Living with constant and excessive anxiety is not easy. Many people with anxiety struggle every day to find relief, but often fall short. This is because controlling anxiety is a long-term process and cannot be completed overnight. If you truly want to learn to manage your anxiety and regain control of your life, it’s important that you remain patient and follow these recommendations.
If you or someone you love is suffering from anxiety, the following tips may help with coping.
1) Early intervention: Prevention is always better than cure. If you begin to notice a pattern of anxiety symptoms, start treatment.
2) Get Rest & "Me" Time: If you have an anxiety disorder, it’s important that take time to relax your mind and body. This will help you relieve stress and the symptoms. For example, exercising and practicing yoga are two of the greatest ways to relieve stress. Incorporate them into your daily routine to see visible results in your condition. It might seem difficult at first, but once it becomes part of your daily routine, you will see the difference.
3) Eating Healthy: Eating a healthy and well-balanced diet will make you feel better both physically and mentally. Go back to basics. Try to eat a wide variety of fresh, healthy foods such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid sugary, greasy, high-fat and processed foods. It's common sense but sometimes everyone needs a gentle reminder.
4) Vitamins & Supplements: There are several supplements that can help with anxiety disorder. Ashwagandha is often used as a natural remedy for anxiety because it helps to stabilize the body’s response to stress. Kava is used to improve mood and ease anxiety by stimulating dopamine receptors. Magnesium helps to relax your muscles and calm the nervous system. Before taking any of these, consult with your physician.
5) Avoid caffeine and alcohol: Say a big NO to caffeine and alcohol if you are having anxiety symptoms because these things provokes the condition further. Caffeine will likely make you feel more jittery and anxious. And alcohol might give you a temporary boost, but often magnifies the situation because ultimately it's a depressant.
6) Get enough sleep: Sleep is body’s restorative state. Inconsistent or disrupted sleep can adversely affect both your physical and mental health, contributing to overall anxiety and stress. Lack of sleep can amplify anticipatory anxiety by stimulating regions in the brain that are associated with emotional processing. This means sleep deprivation can contribute and make common anxiety symptoms worse. Getting sleep while dealing with anxiety can be difficult but that is a whole other topic.
7) Socialize: Social support is very important for managing stress. That’s probably because socializing stimulates the production of oxytocin, the hormone which has an anxiety-reducing effect. So the next time you feel worried or stressed out, plan a hangout with your friends. Especially when you don't feel like it. It's probably when you need your friends most.
8) Keep a journal: Sounds simple? It's proven helpful. It doesn't have to be long entries--Introspecting your day, thoughts and emotions can be a great way to deal with anxiety. Keeping a diary to track your moods, worries, and anxiety can help both you and your mental health specialist evaluate what causes you stress and what helps you feel better. You can simply list the activity and rate it on an anxiety scale of 1-10. You will soon be able to look back to see where anxiety is kicked up a notch and when you are most calm.
9) Smile: Sounds so simple. But there's science behind it. When you smile, it fires a signal back to the brain, stimulating our reward system, and further increasing our level of happy hormones, or endorphins. In short, when our brain feels happy, we smile and when we smile our brain feels happier.
10) Listen to Good Mood Music: Listening to your favorite upbeat 'happy songs' can relieve stress and anxiety symptoms. Listen to music that makes you feel calm, happy and relaxed.
The Bottom Line
Panic and anxiety disorders affect an estimated 4 million Americans. Panic attacks are twice as common in women as in men. Although many people with anxiety disorder will see it pop up from time to time, most people get relief from their symptoms with proper treatment.