The most common mental illnesses in the United States are anxiety disorders, which affect 40 million adults every year.
It is perfectly natural to feel anxiety at various points throughout your life, as it is your body’s natural response to stress. However, many people suffer from intense and sometimes debilitating anxiety that seems to be ever-present.
Whether you suffer from an anxiety disorder or you happen to be going through a difficult time in your life, learning how to manage anxiety is an important life skill.
While there are a number of things you can do to manage anxiety in the moment, there also a number of habits you can adopt to help you with your anxiety in the long-term. Let’s take a look at 15 tips for dealing with anxiety.
There are countless benefits to adopting an exercise routine. It can help you lose weight, improve your physical condition, and help ward off disease. Beyond the physical benefits of exercise, though, it can also help you achieve a greater state of mental well-being.
Research has found that exercise can help to improve alertness and concentration, reduce fatigue, and enhance your overall cognitive function. Since stress can deplete your ability to concentrate or your energy, exercise can be a useful tool to combat stress.
Studies have found that participating in aerobic exercise regularly tends to elevate and stabilize mood, decrease overall levels of tension, improve self-esteem, and improve sleep. Amazingly, just five minutes of aerobic exercise can help to reduce anxiety.
There is also some evidence to suggest that people who are physically active tend to have lower rates of depression and anxiety than people were sedentary.
If you don’t believe that exercise will help in treating anxiety, consider giving it a try just once. If you’re feeling anxious, take a 10 to 15-minute walk outside and pay attention to how you are feeling. Exercise is an incredibly powerful tool to help reduce anxiety when you’re actively experiencing it, and it seems to also help to keep anxiety levels lower in the long-term.
Get Enough Sleep
When you don’t get enough sleep, the anxiety levels in your brain are increased. Without adequate sleep, it is basically impossible to have healthy emotional functioning.
If you are stressed out about getting things done, don’t stay up all night to do so. Instead, institute a regular bedtime and wake-up time and be sure that you’re getting the amount of sleep you need every single night.
Eat a Healthy Diet and Consider Supplementing
While changing your diet likely won’t care anxiety, it can certainly help. In conjunction with adopting healthy sleep habits, stress reduction techniques, and regular exercise, a healthy diet can help support your mood and your overall well-being.
Make sure that your eating enough protein and complex carbohydrates over simple carbs. Avoid foods that are overly processed or full of sugar. Drink plenty of water throughout the day and be aware of the impact that caffeine could be having on your anxiety.
Taking supplements is also a way that people manage their anxiety. You always want to talk to your doctor before you try taking any new supplements or nutrients in case they might interact with other medications you are taking.
Some of these supplements are nutrients that people might take to help with anxiety are lemon balm, ashwagandha, kava kava, valerian root, and green tea.
In places where medical or recreational marijuana is legal, some individuals use cannabis to help them relax and manage anxiety.
However, for some people cannabis actually creates the opposite effect. For this reason, some people prefer to use delta-8-THC. If you’re interested in learning more about delta-8, check out https://www.3chi.com.
Practice Deep Breathing
If you are experiencing anxiety right now, the most effective technique you can use to reduce anxiety quickly breathing. Whether you are angry or anxious, you tend to take shallow, fast breathes. Breathing in this way sends a message to your brain that reinforces your fight or flight response and keeps you in a heightened state.
To combat this, take long, deep, calming breaths. There are a number of different breathing techniques that you can try to help manage anxiety.
Engage in Calming Practices
There are a number of common practices that you can adapt and make a part of your daily routine. This can help you calm down if you are actively feeling anxious and can help contribute to lower anxiety levels in general.
Many people swear by having a daily meditation routine. Other people might try practices like yoga or qi gong. Try a few different practices to see what works best for you.
Schedule Your Worry
This technique might seem counterintuitive, but it works well for some people. If something is weighing heavily on you, consider scheduling your worry.
Take 20 minutes and only 20 minutes to consider all of the possible outcomes of the thing you are worrying about. You can also come up with some potential solutions and otherwise just got the worrying out of your system. Once 20 minutes have passed, it’s time to move on.
Declutter Your Home
We often don’t think about how important our environment is in relation to our mood. However, if your home or your office is an incredibly cluttered space, it is likely not doing your mental health any favors.
