Anxiety affects nearly everyone at some point in their lives. This can be the normal stress of everyday life, such as traffic jams and work deadlines, or more serious anxiety that makes it hard to do normal activities. Anxiety is one of the most common mental health concerns in the United States among adults, with 40 million people over the age of 18 suffering from it each year. While you may want to visit your doctor if you are having a hard time functioning in your daily life, there are also short-term and long-term strategies that can be used to deal with anxious thoughts and feelings. Try utilizing the following tips the next time anxiety strikes.
Focus on Breathing
Taking a few deep breaths when you are stressed can do wonders for your mental health. Familiarize yourself with breathing techniques that you can use when things are overwhelming, such as inhaling for a count of four and then exhaling for the same amount of time. You may also want to learn how to meditate. It can take some time to master, but meditation can be a valuable part of your anti-anxiety toolkit. Breathing is the focus of meditation, encouraging the person meditating to move beyond their anxious or racing thoughts and be present in the moment.
Prioritize Daily Exercise
Daily exercise is an important part of dealing with stress and anxiety. Moving your body on a daily basis helps release endorphins, brain chemicals that cause feelings of happiness and well-being. Don't feel that you need to lift weights or run a marathon to get the benefits of exercise in your routine. Simply taking a walk after dinner, riding your bike around town or dancing in your kitchen can have positive effects.
Try Relaxation Techniques
Sometimes relieving anxiety is as simple as adding a few new elements to your daily routine. Try aromatherapy in the form of a scent diffuser or essential oils. Consider taking up a new, relaxing hobby, such as knitting or crochet, which can pull you into a meditative state. Treat yourself to something that calms you down at the end of a stressful day, such as taking a hot bath or giving yourself a foot massage. Make an effort to work one or two relaxing activities into your life on a daily or weekly basis, and make note of which ones have a positive impact on your mental health.
Caffeine can actually cause symptoms that feel a lot like anxiety, which can cause your actual anxiety to worsen. These include restlessness, increased heart rate, nervousness and sleep issues. Instead of turning to caffeine, consider drinking some herbal tea or using CBD vape juice for anxiety. If you can't imagine parting with your daily cup of joe, try limiting yourself to one serving per day or make the switch to decaf.
Make Time for Rest
Sleep is an important part of a healthy lifestyle and getting the recommended amount can help decrease the amount of anxiety you may experience. Health care professionals say that adults need between 8 and 9 hours of sleep in order to be at optimum health. Develop a nightly routine to set yourself up for success. You may want to keep electronics out of the bedroom, stick to the same bedtime each night and avoid caffeinated drinks before going to sleep. If you have continued difficulty sleeping through the night, it may be time to talk to your doctor about further solutions.
Talk to a Professional
If you feel that you are having a difficult time managing your anxiety by yourself, it may be time to turn to the professionals. Consider making an appointment with a therapist, who can help you figure out what your anxiety triggers are and the best ways to deal with them. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or CBT is one effective way to deal with anxiety. This form of therapy helps you identify negative thoughts and then correct them. You may also want to speak with your doctor about the possibility of therapy in conjunction with medication.
It can be difficult to deal with the pressures of everyday life when you feel stressed and anxious. Having a few helpful techniques in your toolkit can go a long way towards easing the discomfort that comes with anxiety.