Dealing with anxiety is an everyday battle.
We’re beginning to learn that anxiety is something too many people have to handle on a daily basis. What used to be known as a mysterious mental health issue that no one really spoke candidly about has turned into a worldwide pandemic.
It exists on a sliding scale, of course, but that doesn’t mean that a small amount of anxiety won’t have a big effect on your life. When it gets bad, it becomes impossible to function normally.
Today, we’re going to give you a few tips for coping with anxiety so that you can go about your life without this albatross weighing you down. It might not be something you can get rid of altogether, but it’s something you can learn to manage and mitigate its effects.
1. Deep Breathing
When you’re in the midst of an anxiety attack, “calming down” isn’t really an option. Things can really snowball if you don’t try to control your breathing, though. If you’re breathing too fast, your heart rate will increase and you’ll end up hyperventilating, which can be dangerous.
If you want to slow everything down, practice deep breathing. When the anxiety takes hold, stop everything and do 5 minutes of deep breathing with 4-count breaths in and out. As we’ll discuss a bit later on, breathing is an important part of meditation, which can help you manage your anxiety in the short and long-term.
Maintaining a healthy lifestyle can help deter anxious feelings and really boost your self-confidence and well-being. If you’re someone that enjoys working out, then you won’t have any issues making time for this, but if you don’t, then start with 3-5 workout sessions of 30 minutes each per week.
You can start small with walks and eventually start jogging and working out different muscle groups. A good amount of exercise is proven to boost not only your physical health but your mental health as well. When you get into an exercise routine, you’ll learn to enjoy it and look forward to getting your sweat on.
3. Getting the Proper Amount of Sleep
You might be surprised that a lot of people with anxiety have a hard time sleeping. You need somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep for your body to fully recover for the next day, but when you’re up thinking anxious thoughts, the vicious cycle begins.
There are numerous things you can try to do to promote better sleep:
- Create a routine by going to bed and getting up at the same time every night
- Don’t drink caffeine after your morning coffee and avoid alcohol at night because these things stimulate your brain and make it more difficult to get good sleep
- Leave your smartphone outside of your room
- Block all light from coming into your bedroom so that you can fall asleep more easily
4. CBD Oil
Of course, there are medications that you can take to control depression and anxiety, but not everyone wants to or should go down that road. Natural supplements can have a positive effect, but we’re really seeing a lot of promising research into the effects of cannabidiol (CBD) on anxiety.
Taking CBD oil for anxiety is a relatively new thing, but in addition to the studies, there’s been a lot of anecdotal evidence of the positive effects it has on anxiety. You can get CBD oil at most organic grocery stores and wellness shops around the country now, thanks to the 2018 Farm Bill, which legalized hemp-based products.
5. Identifying & Managing Triggers
Anxiety is similar to other mental health issues in that you can begin to identify your own triggers over a period of time. For some, it might be stimulants like caffeine, alcohol, smoking, or drugs that trigger an anxiety attack. For others, it could be your financial situation, your job, or social activities that trigger anxiety.
Trying to get a handle on when your anxiety crops up is a great step in being able to manage it more effectively. When your triggers relate to things you do, you can try to stop doing those things.
It becomes harder when situations in your life cause you anxiety, but you can better prepare yourself to deal with these triggers if you know about them.
6. Your Diet
Eating a balanced and healthy diet will directly affect how you feel, both physically and mentally. Don’t skip meals and try to avoid fast food, candy, and other things that you know are bad for you.
There’s no singular diet that’s proven to help with anxiety, but getting a good amount of omega-3’s, eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, and drinking lots of water should help. Green tea and some herbal remedies are good for helping promote a sense of calm in your body and mind.
7. Question Your Own Negative Thoughts
It might sound counter-productive to question your own thoughts when you’re in the middle of an anxiety attack. However, part of what makes anxiety so painful is that your thought process is what’s harming you. It makes small problems much worse than they are.
After you’ve gone through your breathing exercises, question your own negative thoughts. Once you start to analyze them, you’ll see that you can be the boss of your own thoughts and regain control of the situation.
8. Meditation & Yoga
One of the best methods for coping with anxiety and depression in the long-term is taking up meditation and yoga practices. Mindfulness meditation, in particular, can help you to eventually dismiss anxious thoughts when they arise. It takes years of practice to get to this point, but there’s never a bad time to start.
If you find it difficult to sit still and meditate, a great jumping-off point is with yoga. Not only is yoga incredible for your body, but it can introduce some of the meditation concepts in a more engaging way.
Begin Coping With Anxiety Today
Use some of these tips to begin coping with anxiety in a positive way today. It’s a lifelong battle, but something that you don’t have to let control you if you approach it the right way. As we learn more and more about anxiety and what makes it tick, we’ll be even better at fighting it moving forward.
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