Did you know that mental health professionals say that anxiety is snowballing out of control in this country? This mental health issue is like an uninvited guest that shows up when you least expect it and lingers way too long. The unease of this mental health disorder affects you, your family members, and friends, yet very few have appropriate anxiety management skills.
No one is immune from its torturous grip, and it doesn’t care if you have millions in the bank or are living paycheck-to-paycheck. Some experts have gone as far as calling it a noncontagious cognitive plague, and according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, more than 40 million people are suffering.
Unless you’ve ever experienced anxiety firsthand, then you may not know how debilitating this condition. The term is vague as it covers much ground in the psychological sphere. One person may get jittery before an exam, while another cannot drive down the road anymore because their anxiety is at unbearable levels.
Having some angst is completely normal, and it only becomes an issue when reasonable worries become unreasonable. A small problem that usually wouldn’t cause you to blink an eye becomes catastrophic when anxiety is involved.
Anxiety is also divided into many subcategories, such as:
•Post-traumatic stress disorder
•OCD or obsessive-compulsive disorder
•GAD or general anxiety disorder
When a person presents as having generalized anxiety, then they are diagnosed with GAD. Individuals suffering from this condition will feel anxious more days than not, and they struggle to find anything that relaxes them. GAD affects about 3.1 percent of the population, or about 6.8 million people, according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America.
Twelve Anxiety Management Tips
As you can see from these alarming statistics, anxiety is a significant problem, and the chances you will encounter it are high. So, the best thing to do is to learn management tips to control these feelings of angst.
You don’t have to let anxiety stop you from living the life you deserve. Here are some of the best coping skills to help you nip this ugly beast in the bud.
1. EFT Tapping
EFT stands for emotional freedom techniques, and it’s becoming more popular as a way to control anxiety. According to the National Library of Medicine, there have been numerous studies done to prove its efficiency. The concept is simple in that you tap on your pressure points to trigger an immune response. It’s the same principles used in acupuncture, but there are no needles involved.
Meditation is a great way to relax and learn how to calm the body and mind. This ancient art is classified as one of the mental dexterity exercises that teaches you to send negativity from your body and allow positive energy to flow. There are many guided meditations online that can help you unclutter the brain, and it can ease the angst you feel.
The best part about meditation is that you can do it any time or place that you feel your anxiety levels rise.
3. Rhythmic Breathing
Your sympathetic nervous system gets involved when you are stressed out. It tells your body that there is danger around you, and you will go into “fight-or-flight” mode. During this period, the body starts releasing powerful stress hormones that speed up your heart, make you feel dizzy, and causes you to breathe fast.
The key is to use breathing exercises to trigger your parasympathetic nervous system to respond. The goal is to breathe in through your nose, hold the breaths for a few seconds, then release it through your mouth. You will be amazed at how much better you feel when you learn to engage in this anxiety management technique.
4. Exercise Regularly
If you want to combat stress, then you must learn to exercise. When you’re working out, you’re releasing endorphins that boost your mood and make you feel better. Plus, it automatically lowers your body’s stress response.
Exercise is one of the best ways to get your anxiety under control, and yet few realize how powerful it is to their mind-body health.
5. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is a stimulant that has a drug effect on the body. Did you know that one of the best anxiety management tips around is to cut out coffee and soda from your diet? Since simulants raise your heart rate, it stands to reason that someone who has anxiety and panic doesn’t need anything messing with their heart.
Plus, caffeine can cause jitters like that of anxiety, so it’s best to opt for non-caffeinated drinks.
When you can’t express verbally how you feel, then write it all down. Journaling is a powerful way to get out of all the emotional turmoil you feel inside. If you chart the triggers to your anxiety, then you can learn anxiety management techniques to prevent them the next time.
For instance, if you tend to get nervous after lunch, what are you eating that may trigger your angst? You should see patterns emerge that can identify the things that upset you and find ways to counteract these triggers.
7. Laugh Often
When is the last time you’ve had a good belly laugh? You may chuckle at a meme on social media or grin at a funny someone says at work, but when is the last time you laughed until your side hurt?
Laughter is like good medicine for the soul, and when you have a deep belly laugh, you’re releasing powerful feel-good endorphins that will combat your anxiety.
8. Practice Mindfulness
Practicing mindfulness is a great habit that can help keep you grounded and present in the moment. It’s a beautiful way to combat negative thinking, and it can be used to ease the symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Based on Buddhist philosophy, mindfulness can help you toss anxious thoughts to the side and live in the moment.
A study was conducted on college students to see if this ancient practice could help them with their angst and increase their self-esteem. The results were uncanny.
Is there any better anxiety management tip than to hug it out? Cuddling is a great way to relieve stress as well as make you feel better. When you connect with someone else in an embrace, your body automatically releases oxytocin and lowers cortisol levels, keeping anxiety in check.
So, the next time you feel like you’re about to blow a gasket, find someone to cuddle with and see how it improves things.
10. Try Yoga
Yoga is a practice that allows you to join your body and mind. This ancient art’s gentle movements help you increase body and breath awareness, lowering stress levels. Since there are all levels and styles of this exercise, it’s acceptable for anyone of any age or body type.
11. Use Natural Supplements
There is something extraordinary about the herbal supplements that nature provides. There are many supplements on the market that can be used in addition to other anxiety management techniques. The most common are lemon balm, ashwagandha, green tea, valerian, kava kava, and lavender.
12. Spend More Time Outside
The sunshine is healing, and so many people are indoors because of technological advances. Did you know that being deficient in vitamin D can cause you to have feelings of anxiety, among other issues? SAD or seasonal affective disorder is a common problem in the winter because people don’t get sufficient sunlight.
Spending just 20 minutes a day outside in the sun can have a significant impact on your vitamin D level as well as your overall moods. The New England Journal of Medicine states that there are roughly one million people in this country that are deficient in this essential vitamin, could it be the real issue behind much of the anxiety problems in this nation?
Final Thoughts on Anxiety Management
Anxiety is essential as it’s part of an internal system that warns you of danger. However, when you’re being flooded with stress hormones for the simplest of reasons, it can affect your quality of life. While the various degrees of anxiety are all over the place, the good news is that it’s one of the most treatable of all mental illnesses.
By incorporating a few anxiety management techniques into your day, you can learn to stop these feelings before starting. Anxiety is also known as the great pretender because it will make you feel and think about things that aren’t true. If you suffer from anxiety, you should know that you’re not alone.
The key is to find the effective technique or herbal supplements that work best for you. You can kick this problem to the curb and retake control of your mind-body-spirit.