Anxiety is on the rise. It’s no surprise either. We’re always connected to cell phones and laptops with internet access wherever we go.
There is a constant fear of missing out on the latest update, conversation, or urgent work request. This makes it much harder to relax, even when you’re in a relaxing environment, such as your living room or bedroom.
This pressure is harmful to mental health, which can lead to symptoms of anxiety and stress. More now than ever, it’s important to focus on habits to reduce stress and stay calm. Here are 7 things you can try to reduce anxiety, without medication.
1. Eat Healthy
You’ve likely heard this one before. That’s because it’s important to both your mental and physical health. Eating well-balanced meals provides the body with the necessary vitamins and minerals to operate properly.
Stress can increase cortisol levels which can deplete precious minerals. Deficiencies in magnesium can lead to anxiety, increased stress, and poor sleep. Strive to eat foods rich in B vitamins, omega-3s, and magnesium. Some great choices to add are:
- wild-caught fish
- grass-fed beef
- organic chicken
- leafy greens
2. Try Hypnosis
This may seem a little weird at first, but self-hypnosis can be a great way to reduce anxiety in the privacy of your own home. The hypnotic state allows you to perceive things differently, such as blocking pain or the awareness of pain. There are many YouTube videos out there that guide you through anxiety-reducing hypnosis sessions. You can also try the Surf City Anxiety Relief Hypnosis app. Start with the free version to see if it’s a good fit.
3. Try Adaptogens
Adaptogens have grown in popularity in the west over the last few years. They are herbs that help bring the body back into a state of balance. Ashwagandha is one of the most popular adaptogens that has a number of anxiety reducing properties. One study showed its ability to reduce cortisol levels, leaving patients less stressed. If you’re looking for a new supplement to take some of the edge off, Ashwagandha for anxiety might be worth a try.
4. Stop ANTs (automatic negative thoughts)
Everyone gets these automatic negative thoughts. It’s human nature to self-doubt. They can’t be stopped completely. The important thing is how you respond to these impulsive thoughts. For instance, if you have the thought “he never listens to me.” Follow that up with rational questions and answers. For instance, the response may be “Well he does actually listen to me most of the time. I was trying to ask him a question while he was watching T.V. That’s why he isn’t responding to me right now.” This simple shift in mindset goes a long way with how you approach and handle stressful situations.
5. Start Journaling
Journaling is a powerful practice to help you understand what is truly going on. It helps you reflect on important aspects of your life, appreciate the good, and gain a deeper understanding of the elements in your life that are contributing to the anxiety and stress.
It’s a fantastic outlet for thoughts that might be difficult to share with others. Once you start to identify the problems, you can work on solutions to resolve over time.
6. Get More Sleep
With the constant pressure to do more every day (and the endless shows to watch on Netflix), it’s easy to slip into the routine of staying up late. Many of us stay up too late, while still waking up early for work or school, leaving us with less than 8 hours of quality sleep. While everyone’s sleep needs are different, if you’re consistently getting less than 7 hours of sleep a night, this hurts your body’s ability to adapt to stress. Try to get to bed at the same time every night and wake up the same time every morning. Your body loves routines!
7. Make Time for Play
With demanding schedules for work, school, family, etc, it’s hard to make time to have fun. But making time to have fun is critical to mental health. It allows to you decompress and enjoy the moment. This could be hanging out with friends, going on a hike, golf, or going surfing (if you’re into that.
The feelings of stress and anxiety won’t go away overnight, it takes time. Focus on developing healthy sustainable habits, and eliminating the bad ones. Over time, this will do wonders for your health and mental being.