One study from 2011 found that when people cleared the clutter from both their work and the home environment they were more able to process information and focus. On top of that, they were more productive. Clutter can make us feel anxious, stressed, and depressed, so it’s a good idea to make sure your environment is fully supportive of you.
There are a number of essential oils or types of incense that might be able to help you relax when you are experiencing anxiety.
It is not entirely understood why aromatherapy can help to improve your well-being, but one theory is that they stimulate smell receptors in your nose which then send messages to the nervous system. It is also thought that aromatherapy can have a subtle impact on the body’s energy and chemical systems.
Common essential oils used in dealing with anxiety include lavender, jasmine, chamomile, frankincense, patchouli, and valerian.
Make a Vision Board
Sometimes we experience anxiety because the future feels so unknown. Sometimes all you actually need to do is set some concrete goals to help reduce your anxiety about the future.
One great way to do this is to produce a vision board. This is an opportunity for you to visually display your goals and help encourage excitement about the possibilities of the future.
You can either make a vision board using physical materials or online software.
Listen to Music
Another powerful tool for treating your anxiety is listening to music. It can help you relax, calm your nervous system, and heal your dampened spirit.
If you are feeling anxious or worried about something, you can put on some music to help redirect your feelings and thoughts. You might decide to put on some music that first matches the general mood you are in. Then you can gradually change to songs that represent the mood you desire to feel.
Keeping a music journal can also be a good idea. You can write down the feelings that you experience as well as your thoughts while you are listening to music. This can help you focus on what is happening right now rather than your anxiety or your worry.
Take a Break From the Screens and Scrolling
These days, we are constantly surrounded by screens. Whether it’s our computer at work, the smartphone in our pocket, or RTV at home, it’s important to be conscious about how much time we are standing in front of a screen.
On top of that, it probably isn’t a surprise to you that spending too much time on social media can lead to anxiety and depression. We have likely all experienced scrolling through our phone or computer for nearly an entire day and left feeling empty, depressed, and anxious.
If you think that your anxiety might be stemming from spending too much online, make a point to take a break. Come up with activities that you can do in real life that don’t have to do with any type of screen. It’s amazing how much of a difference it can make if you are typically constantly plugged in.
You also might consider turning the notifications off on your phone from time to time. Being constantly interrupted by messages, phone calls, and emails, is enough to drive anyone crazy.
Start a Journal
Sometimes you just need to take the thoughts that are circling around your head and put them down onto paper. You do not need to write the next great American novel, instead, just write.
Don’t censor yourself when you are writing, but use this as a way to vent and outlet how you’re feeling at the time. It is not helpful to judge yourself for what you’re writing. Once you have blown off some steam, you could even write down an action plan to help you stay calm.
If you are feeling incredibly anxious, a good idea to get some fresh air and go outside. This is particularly true if you are in a stuffy and hot environment and you are feeling incredibly tense.
This helps by giving you some fresh air but also because it is a change of scenery. This can help to interrupt your anxious or angry thoughts and help you return to a healthier mental state.
How to Manage Anxiety in the Moment: Admit That You’re Anxious
This might seem too simple to work, but it’s actually incredibly important. Sometimes we aren’t as self-aware as we should be in terms of our emotions. It’s easy to be pushed around by the wind of how we feel.
The first thing you should do if you’re experiencing anxiety or anger is to realize that that is the case. Sometimes simply labeling how we are feeling and giving ourselves the freedom to experience those emotions can help to reduce them.
Find a Release For Your Anxiety
The last thing you want to do is suppress your anxiety. Instead, you should find a release for. This might mean going for a run or going for a walk, using a jump rope, or punching a punching bag. Or, this could mean talking to a friend, writing in a journal, or singing a song.
It’s important to recognize that your feelings are valid and to not be hard on yourself for having them. Sometimes anxiety is just excess energy that is floating around in your system that needs somewhere to go. Finding a healthy and non-destructive release can help you feel calmer.
Treating Your Anxiety Might Be as Simple as Adopting New Life Habits
Everyone’s personal experience with anxiety is going to be different. For some people, seeking help from a medical professional is absolutely necessary. However, for people who experience more anxiety than they would like to but not in a way that interrupts their daily life, adopting some new life habits could radically change how often they experience anxiety and how intense that anxiety is.
Learning how to combat anxiety is something that is going to be unique to each person. It’s a good idea to keep a journal to track what you feel works for you and what you feel does not.
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