Anxiety is our body’s reaction to stress and is something that everyone experiences at some point of time in their lives. But when we begin to experience intense anxiety on a daily bases, it can hinder our ability to function productively and can even affect our health. If you’re experiencing constant anxiety, it is advisable for you to talk to a psychologist or a mental health professional about it. Apart from this, practicing some of the tips listed below may help you out.
1. What You Eat Affects Your Mental Health
Felice Jacka, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research says, “Diet is as important to mental health as it is to physical health. A healthy diet is protective and an unhealthy diet is a risk factor for depression and anxiety.” Apart from ensuring that you’re consuming nutritious food, it may help if you avoid consuming coffee, alcohol, and food with a high sugar and fat content which can actually make your anxiety worse in the long run. Eating healthy when we’re anxious may be difficult especially since we crave comfort foods during this time. But planning a nutritious diet can go a long way in helping us control our stress levels.
2. Don’t Forget To Get Regular Exercise
Don’t sit idle for extended periods of time. Studies have found that regular exercise can lower stress to a large extent. This is due to the release of endorphins in the body. You don’t necessarily have to work out at the gym to de-stress. There are a large number of activities to choose from including yoga, running, tai chi, or dance. Taking a brisk 10-minute walk when we’re extremely anxious can help calm down those nerves to a large extent. Exercising or walking before bed also helps tire us out which in turn improves our sleep patterns.
3. Practice Deep Breathing
A sure way to relax your mind and body during times of anxiety is to breathe deeply. This is because deep breathing indicates to the brain that there is no imminent threat and to and that it can calm down. Apart from this, deep breathing also helps lower blood pressure levels, increase circulation of oxygen, helps the muscles to relax and helps in the release of endorphins.
4. Practice Mindfulness And Meditation
People have reported that practicing mindfulness has helped them relax during times of stress and also approach the problem so that it can be resolved instead of trying to escape from it. Sometimes we get overwhelmed by the many conflicts that life throws at us. Practicing meditation can help calm us down and isolate each thought individually enabling us to focus our energy into resolving one thing at a time.
5. Learn To Say ‘No’
Some of us may, in our effort to be recognized and accepted by everyone around us, forget that we have to prioritize ourselves and act with our self interest in mind. As a result of this, some individuals end up taking on more than they can handle which may lead to stress and anxiety. Understanding our individual limits and learning to put ourselves first in certain situations can go a long way in countering anxious feelings.
6. Ensure That You’re Well Rested
When we begin to cut out time or change the pattern of our well-deserved sleep, it begins to interfere with our daily living thereby causing stress and anxiety. According to the American Psychological Association. “Sleep is so crucial that even slight sleep deprivation or poor sleep can affect memory, judgment and mood.” Disciplining ourselves to follow a fixed sleep schedule, physical activity before bed, and not using electronic gadgets before sleeping are some tips that one can follow.
7. Root Cause Analysis
If you want to permanently deal with your anxiety, it is important to get to the bottom of what might be causing it. Spending some time alone in quiet, peaceful reflection may help us identify the root cause. Once you are aware of the cause for your anxiety, you will be able to deal with it better.