Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. People experience anxiety differently, but in general, it’s an internally produced feeling of fear and worry about what is to come. If you’re stressed out and feeling anxious, follow these six tips to help cope with your anxiety.
1) Get Enough Sleep
Getting a restful eight hours of sleep is incredibly important to reducing anxiety levels. Sleep gives both your body and your mind time to heal. During sleep, cells have the opportunity to increase protein production, which fuels repairs to damage that incurred due to stress and other factors. Sleep is also crucial to maintaining a healthy emotional balance.
Get a better night sleep by:
- Allowing your bed to be a sanctuary. Limit activities in bed to just sleeping and sexual intercourse.
- Putting all digital devices away one hour before you go to sleep.
- Practicing a relaxing bedtime ritual.
2) Exercise Daily
If you read any article on anxiety and you will see advice encouraging people to exercise more. Including even 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous activity in your day can release endorphins and a hormone known as ANP. These both work to reduce pain, induce euphoria and help control the brain’s response to stress and anxiety. Additionally, exercise can be soothing in many different ways for people. For some, it provides a distraction from the problems and worries that are causing anxiety in the first place. For others, exercise may provide an opportunity for clear thinking that allows you to resolve issues.
Find an exercise that you genuinely enjoy. Forcing yourself to run when you’re not a runner is only going to reduce the likelihood of you exercising. Try out dance classes, boxing, swimming, walking, hiking, yoga or anything else that appeals to you!
3) Avoid Caffeine & Alcohol
People with anxiety often have restless nights of sleep, which sparks an increase in caffeine intake. Or, they feel anxious in the evenings, so they try to unwind with a glass of wine or beer. Unfortunately, both of these types of beverages only serve to trigger anxiety symptoms.
Caffeine is a stimulant, which can stimulate the “fight or flight” response. The combination of anxiety and caffeine can make people feel jittery, nervous and even spark an anxiety attack.
Alcohol changes the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain. While for some individuals, this sparks a feeling of being loose and comfortable, that may not be the case for those who are anxious. Alcohol can worsen feelings of anxiety and leave a person coping with alcohol-induced anxiety for hours after drinking. Long term this could result in addiction and dependence.
Individuals should aim only to have one cup of coffee per day and avoid caffeine after three o’clock as it can interrupt sleep. Switching to herbal teas and decaffeinated coffee is a great option. Additionally, try to avoid or limit alcohol intake as much as possible.
4) Eat Well Balanced Meals
A healthy, well-balanced diet can help to reduce levels of anxiety. In particular, individuals should try to incorporate a diet rich in vegetables, fruits and whole grains, as much as possible. In particular, individuals should eat foods high in:
- Probiotic foods
Additionally, it can be beneficial to indulge every once in a while. “Feel good” foods release dopamine and serotonin in the brain, which can make an individual feel at ease and happy.
5) Give Your Mind a Break
A lot of feelings of anxiety are around worrying thoughts, fears, and repetitive thoughts. Try to recognize when you’re having these thoughts and take a break from them. Meditation and yoga can teach you how to “turn your brain off” when you spiral into a negative headspace.
6) Accept That You Cannot Control Everything
Anxiety is a normal and common emotion to feel. Roughly 18% of the American adult population experiences some form of anxiety. Learn to understand that your feelings of anxiety are okay, and you can’t control everything. Do what you can to prevent some of the symptoms, and deal with the rest as they occur.
Here at Diamond Physicians, we are doctors who get you. We understand you have a life and responsibilities, so we’ve made healthcare easier for you. We create custom plans for your unique healthcare needs. Contact us today to learn more about the healthcare services we offer.