Anxiety is big, ominous, and difficult to pin down. Dealing with anxiety can feel like trying to hold up a crushing weight, physically and mentally. This is doubly true for those who suffer from a chronic pain condition as a study found that almost half of those with persistent pain issues also had one or more of the five common anxiety disorders.
Dealing with anxiety, every day tips
Many anxiety disorders share the same symptoms, such as excessive worrying, sleeplessness, panic attacks, and muscle tension, so it is possible to have multiple at one time. Currently, anxiety is one of the most common mental health problems in the U.S. and this problem is only growing. Dealing with anxiety isn’t something to take lightly and it is always a good idea to consult a medical professional if you feel like it is negatively affecting your life.
There are many treatment options that are being developed in the scientific community today. Some of these include excellent options such as medications and therapy, but there are also simple, holistic approaches you can take to help obtain a quiet mind. Here are some tips and tricks for dealing with anxiety that you can easily incorporate into your everyday routine to help create a better you.
1. Take time to relax
Making sure you spend part of each day doing something that fights off stress and anxiety is a vital tool for anyone. This can come in any form that you find relaxing, such as listening to music, doing yoga, playing with a pet, or a favorite hobby.
2. Eat right
Diet can have a large effect on your mood and general emotional state. It is always advised to never skip a meal and make sure you are eating healthy, energy-boosting foods. Always keep healthy snacks on hand just in case you need a pick-me-up.
3. Avoid alcohol and caffeine
While we are on the topic of diet, try to avoid these two as much as possible when dealing with anxiety. There are numerous studies that show that caffeine can antagonize anxiety disorders, particularly panic disorder and social phobia.
Alcohol can also have deleterious effects and worsen anxiety over time. While alcohol is a depressant it can mess with serotonin levels and other neurotransmitters in the brain to heighten the feelings of anxiety after the alcohol has worn off.
4. Take a breath and count to ten
Don’t underestimate the power of breath control, muscle relaxation, or other meditative techniques. Learning how to quiet the worrying feeling that comes with anxiety can be an invaluable tool, with benefits for both mind and body. Harvard Health published an amazing article on the benefits of deep breathing and how to introduce it into your daily routine.
5. Laugh, and then laugh some more
Laughter truly does have some amazing medical applications. While it isn’t a cure-all, there are tons of positive things it can do for you physically and mentally. According to the Mayo Clinic, laughter can soothe tension, improve the immune system, relieve pain, and lessen the effects of depression and anxiety. The next time you are caught in the trap of over worrying, remember to get in a good chuckle.
6. Use positive reinforcement and self-talk
Everyone talks to himself or herself occasionally and even more so when you are trying to overcome a difficult challenge or ordeal. So why not use it when dealing with anxiety? The next time you get caught up in a worrying loop, try to talk yourself down a little by saying, “I am feeling anxious, but it won’t last” or “I am safe and will be fine shortly.” This will be a difficult habit to pick up at first, but it can be quite soothing and help you take control.
7. Schedule time for worrying
An odd thought at first, but one that can help you focus on the day, knowing that you will have time for worrying later. Throughout the day, create a list of any worry that pops into your head. Then, set a time to review your worries such as twice a week. By the time you review the list, you will find some have resolved themselves, and those that are left can be prioritized and tackled one at a time rather than constantly scratching at the back of your mind.
Doing a moderate workout can drastically reduce your feelings of anxiety. Working out requires concentration on the here and now instead of being caught up in all of the noise in your head. Plus, it has the added benefit of making you feel better physically.
9. Use a mental health app
Technology is a beautiful thing and it really is changing the face of medicine and self-care. If you want an easy way to track your anxiety and have calming exercises at your fingertips, check out the Self-help Anxiety Management app. If you are more interested in learning and practicing long term meditative techniques, then Headspace might be right for you.
10. Control your environment
A big trigger from some with anxiety is feeling like they have no control over future events, which perpetuates worry. One of the best ways to counteract this is to focus on controlling your immediate needs and space. Try cleaning the dishes or doing your laundry. Maybe shower and shave. These small accomplishments can go a long way in getting you out of your head to make you feel good.
Dealing with anxiety can be quite taxing. What tips and tricks do you use in your daily routine?