Most of us will feel anxious at some point. In fact it can be helpful in day-to-day life. Anxiety is the body’s response when it feels that it’s in danger, and if we didn’t have it at certain times, for example when crossing over a busy road, we wouldn’t be able to stay alert enough to keep ourselves safe. However, sometimes anxiety can appear in situations where it’s not needed, or where the anxiety response is out of proportion to the danger that you’re in at the time. When this is the case, anxiety can be a problem that impacts on your daily life – but luckily there are things that you can do to help which should mean that you can take back the control over your own life without having to let your anxiety win.
“I promise you nothing is as chaotic as it seems. Nothing is worth your health. Nothing is worth poisoning yourself into stress, anxiety, and fear.” – Steve Maraboli
A common example of anxiety is when you are at work. You may feel as though you’re under pressure because of a tough project deadline. Your boss may be making that pressure worse by questioning you about your progress more often than you’re happy with. You could have a million things to do at home, and feel as though you’re never going to be good enough to get everything done on time. Soon, you learn to associate this anxiety not just with this project, but with the workplace in general, and you begin to feel anxious every morning before you start the day, right from the moment that you open your eyes. If this sounds exactly like your situation then don’t worry, our 5 tips for dealing with anxiety below will help to make your anxiety a thing of the past:
1. Think and talk about what makes you anxious
If you’re reading this, then you probably know that your anxiety is unnecessary. It might help you to write a list of the things that you worry about, and then think about just how likely each of those things is to happen. When we have anxiety, it can be difficult to think positively, leaving us seeing only the negative in each situation. If you struggle to see the positives, it can help to talk to a trusted friend or family member about how you’re feeling. They may be able to offer perspective, and let you know that although you may feel as though things will go wrong, they have never gone wrong before, so why should they now? Spending time with friends and family, whether talking about your anxiety or not, can be incredibly helpful – so no matter how bad you may be feeling, don’t hide yourself away. Surround yourself with love, and it will help you.
“People tend to dwell more on negative things than on good things. So the mind then becomes obsessed with negative things, with judgements, guilt and anxiety produced by thoughts about the future and so on.” – Eckhart Tolle
Also see our post on 5 simple ways to live a positive life.
2. Find ways to relax away from your anxiety
Everybody needs hobbies that they enjoy, and having something to look forward to during the day could take your mind off the things that cause you to worry. You could plan to watch a few episodes of your favourite television show when you get home, or plan to join a book group. No matter what your interests are, you should make the most of them and plan ways that you can engage in them in your spare time. If you join a group, you could also meet new friends who share your interests; staying social is a great anxiety buster.
3. Get active: bust your stress with exercise
A lot of anxiety can occur from pent-up energy, and this can get worse if you have a job that causes you to stay sedentary during the working day. Exercise can cause the body to release feel-good hormones (endorphins) into the blood stream, which can in turn reduce the stress hormone (cortisol) and reduce your anxiety. The exercise can be anything from hopping off the bus a stop or two early, to joining a running club – no matter how much you do, it’s always better than nothing. You should also find that your mood improves as you get fitter, as your general health will be better, leaving you more able to cope with the stresses of day-to-day life.
“Nothing diminishes anxiety faster than action.” – Walter Anderson
4. Address your diet
You’ve heard the saying “you are what you eat,” and it’s true, particularly when we’re talking about anxiety. Certain foods will make you feel more anxious and on edge, and ironically it could be the very foods that you eat to get you through the day. Sugary foods such as chocolate and cakes will give you a boost of energy, however this only lasts for a short time and then results in an energy slump, which can worsen the mood that you were in before the snack. In addition, if you’re the type of person who uses morning coffee as a way to get through the day, you may find that the caffeine exacerbates your anxiety rather than cures it, as you may have been hoping. Instead, you should try to fill your diet with foods rich in vitamins and minerals, snack on fruit and whole grains, and try to avoid stodgy, sugary or caffeine based snacks wherever possible. What you may see as a treat could be making things worse!
5. See your doctor
Sometimes, people find that they are not able to deal with their anxiety levels alone. If you have tried all of the above tips and they aren’t working for you, then you should try to get some help from a medical professional. Although the tips given here can be helpful, you may need additional help, perhaps in the form of talking therapy or medication. You should never try to struggle on if it’s too much, or if your anxiety is completely taking over your life, and getting a little extra help could make the world of difference. Over time, you should find that your anxiety improves to the extent that you can rely on the above tips alone to keep it under control, and that is what you are aiming for. Therefore, taking the steps towards it now means that you’re sure of a better quality of life further down the line.
“Powerful new drug-free treatments have been developed for depression and for every conceivable type of anxiety, such as chronic worrying, shyness, public speaking anxiety, test anxiety, phobias, and panic attacks. The goal of the treatment is not just partial improvement but full recovery.” – David D. Burns
Anxiety is a difficult topic to write about as there isn’t really a universal solution to it. However, we hope that our practical tips above have helped. If you’ve suffered, or are currently dealing with anxiety, we’d love to know how you have dealt with it. Your tips could make a world of difference to our readers so please share them in the comments section below.
Author: Vex King
I am the founder and owner of the Bon Vita lifestyle brand. I could give myself a title and call myself a lifestyle entrepreneur, personal mentor, writer, designer, innovator, CEO, or anything else I see as fitting. However no title can define me as an individual. I’m just an optimist, a visionary, a philanthropist and jack of many trades. I’m using my positive influence to redefine the creative industries using Good Vibes Only #GVO so that people can fulfil their dreams, purposefully, and enjoy The Good Life #TGL. My daily words of intent are to make people… Think, look & feel GOOD!
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