In this fast-paced, chaotic world that we live in, anxiety, stress, and depression have become menacingly common disorders. A hectic lifestyle, coupled with unhealthy mental and physical habits, takes a toll on your mental well-being. Eventually, before you even realize it, anxiety becomes part of your psyche to such an extent that the smallest trigger sends your mind into turmoil. But that does not mean you must continue to live like this. Recognizing the signs of anxiety and developing healthy physical and mental habits can help you keep it at bay. Read on to know about some helpful steps to take charge of your mind and stop it from knuckling under unnecessary anxiety.
- Eat Healthily
You are what you eat. This saying especially holds for anxiety-ridden people. Your diet can severely impact your overall mood. Research has suggested important links between the increase in consumption of sugar, fast food, and processed meats and the higher incidences of stress, anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. It is vital that you stay hydrated, eliminate processed foods, and follow a healthy diet rich in complex carbohydrates, fruits and vegetables, and lean proteins.
Consume foods that make your mood more stable, uplift your spirits, and give you a positive perspective. These include nutrients like fiber, calcium, carotenoids, protein, folate, and monounsaturated fat. Eat smaller portions at frequent intervals to avoid mood swings and increase your concentration levels. This also keeps your energy high and your blood sugar regulated.
- Quit Smoking and Drinking
Studies focused on the link between stress and smoking have revealed that smoking adds to your tension and anxiety instead of letting you relax. Nicotine relaxes the smoker instantly, who continues the habit, believing that it is helping lessen his anxiety and stress. Unfortunately, this is just a temporary feeling that eventually increases your cravings, giving you withdrawal symptoms.
When you feel anxious, you may be tempted to reach for that glass of wine to calm your nerves. But drinking alcohol regularly, and in massive doses, may increase your anxiety. The levels of serotonin in the brain, along with other neurotransmitters, change under the influence of alcohol. This makes anxiety worse, especially once that buzz evaporates. The anxiety that comes with drinking is much more potent and long-lasting.
Regular exercise is necessary for maintaining your physical and mental fitness. Frequent physical activity releases endorphins, the body’s mood-improving hormones, to fight stress effectively. Even a simple 10-minute brisk walk can give you relief from many hours of anxiety. It need not be too rigorous; light but regular workouts are also helpful to calm the mind and ease the worry. Find some activity you enjoy, which also warms you up, and make sure to give it at least 30 minutes of your time every day, An improved mood, enhanced energy levels, and better sleep quality are just a few of the rewards you can look forward to.
- Better Sleeping Habits
When it comes to dealing with anxiety, the importance of getting a good night’s sleep cannot be stressed enough. Anxiety causes sleeping problems, and new research suggests sleep deprivation can cause anxiety disorders. The key lies in developing healthy lifestyle habits that can help you sleep better at the end of the day. These include: limiting daytime naps and late night snacks, avoiding TV, mobile screens, caffeine, and rigorous exercise close to bedtime, sleeping and waking up at regular timings, etc.
Practicing meditation regularly helps eliminate turbulent thoughts from your mind by giving way to a feeling of calm and awareness of the present moment. Meditation is a popular solution to tackle anxiety and stress. Through meditation, we familiarize ourselves with our anxiety-inducing thoughts. It teaches us that thoughts do not define us, and they are not real. With this newfound perspective, we can change our relationship with anxiety by being able to discern between an irrational episode and the truth. Meditation heals anxiety by improving our ability to regulate our emotions.
Mindfulness is a novel way to deal with anxiety. It helps you look at your experiences from a fresh perspective and not let stressful situations overwhelm you. You can practice mindfulness by intentionally putting the focus on your emotions, accepting in a nonjudgmental way whatever thoughts and sensations you might be experiencing at the moment. Research has revealed that regular mindfulness practice can lessen the impact of anxiety, stress, and related issues on your daily life.
Journaling, or journal writing, is the act of writing down your thoughts, feelings, and perceptions regarding your life events. It is a highly recommended anxiety-coping tool with multiple healing effects. This enjoyable but straightforward activity can help you stay connected to your emotions and make you a more rational thinker. Try maintaining a journal of your thoughts to ease stress, release negativity, and concentrate on gratitude as you find your way out of painful feelings and situations. When tried as a method to cope with anxiety, journaling can be a useful tool to improve well-being, analyze fears, and handle stress.
Anxiety is part of the body’s natural reaction to stress. It can be helpful at times, making you more alert and ready for action. It is when this feeling stays with you at all times and inhibits your everyday life that intervention becomes necessary. Using the methods mentioned above can make it a little easier for you to cope with anxiety on a day-to-day basis and live your life without stress.