Anxiety can be a crippling condition. Sufferers may appear anywhere on the spectrum; from those who suffer from vague senses of unease at certain points of the day, to those that have full-blown panic attacks on a regular basis.
Whatever your symptoms, it’s important to take steps to address your anxiety and improve your quality of life. In this blog posts are a few suggestions of effective ways to reduce anxiety.
You’re not alone
Anxiety disorders are common. According to Anxiety UK, one in six adults experienced a ‘neurotic health problem’ in the last week alone. That’s literally millions of people across the country.
Small steps to tackling anxiety at home
Thankfully, anxiety is better understood these days than it was in the past. If it’s really impacting your life, your first stop should be your GP, who will be able to recommend the best course of treatment. However, there are also some ways you can begin to tackle your anxiety yourself:
Identify (and limit) your ‘triggers’
Think about what induces an anxiety attack. Is it all those work emails, rolling in at once? Or is it the emotional pressure of arguing with a family member? Once you’ve acknowledged the source, you may find it easier to work out how you can limit those triggering situations.
Get support from others
Don’t hide the fact that you’re feeling anxious. It’s important for your partner, or siblings, or parents to know. Often, relatives feel helpless when it comes to supporting those with anxiety – so explain to them how best they can assist you. Even pets can provide a powerful form of emotional support.
Examine your diet
Various studies have found a link between consuming certain foods and drinks, and feeling more anxious or stressed. Alcohol in particular has been found to increase the likelihood of anxiety, and some studies have even found links between sugary food and stress. Now might be the time to start eating more healthily, to see if that helps at all.
It’s well-known that exercise releases endorphins – the ‘happy’ hormones. However, not many people realise that it can be a powerful tool for tackling mental health issues. For example, many keen runners talk openly about how beneficial they find it to go for a jog. If running isn’t for you, there are plenty of other great activities to try, such as swimming, aerobics classes or martial arts.
Create a zen-like atmosphere
If you feel like you never have the chance to relax, this will only increase feelings of anxiety. Create a calming environment in the living room. Get the kids to clear away their toys. Light a few scented candles (sites like Copycat Fragrances are good for inspiration). Cosy yourself up on the sofa with cushions all around you, and put your smartphone in another room. It’s time to totally switch off and chill out.
Spend time with friends
When you feel mentally low, it’s difficult to be around other people. However, if you can, try to spend time with friends. There’s something about social situations that often lifts the spirits; making you feel less isolated, less stressed and more emotionally connected to others.
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