Millions of individuals suffer from anxiety every day. The majority do not know how to control it, as there is no cure. There are several ways to reduce the symptoms of your anxiety and this site can give you a few ideas.
Below are 10 easy ways to reduce the symptoms of anxiety right now.
1. Breathe Deep
Focusing on your breathing is helpful to take your mind off your anxiety. And whatever is causing your mind to race and form scenarios that you know will never happen.
Here are the simple steps to implement breathing for anxiety.
- Get into a comfortable position
- Close your eyes
- Turn your attention to your breathing
- Try to only think about your breathing and nothing else. If you find your mind wandering, acknowledge it and slowly bring your focus and mind back to breathing.
- Follow the breaths in and out, place your hand on your lower stomach, and try to “puff” it out with your intake breath. Then after a few seconds or the count of three, push the air out through your mouth.
- Repeat several times until you feel more relaxed.
2. Go to Bed Early
You may not feel like sleeping at night, you may be sleeping during the day, but the fact is, sleeping at night is the best for your body and mind. Too much sleep is not good for anxiety, but not enough sleep is even more detrimental to anxiety.
Do something that makes you tired, like reading a dull book, or yoga. Put away the Internet and anything that stimulates your mind. Try to calm down for about an hour before slipping into bed.
You will have less anxiety if you get enough sleep.
3. Reduce or Eliminate Sugar, Processed Foods and Caffeine
Sugar is a stimulant and has a huge effect on the adrenal glands, which can cause panic attacks and anxiety. It is best to avoid these stimulants altogether, however, go slow when first eliminating them from your diet.
Going “cold turkey” and stopping the food you take daily is difficult on your system and could cause more anxiety.
4. Eat Healthily
Try for more plant-based meals and less meat. Opt for lean meat marketed as “loin” or “round” as they have less fat than other cuts of red meat.
Eat more greens like a green smoothie first thing in the morning. This will help energize you without the sugar jitters and the anxiety that accompany processed foods and sugars.
5. Practice Gratitude
If you watch the news or read the daily headlines, you will discover there are people in far worse shape than you. Be grateful for what you have and don’t dwell on what you are missing. There is a reason you have what you have and don’t have other things.
Get a nice notebook and write three things down each night before bed that you are truly grateful for. Practicing gratitude gives you a better perspective on your life. Thankfulness is one of the best feelings.
6. Challenge Core Beliefs aka The Negative Feelings
Thoughts follow feelings, therefore, negative thoughts will lead to negative emotions, and then you end up with negative behaviors. You have the power to break this cycle and meet your anxiety head-on.
To change your thoughts, write them down now and then. Keep a record of what stresses you out and how you feel immediately after. Try one-word answers like defeated, worthless, dejected, angry, and so on.
Then challenge the reality of what you are feeling. This is a hard one because of the lack of objectivity we have over our own feelings. Look for the facts, the actual reasons for what we fear.
Remember, you created the negative thought, you can uncreate it and send it far, far away.
This may be the last thing on your mind, but movement, especially exercise, helps to release the “feel good” chemicals in the brain, which can chase away anxiety in a flash.
Try to go for a walk or do a few simple weight-lifting rounds each day to boost your mood, which will help combat anxiety before it starts.
8. Try Acceptance
This may cause more anxiety at first but keep with it. Accept your anxiety as a part of your life. Then give yourself permission to move on.
Since most anxiety is based on things beyond your control, try thanking your anxiety for visiting and then ask it to leave. This is a common tool to use based on CBT (Cognitive Behavior Therapy).
9. Worse Case Scenario
Another CBT, exercise is to practice thinking of the worst that can happen, or use the downward arrow technique on a piece of paper.
You start with what is bothering you, say a conflict at work. You write that at the top of the paper. Then you draw an arrow down to the next thing that could go wrong as the conflict escalates to a physical fight.
Then draw another arrow and another possible outcome. Keep going until you reach “fired” or “death”, neither of which is going to happen.
The point of this exercise is to make you feel more in control and show you that the worst that could happen will not happen.
10. Visit a Therapist
Everyone needs help now and then. There is no shame in reaching out for help. A therapist is a person that will remain non-judgmental about your situation.
They can offer different solutions to control your anxiety and help you talk through what is bothering you.
A psychiatrist is the one that can prescribe medications and if your therapist recommends you see this type of doctor, you should take their advice.
If you don’t like what you learn about medications, ask about alternative therapies including CBD (Cannabidiol), and other natural homeopathic remedies.
Don’t let your anxiety rule your life. If you begin to have anxiety attacks more than a few times a month, it is time to seek help.
About The Author:
Stacey Smith is a freelance health writer. She is passionate about writing about women’s health, dental health, diabetes, endocrinology, and nutrition and provides in-depth features on the latest in health news for medical clinics and health magazines.