Anxiety can get the best of anyone of us. Anxiety manifests in different ways physically and emotionally. We have our own apprehensions and scary predictions, most of which are baseless and not real. Good news. Managing the symptoms of anxiety on a daily basis is possible. Here are ten of the easiest ways to minimize daily anxiety.
1) Get enough sleep
Lack of sleep is one of the biggest contributors to the onset of anxiety. Then, it turns into a vicious cycle wherein the anxious feeling disrupts your sleep at night. When you feel anxious, it is best to sleep at least seven hours every night to get rid of such feeling.
2) Smile and laugh
Smiling is a feel-good habit. Laughing, too, is a proven way to reduce various symptoms of not just anxiety, but also stress and depression. For jittery nerves, why don’t you re-read your funniest email or watch funny clips in YouTube.
3) Say ‘thank you’
Regardless of how bad your current situation is, you need to practice gratitude. A study claims that expressing gratitude helps in reducing anxiety. Whispering a simple thank you that you’re given another day to live would be enough. Better yet, change your mindset by becoming more appreciative.
4) Eat right
Did you know that caffeine, sugary and processed foods increase various symptoms of anxiety, leading to a panic attack? Avoid those foods and eat foods that are rich in Vitamin B and Omega-3 fatty acids. Add some whole-grain carbohydrates in your diet as well because these help in regulating levels of serotonin, the feel-good neurotransmitter. Simply, these foods can keep your overall mental health good.
5) Breathe properly
Short and shallow breaths are indicators of anxiety and stress in the body. Shortness of breath also signifies palpitation. Breathe consciously instead. Lengthen and strengthen your breaths to signal the brain that it is time to relax.
6) Disconnect for a while
Plan at least one ‘me-time’ throughout the day. Start small like five minutes per day of total disconnection – no phone, no computer, no TV, no Facebook, nothing. These are noises that boost the stress levels. Just leave them all behind for a moment.
Allow yourself to freak out for 5, 10 or 20 minutes; it’s up to you to create your own worry space. If something will happen, it will. However, you can always preempt the moment by thinking about all the possibilities and figuring out a game plan. Put it on the alarm so you’d not overthink the situation that often leads to frantic judgments.
8) Hang out
Don’t forget to socialize; it could be eating lunch or having a little chit chat with your officemates. Socialization requires our body to produce more oxytocin, a hormone with anxiety-reduction effects. That’s why people with lots of friends tend to react to anxiety less negatively than introverts.
9) Talk to yourself
Have an inner dialogue. Keep a positive mantra. For instance, tell yourself “everything’s going to be okay.” Repeat it until you find comfort in it. Dr. Ilona Boniwell, a psychologist and senior lecturer at East London University, says that positive thinking results in positive physical impacts. Couple this with a 10-minute recap of what went well during the day and you’re on your way towards an anxiety-free tomorrow.
Cocooning is a simple technique of ‘hiding’ for a while from all the distractions. This technique is very useful when you feel overwhelmed. Just close your eyes and put your palms on your face with the fingers covering your eyes. This quietens your mind, blocking the distractions in the process even just for one to two minutes.
All these should make your anxious feeling go away. If it won’t go away and if you feel that it is serious, you might as well consult a psychologist as you might be dealing with a disorder. A psychologist can give you an accurate diagnosis and devise a proper treatment plan for you.
Harry Neal is a freelance writer and a blogger. He is currently writing for Paramount Direct, one of the top insurance company in the Philippines. He gives tips for life and accident insurance on his blog.