’ve pulled together our favorite tips and ideas based on published peer-reviewed research from psychology and beyond.
Breathing exercises are well known to reduce feelings of stress, anxiety and panic.
When we’re stressed, heart rate, breathing rate, and blood pressure all increase. And when we breathe deeply, we’re mimicking the way we feel just before we fall asleep or when we first wake up - two of the moments when our bodies are most relaxed. Our brains respond to these physical signals and our heart rate and blood pressure begins to fall, which in turn makes us feel less stressed.
The link between heart rate and breathing rate is well known. In fact, we've already blogged about how choir singers (who breathe at the same rate because they are singing the same song) can synchronize their heart rate.
We’ve shared some tips on this previously in our post ‘Three breathing techniques to beat stress’.
Whilst you’ll get the most benefit if you do it regularly, deep breathing can also help you feel more calm on demand.
When you’ve had a busy or stressful day, it can be tempting to relax in front of the TV, or even read a book, but according to Vybarr Cregan-Reid, Reader in Environmental Humanities, University of Kent in England and Author of 'Footnotes: How running makes us human', these actually aren’t the best activities for mental restoration - walking is.
Walking helps the brain to process the day without distraction. It allows your mind to wander and helps the brain to restore ‘directed attention’ (your ability to focus) quickly and effectively. And it’s even better if you can find some green space!
In the paper ‘The Cognitive Benefits of Interacting With Nature’ published in 2008 by researchers from the University of Michigan, it was observed that walkers in rural locations were more mentally restored and were able to tackle more complex cognitive tasks.
Go phone free
We’ve blogged before about increased stress levels for phone checkers. In the 2017 report “Stress in America”, the American Psychological Association found that US adults who report that they constantly or often check their email, texts and social media accounts are significantly more stressed than those who don’t check them as frequently.
Ask for help
You’re not alone. Talking about your anxiety with a friend or professional can be incredibly helpful. Don’t suffer in silence.
Join the discussion
We have an awesome community where our doppelgängers are free to share their journeys and experiences living with mental health issues. If you'd like to read or engage with these experiences you can visit our community page here.