A not so fun fact is that 40 million Americans over the age of 18 are affected by anxiety. Emotional stress has been scientifically shown to age you cellularly as well, which is fitting considering how stress makes people literally feel older.

Before jumping to medication, consider healthy living as a means of tackling your stress and anxiety. Medication can be helpful, but it should be considered as a secondary option in many cases. Here are just a few things you can do to make sure you’re being healthy that will help you manage your stress and hopefully live a more worry-free life.

Rest, Rest, Rest

Not getting enough sleep and rest can heighten your anxiety terribly. For some people, it’s easier to stay a night owl than to get to bed on time. A right amount of sleep is desperately important though. And for those curious, the National Sleep Foundation has put together a recently updated document detailing how much sleep you need depending on your age.

Additionally, sleep deprivation has to be taken into account as an illness. Meaning, not everybody who doesn’t sleep has a physical choice in the matter. How can you tell the difference between someone who just refuses to sleep and someone who can’t sleep though? Well thankfully, a lot of research is being done on the matter, and Nectar Sleep put together a document you can use to check the symptoms for sleep deprivation. If you think you have sleep deprivation, you may want to see a qualified physician for your next steps.

Other than that, do your research and keep yourself in check so you can sleep great every night and be more relaxed and worry free through your day!

Routine Checkups

Take the word “routine” with a grain of salt of course, but semi-regular doctor checkups are important to maintaining physical and mental health. Sometimes, things happen in your body that you’re not aware of until it’s too late.

If you are sexually active, get routine checkups for STIs and STDs as to keep yourself and future partners safe and healthy. If you are on medication, have your doctor check to see if that medication is still what’s best for you after some time on it. Before going through complex procedures, make sure to ask your doctor educated and caution-oriented questions to make sure you’re comfortable with all risks and procedures, and that your body is able to take on such a procedure with doctors feeling optimistic about the results.

Making Sure You’re At Your Best

Be healthy today. And you know what? Stay healthy tomorrow. Working out regularly, staying well-nourished, and being aware of what you put into your body will help you achieve these goals.

This doesn’t only include eating “healthy food” and simple exercise, but knowing what vitamins are in your food and what your body needs, where your food comes from, and what exercises cater to your body the best. Removing constant health hurdles from your life is important as well: for instance, getting LASIK surgery removes the need for things like contacts and glasses, so you won’t have to deal with the hassle of faulty-eye care every six months to a year. Additionally, you won’t have to worry about what might happen should you find yourself without vision insurance or easy access to an optometrist. Similarly, retreating from dangerous activities like excessive drinking, or sports with heavy contact, may keep you out of unnecessary harm’s way.

Get Your Therapy, However You Need To

Ultimately, taking care of yourself emotionally in a more direct way is still necessary. Having someone to talk to may be key for you. This could be a professional psychologist or counselor, but it doesn’t need to be. It could be a friend or just somewhere to confide in. It could be your journal.

Finding solace at the right times is important as well though. Some alone time can do you well, so don’t ever feel like you need to apologize for that. However, part of knowing when you need to be alone and when you’re isolating yourself in an unhealthy way is important. You know what will help you better than anyone else, so own that and be upfront with yourself about such things.

How do you keep yourself stress free? Let us know in the comments below — we’d love to hear about it!

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