5 Tips for Managing Your Anxiety

Anxiety is an umbrella term sheltering an array of mental disorders, including phobias, general anxiety disorder, panic disorder, social anxiety, and unspecified anxiety. In any form, anxiety can wreck havoc on your life and health. The broadness of anxiety means that the causative factors and triggers can be virtually anything, which often makes management even more difficult.

Use These Five Tips To Effectively Manage And Reduce Your Anxiety

Unaffected onlookers often don’t understand that anxiety is more difficult to manage than you just saying, “I’m not going to be anxious or worried” about x. Anxiety management takes time, diligence, and trial and error. While it may not be like a water faucet you can turn on and off, there are some productive ways you can help yourself manage your anxiety.

1. Refocus Your Mind And Body

A recent study published in the Journal of the American Art Therapy found that coloring complex geometric patterns, such as a mandala, was effective at reducing stress by inducing a meditative state. This is inline with a number of study’s showing art creation in general is an outlet for anxiety symptom relief.

Games are another way to refocus on a task devoid of stressors. This is particularly true of outdoor games because they provide exposure to green and blue space that’s invaluable at reducing anxiety and depression. Try out a new outdoor hobby, such as gardening, fishing or pet therapy, if games aren’t your cup of tea.

Deep abdominal breathing exercises can help you center your body and mind at anytime, which is particularly helpful at work and in social situations. These simultaneously decrease your heart rate and blood pressure whilst ensuring your brain has enough oxygen to stimulate the calming parasympathetic nervous system.

2. Adjust Your Diet

Anxiety is a response to situations (stimuli) that you uniquely perceive as worrisome or threatening. The effects you feel, such as nervousness, confusion, fear, and elevated vital signs, are related to your fight or flight response to that stimuli. Ironically, caffeine triggers a similar bodily response. Caffeine is often an anxiety enabler and producer that anxiety sufferers should avoid. Other food and beverages linked to worsen or cause anxiety include:

• Alcohol
• Processed foods
• Artificial sweeteners
• Partially hydrogenated oils
• Gluten

On the other hand, dark chocolate increases levels of the neurotransmitter serotonin, which may help reduce anxiety-causing stress. More foods with studies supporting anxiety reduction include:

• Brazil nuts
• Fatty fish
• Pumpkin seeds
• Eggs
• Yogurt
• Green tea

3. Get Moving

Studies have found that just 20 minutes of exercise each day can help reduce anxiety. In fact, some research suggests that a regular exercise program can actually desensitize you to stress. It’s particularly helpful when you combine exercise with green and blue space.

4. Rest Adequately

Sleep enables your brain and body to recharge and re-set to function for the next day. Without enough sleep, you become mentally foggy, can’t concentrate, and your reflexes become sluggish. When you have anxiety that causes restless nights, it becomes a cycle of symptoms that play off each other to severely impair your daily function. You’re more prone to accidents, and your days are far from productive and happy. Set yourself up for sleep with these tips:

• No electronics an hour or more before bed.

• Keep your bedroom devoid of stimuli and dedicated as a place of rest.

• Avoid stimuli foods and drinks before bed.

• Mediate before bedtime.

• Go with humor for movies and reading materials before bed since laughing is a proven de-stressing mechanism.

5. Give Yourself The Support You Need

Speaking with trusted friends, professional guidance counselors, and your primary healthcare physician offers you a multilayer support structure to ensure you have outlets for anxiety relief. But, it’s also important to self-help by structuring your life to identify and stifle sources of anxiety. Here are some ideas to get started:

• Journal to identify sources of anxiety, put your worries and fears into words, and offer yourself balance with positive thoughts.

• Set priorities by following a written daily agenda that singularly focuses on the current day.

• Use “I”statements and assertiveness to gain control over your own feelings and actions.

• Volunteer to build your self-value.

• Spread yourself evenly between social opportunities and alone time.

Anxiety Relief Is Possible

Management itself often looks overwhelming on paper, and that’s the last thing you need with anxiety. But, if you take each tip on it’s own, then you’ll see they’re actually quite easy to accomplish. With a little time and trial and error, you’ll discover exactly which tips are most effective for your specific anxiety.

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