Anxiety has become America’s number one mental health problem. Generalized anxiety disorder affects millions of people around the world and the number continues to grow at an alarming rate.
But here’s the good news: There are many techniques you can use to effectively manage anxiety. We have five tips for you to help you cope with anxiety and stress.
These techniques are also good for those who want to improve their quality of life. Anxiety is the fear of the future.
Humans have developed the ability to anticipate events in the future, and this evolutionary tool gives us advantages over other species and allows us to solve problems even before they appear.
However, this ability can work against us. We are anxious when our mind is constantly focused on the future. People often suffer from anxiety attacks at night, before going to sleep, as this is the time when unwanted thoughts that we bury all day emerge.
Intrusive thoughts like: ‘What will happen tomorrow?’ and ‘What can I do to resolve this situation?’ enter our minds, making it difficult to fall asleep.
Combat Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety feeds on itself. If you let negative thoughts grow, you will end up going crazy. Anxiety can mount like a snowball rolling down a hill, and you are the only one with the power to stop it.
You must first learn to intercept negative thoughts. This means identifying them when they occur.
When you realize that you are feeding and fueling your intrusive thoughts, ask yourself, “Is it really likely to happen?” Stop thinking about the past and the future and try to visualize what your life would be like if you had no worries.
If that doesn’t work, make a list. Write down what you have in mind and what you are doing about it. This writing exercise will help you streamline problems and find their true dimensions.
In other words, it won’t allow them to keep growing and spinning inside your head. You can also write down your goals and how you are going to achieve them.
Meditate and Breathe
This is the most common advice to combat anxiety and one of the most effective. If you have regular anxiety attacks, consider taking a meditation class.
Getting into this habit will help you reduce stress and greatly improve your quality of life. If you have rare anxiety attacks and meditation is not your preference, try breathing techniques.
These can be very useful for relaxing before bed, but they can also be used anywhere when you feel stressed. Your body will thank you.
Releasing Feel-good Brain Chemicals
When you exercise, your body releases endorphins and serotonin, two enzymes that your brain associates with feelings of pleasure and well-being.
They warm the whole body and allow the tension in the muscles to decrease. Physical effort is also a good way to focus on the here and now.
Try these Natural Remedies
Herbal remedies, especially herbal teas like valerian root, lavender, and chamomile tea, help reduce anxiety and irritability and help you fall asleep faster.
Caffeine has been shown to increase anxiety levels and cause panic attacks in people with panic disorder. Caffeine is a stimulant that can cause nervousness, irregular heartbeats, and restlessness.
It will also keep you awake, leading to more anxiety. Consider this carefully before having your next caffeinated drink.
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