Many people experience anxiety daily, and anxiety disorders are among the most prevalent mental health problems worldwide.
The NIH reports that approximately 30 percent of adults suffer from at least one form of anxiety disorder. According to the institute, 30 percent of adolescents also suffer from anxiety disorders each year.
Even though mild anxiety is normal, it can be problematic when it interferes with daily functioning. If left untreated, anxiety may lead to depression and substance abuse.
In addition, anxiety can cause physical symptoms such as stomach pain, headaches, fatigue, muscle tension, insomnia, and difficulty concentrating.
So, how can you overcome feelings of anxiety? You can find some helpful tips here.
1. Understand What Causes Anxiety
The first step toward overcoming anxiety is to understand its causes. Understanding the causes of anxiety will allow you to make changes in your life.
It may seem obvious, but understanding what causes anxiety helps you identify the problem and find solutions.
For example, if you think that external factors cause anxiety, then you may be tempted to blame yourself for feeling anxious. This makes you focus on the negative aspects of life instead of focusing on the positive ones.
Consequently, you experience feelings of guilt and shame, which in turn exacerbate your anxiety symptoms.
Instead, if you realize that internal factors cause anxiety, then you can learn to control these emotions.
2. Practice Relaxation Techniques
A variety of relaxation techniques can be helpful in managing anxiety attacks, including meditation, yoga, deep breathing exercises, progressive relaxation, and guided imagery.
Meditation involves focusing on your breath and relaxing your muscles. Yoga focuses on stretching and strengthening your body. Deep breathing exercises involve taking slow, deep breaths. Progressive relaxation involves tensing and then releasing various parts of your body. Guided imagery involves visualizing calming images.
Relaxation can be beneficial in alleviating intense anxiety for a variety of reasons. The first advantage of being relaxed is that our bodies are in a state of rest and repair. As a result, our bodies are more capable of dealing with stress and anxiety. The second benefit of relaxation is that it helps calm the mind and lets us focus on positive thoughts and emotions. In doing so, we will be able to break the cycle of anxiety and be able to think more clearly. As a final point, relaxation may improve our mood and overall well-being. All these benefits can help reduce anxiety symptoms and make us feel more positive and optimistic.
Instead, talk to trusted individuals who can support you emotionally.
3. Talk about your problems with someone you love and trust
Several benefits can be obtained from talking about anxiety problems. It can aid in raising awareness and understanding of anxiety, thereby reducing stigma and making it easier to discuss. Additionally, it may help people feel less isolated and more connected. Talking about anxious feelings can also help people to identify their triggers and develop coping strategies. Last but not least, it can challenge negative thoughts and beliefs about anxiety.
In a nutshell, talking about your feelings with others helps you understand yourself better and help ease your stress.
However, avoid talking about your anxieties with strangers. This can trigger negative thoughts and emotions. Instead, talk to trusted individuals who can support you emotionally.
4. Find support groups where you can talk to people who are experiencing the same issues as you
Support groups can be a very effective way of helping people to overcome their anxiety.
Support groups provide a space for people to share their experiences and feelings with others who are going through similar things. In this way, people can feel less alone and more understood, which can be very helpful. In addition, support groups can provide people with practical advice and tips for dealing with anxiety.
Evidence suggests that support groups can be an effective treatment for anxiety. One study found that people who participated in a support group had significantly lower levels of anxiety than those who did not participate in a group.
If you are struggling with anxiety, consider joining a support group. It could be a constructive way of managing your anxiety and improving your quality of life.
5. Exercise regularly
As a treatment for anxiety, exercising may be one of the most effective methods. Here are a few reasons why.
- A regular physical exercise program can help reduce anxiety symptoms by increasing serotonin and dopamine levels and other feel-good chemicals in the brain and reducing stress hormones.
- It distracts from anxious thoughts and can help focus on positive thinking.
- Strengthening the body and boosting immunity can reduce physical symptoms of anxiety, such as a racing heart and sweating.
- It increases energy levels and helps to combat fatigue, which can be a symptom of anxiety.
- Exercise improves sleep quality, which is often disrupted in people with anxiety disorders.
The following tips will help you get started exercising safely.
- Start slow: If you’re new to exercising or haven’t exercised in a while, it’s essential to start slow. Overdoing it can actually worsen anxiety symptoms.
- Choose an activity you enjoy: By engaging in a physical activity you enjoy, you are more likely to stick with it. Walking, jogging, biking, swimming, and yoga are all great options.
- Set realistic goals: Don’t try to do too much too soon. Ensure that you set realistic goals and build up to them over time.
6. Be sure to get enough sleep
Sleep plays a crucial role in overcoming anxiety. A good night’s sleep allows your body to rest and rejuvenate and your mind to reflect and process everything that has occurred during the previous day. Insufficient sleep means that your brain does not have enough time to process everything, which may increase your anxiety levels.
Sleep deprivation can worsen anxiety symptoms, increasing cortisol and adrenaline levels.
Generally, it is best to adhere to a regular sleep schedule to make sure that you get enough sleep. Keep the same schedule for waking up and going to sleep each day.
7. Avoid the use of alcohol and drugs
Many people with anxiety turn to alcohol or drugs as a way to cope with their symptoms. However, alcohol and drugs can actually make anxiety worse.
In simple terms, alcohol is a depressant, which means that it slows both the mind and the body down. When someone drinks alcohol, their anxiety symptoms may become more pronounced. This can lead to a cycle of drinking more alcohol to cope with anxiety, which only worsens the symptoms.
Drugs can also worsen anxiety symptoms. Stimulants like cocaine and methamphetamine can increase heart rate and blood pressure, triggering an anxious response. Opioids like heroin and prescription painkillers can also cause anxiety.
8. Keep a healthy diet
When it comes to managing anxiety, what you eat plays a significant role. That’s because the foods you consume can either help or hinder your nervous system if you’re looking for ways to calm your anxiety. Here are a few tips for a healthy diet.
- Maintaining a regular meal and snack schedule is essential. This helps keep your blood sugar levels stable, which can impact how you feel both physically and emotionally.
- Healthy fats help support brain health and can improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Omega-3 fatty acids are one of the most well-known nutrients for reducing anxiety. They work by modulating neurotransmitters like serotonin and dopamine, which are responsible for regulating mood. Foods rich in omega-3s include salmon, walnuts, and flaxseeds.
- Magnesium is another nutrient that’s essential for managing anxiety. This mineral helps to relax the nervous system and is effective in treating panic attacks and other forms of anxiety disorders. Good sources of magnesium include dark leafy greens, nuts, and seeds.
- Make sure you’re getting enough protein. The mood is regulated by neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine, which are made up of protein.
- Make sure you eat plenty of fruit and vegetables. Vitamins and minerals in these foods can boost moods and relieve stress.
- Limit sugar and refined carbs. Sugar can cause spikes in blood sugar levels that can aggravate anxiety symptoms.
8. Contact a professional for assistance
Ultimately, if these methods do not seem to be working, you may wish to seek professional assistance. Psychotherapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medication are all available as treatment options.
Anxiety is often treated with psychotherapy as a first line of defense. Patients learn to identify and change unhelpful thought patterns through cognitive behavioral therapy. Specific symptoms can be controlled with the use of medications.
You should keep in mind that every anxiety case is unique when seeking professional assistance. This is why it is essential that you speak with a qualified therapist about your particular situation.
To sum up
In conclusion, anxiety can be a difficult thing to overcome. However, with the proper tools and techniques, it is possible to manage anxiety and live a normal life. Many resources are available to help those suffering from anxiety, so don’t hesitate to seek help if you need it. Remember, you are not alone in this battle.