It’s healthy to feel anxious before a job interview, a test, or any new experience. This reaction is your body going into defense mode to help you absorb the information you may need to survive in a new environment. Anxiety is only a problem when it becomes uncontrollable or persistent. And that’s exactly what’s been happening around the world. Situations that should not necessarily elicit a stress response, are. People are feeling more anxious about finances, health, politics, and social interactions.
In August of 2018, Barnes and Noble reported that the sale of anxiety-related books was up 25% from the previous year. And while individuals were looking for information about anxiety, they were also looking for ways to reduce or eliminate it on their own. The sale of books about life balance, finding happiness, and self-improvement was also on the rise.
How do you know if you’re feeling anxious?
Despite the upswing in known anxiety cases, many individuals don’t realize that what they’re feeling is anxiety manifesting itself in mysterious ways. If you’re feeling any of the following symptoms, you may have chronic anxiety:
- Increased heart rate or heart palpitations
- Shortness of breath
- Upset stomach, nausea, or diarrhea
- A general feeling of doom
- Lack of concentration or focus
- Panic attacks
It’s not always easy to take what may seem like mild yet persistent discomfort and label it as anxiety, but often that’s exactly what it is. Unfortunately, with anxiety on the rise, the number of people who are learning to live with, not eliminate, their anxiety is also on the rise. The good news is, it can be treated. Once you recognize and accept your symptoms for what they are, analyze your environment and your daily habits to uncover the root of your anxiety.
How to Relieve Anxiety
If you think you’re suffering from anxiety on any level, know that you do not need to live with it. You can and should adjust your lifestyle where possible to preserve your mental health, physical health, and quality of your relationships.
Here Are 7 Tools to Help You Relieve Anxiety:
Develop a healthy exercise routine
Physical movement is a natural way to de-stress and an important part of feeling physically and emotionally healthy. Whether you run, walk, swim, or dance, physical movement boosts dopamine in your brain to increase happiness and positive thinking.
Say no to additional responsibility
Feeling anxious is often tied to feeling overwhelmed. Prioritize your responsibilities and find a way to delegate or get some help with things. Build-in time for your body and your mind to rest and recuperate.
Create a step-by-step list
If you are unable to delegate or delete responsibilities, help your brain organize them by creating prioritized lists. Often getting the tasks out of your head and down on paper helps the day seem more manageable.
Replace negative thoughts with positive ones
Identify the things that upset you and rephrase them in a way that focuses on the positive aspects of the situation. Remind yourself that you cannot control other people’s thoughts or actions, you can only control how you respond to them.
Eat healthy foods
When our bodies are fueled by sugars and processed foods, we feel slow and sluggish. These feelings are not conducive to self-care and positive thinking.
Get enough sleep
This may be a tricky one as many people who suffer from anxiety also suffer from insomnia. If you’re eating well and exercising regularly, your body will have an easier time falling asleep. A rested mind is much clearer and motivated.
Talk about your anxiety
There is no shame in having anxiety and hiding it from the world often means you suffer in silence. Tell someone what you’re feeling, and you may be surprised to learn that they’ve been through something similar.
While pharmaceuticals can be an option, in many cases they are not needed. If you can reduce or eliminate your anxiety by using some of the above-mentioned techniques, it’s recommended they be your first options.
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