10 Tips To Help With AnxietyOct 07, 2022
Everyone can experience anxiety at times. You could have anxiety about a really important meeting at work or an issue in your relationship, or you might suffer from general anxiety. No matter what the reason is, anxiety can creep up on our lives and make everything more difficult.
Luckily, there are ways to help prevent and manage anxiety in the moment. Not everything will work. Different people have different needs; that's why it is important to explore what's best for you. Here are 10 tips to help you with your anxiety.
Learn Your Triggers
Learn what your triggers are. Are there certain people that trigger your anxiety? Or is it certain situations that put you more on edge? Then name what it is that you're feeling. Some emotions are considered secondary emotions, meaning that underlying feelings are causing them, and anxiety is a common secondary emotion. What else are you feeling? Is it fear? Embarrassment? Learning what is triggering you and why it is triggering you is a great way to find ways to prevent and manage those uncomfortable emotions.
Journaling can help get our thoughts and feelings in order. It is a helpful way to break down what has happened throughout our day so we can begin to see patterns and habits contributing to our anxiety. Journaling is also great for venting our frustrations and fears to push those emotions out of ourselves.
Care For Your Physical Health
Our physical health can impact our mental health. That doesn't mean daily exercise and a paleo diet will cure your anxiety, but there are proven ways to use our physical health to manage our mental and emotional health.
Food - Our diet can determine our mood and mental well-being to a degree. There are foods that cause inflammation, affect the brain, and so on. Focusing on healthier diets that limit processed food and encourage more fruit and vegetables can significantly impact how we feel. This is because our gut is filled with bacteria; what we eat can determine the growth of "good" or "bad" bacteria in our gut biome, which can affect us mentally and physically.
Exercise - Exercising increases our endorphins and gives us those feelings of happiness and euphoria. It can help boost our self-esteem and self-confidence while giving us a mental boost. Exercise is not only a way to boost our mood but also a way to channel all those negative feelings within us and release them physically.
Sleep - Most people understand how sleep affects our mental health. A poor night of sleep causes us to "wake up on the wrong side of the bed" and can impact our entire day. Making sure we get between 6-8 hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep can help us start our day on a better note.
Having routines can help remove uncertainty from our daily lives, helping us have order, no matter how small. Giving our brains predictable routines allows it time to process and understand what is happening and what will happen next.
Breathing is a great tool to help with anxiety in the moment. There are several different methods that you can try and see what works best for you. To get the most out of this tool, take time every day to work on your breathing to help lower general anxiety.
Smell the roses, blow out the candle - this technique can be done in a variety of ways and can go by many names; 4-7-8, 4-4-4, but they are the same in practice. The roses/candle technique is simple, breathe in through the nose and out of the mouth. These other techniques listed are essentially the same but include holding in the breath. The 4-7-8 technique is to breathe in through your nose for the count of 4 seconds, hold for 7, then breathe out through your mouth for 8.
Belly breathing - You breathe more using your diaphragm than with your chest. Place one hand on your chest and the other just below the ribcage on your stomach. When you breathe in and out, you should feel the hand on your stomach move while the hand on your chest is relatively still.
Meditation is a technique allowing us to focus on what is happening now. You can use focus meditation by engaging your five senses. Grab an object and focus on it. Let’s say we grab a stuffed bear. What is it you see? What is the color? What about the eyes? Is it wearing clothes? Touch it. Is it soft or rough? How do the eyes and stitching feel? What do you hear when you squeeze the bear? What about when you pet it? What does it smell like? Focus meditation aims to pull your attention onto an object instead of allowing anxiety to fester.
Then there is movement meditation, which allows you to connect your body to the present moment. Many people think of yoga or tai chi, but it can also be as simple as taking a walk or gardening. It is simply a physical act of focusing you and your body on what you are doing.
Mindfulness and meditation often go hand in hand, where there is a mindful component in meditation. With mindfulness, you don't need to set a specific time out of your day to practice it; it is simply being aware of what you are doing and acting mindfully.
Grounding and mindfulness can get confused with one another, but grounding is a bit different in practice. Where mindfulness is simply living in the moment and being aware and purposeful, grounding focuses your thoughts and attention somewhere else. Grounding is a technique to manage overwhelming feelings when we are past that triggering point and need to come back to safety.
This is a more holistic approach to help with anxious moments and help produce a state of calmness. Aromatherapy can be the use of diffusers, oils, steamers, masks, and bathing salts. People use aromatherapy to help improve sleep quality and reduce stress and anxiety.
Sometimes we need help, and that is okay. Having a support network to rely on is crucial when talking about emotional and mental well-being. Support networks can be friends, family, professionals, or people who share common interests or hobbies.