Having fleeting or temporary feelings of anxiety is perfectly normal and experienced by people the world over. Everyone gets a little nervous from time to time or worked up about up-and-coming events or occasions. However when anxiety starts to spiral and manifests more frequently or for longer periods of time with grave symptoms and serious consequences it can be debilitating. Living with anxiety disorders can adversely affect your mental and physical health and even prevent you from functioning normally.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Firstly, it is important to be able to recognize the feelings and symptoms of anxiety, which can include some of the following common symptoms;
- Excessive sweating
- Increased heart rate
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty concentrating
Being able to recognize these symptoms is important as it can enable you to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder and make seeking treatment easier. That is not to say that all anxiety needs to be treated with medication. There are a lot of lifestyle changes and adjustments you can make to help successfully live with and manage your anxiety. Below is a list of some of the ways you can help to manage your anxiety.
Remaining active and undergoing regular exercise is one of your best defenses against bouts of anxiety. Exercise is a proven stress reducer as it enables the natural production of feel-good hormones which lift your mood. Regular exercise will also help improve your physical health, which will have a knock-on effect on your mental wellbeing.
Develop a routine or schedule that enables you to be physically active every day of the week. Try to incorporate exercise or activity into your daily life so it is not overlooked. Focus on activities you enjoy and that you actually want to do as this is the best way to ensure you maintain a level of activity in your life. As time goes by, see if you can increase the amount and intensity of the activity you undertake.
Understand your anxiety
This might need to be done in conjunction with a healthcare professional but the more you can understand your anxiety the better placed you will be to deal with it. Friends and family may also be able to help you understand your anxiety so be sure to discuss it with them also. Try to identify what triggers your anxiety, what makes things worse, and what makes things better. Learn to identify periods of anxiety in their infancy before they can further progress and negatively impact your day-to-day life. Also, try to understand the techniques you can implement to manage your anxiety when it does occur.
While you may feel pouring that large glass of wine after a stressful day is exactly what you need to destress, the alcohol you drink is contributing to your anxiety. You may not feel anxious when you are drinking but the feelings of anxiety are likely to worsen as the effects of alcohol wear off. These effects can last for several hours if not an entire day after drinking.
Finding a way to manage and deal with your anxiety can be a personal journey. What works for you may not work for someone else, so it may well be a case of trial and error. Here are some alternatives you might consider to help you manage your anxiety.
- CBD. CBD has been known to help reduce feelings of anxiety and can be taken in a variety of means. CBD can come as a spray, an oil, a gummy bear, or even a tea. Do some research as to what is CBD tea or spray and consider trialing the best one for you.
- Mindfulness. Mindfulness has long been a recognized practice for helping people manage anxiety. There are a large number of resources available to help you on your mindfulness journey and explain how they can help you.
- Supplements. It is thought some nutritional supplements can help to improve mild to moderate feelings of anxiety. A common supplement is vitamin B12 as it plays a vital role in the functioning of your nervous system, which may help reduce feelings of anxiety. Vitamin B12 can be found in food sources such as those deriving from animals. If your diet does not contain foods from this food group it may be worth considering a supplement such as B12.
- Chamomile. Chamomile is said to have a calming effect and the long-term use of chamomile can help to reduce feelings of anxiety. Consider replacing your nightly drink with a soothing cup of chamomile tea.
Getting a good night’s sleep plays an important role in your body’s daily function. By being well-rested your brain is better placed to regulate emotions and deal with difficult and anxiety-inducing situations. A good night’s sleep consists of 6 to 8 hours of REM (rapid eye movement) sleep or deep sleep. Of course, getting a good night’s sleep can be difficult for those suffering from anxiety as your anxieties are likely to cause you to lay awake at night. To help improve your sleep follow a few simple steps;
- Reduce or remove screen time 1 hour before bed.
- Limit the length of any naps you take during the day and be sure not to nap close to your bedtime.
- Reduce your caffeine intake.
- Limit alcohol consumption.
- Undertake regular exercise.
- Create a cool, comfortable, and dark environment for sleeping.
Talk and seek help
If you cannot effectively manage your anxiety by yourself then make things easier on yourself and reach out. Your loved ones are there to help you and will want you to confide in them. They will be willing to listen and offer their help and support where they can. Alternatively, consider seeking professional help. Discuss matters with your healthcare provider and consider talking through your anxiety issues with trained professionals who can give you the tools and techniques you need to manage your anxiety.
What other tips do you have with dealing with anxiety? Let me know in the comments below!