9 Tips for Managing Your Anxiety Right Now
Are you feeling overwhelmed with anxiety? Whether recent life changes have caused it or it's something you've been struggling with for a while, it can be challenging to know how to manage your anxiety. These nine tips can help you get started.
One: Identify Your Triggers and Avoid Them
One of the most important things you can do to reduce anxiety is to identify your triggers and develop a practical plan for avoiding them.
For example, if you know that watching the news stresses you out, watch something lighthearted, such as comedy, instead.
If you feel anxious in large crowds, try to avoid going places where there will be many people. And if you have difficulty dealing with change, try to create structure and routine in your life.
Remember, saying no to things that do not serve your brain health is OK.
Two: Get Some Sleep
When anxiety strikes, it feels like the world is spinning out of control. Your heart races, your thoughts become jumbled, and it becomes difficult to focus on anything else. In moments like these, it may seem counterintuitive to take a nap. However, sleep can be a powerful tool for managing anxiety.
Lack of sleep is a large factor in anxiety and stress levels. Taking a brief nap can help to re-set your body and mind and give yourself the energy you need to face the day.
Just be sure not to nap for extended periods, as this can lead to feelings of grogginess and disorientation. If you find that anxiety impacts your ability to sleep at night, consider speaking with a licensed therapist or medical professional about ways to manage your stress and get the rest you need.
Three: Let the Sunshine In
Sunshine is one of the best and most natural remedies for anxiety. Just a few minutes in the sun can help to elevate your mood and ease tension.
If you feel anxious, try spending some time outside in the sunshine. Go for a walk in the park, sit on a bench, or stand in the sun and breathe deeply.
The sun's vitamin D can also help fight depression, so you'll get a bonus of improved mental health.
Four: Eat Something Healthy
When you're anxious, reaching for unhealthy comfort foods can be tempting. However, indulging in sugary or fatty foods can make anxiety worse in the long run. Instead, try eating something healthy to calm your nerves and boost your mood.
A few different types of food are beneficial in reducing anxiety. Complex carbohydrates like whole grains can help stabilize blood sugar levels, which can help regulate the intensity of anxiety symptoms such as irritability and excessive worrying.
Foods like dark leafy greens and nuts rich in magnesium are also excellent for calming the nervous system.
Omega-3 fatty acids found in oily fish, chia seeds, and flaxseeds can reduce inflammation and improve brain function.
Five: Practice Deep Breathing Exercises
When you're feeling anxious, your body can go into fight-or-flight mode. Fight or flight means your heart rate and blood pressure increase, and you start to breathe more quickly. While this response can be helpful if you're in a dangerous situation, it's not so great when you're just trying to get through a meeting or handle a busy day at work.
That's where deep breathing comes in. You can trigger your body's relaxation response by taking slow, deep breaths. Controlled breathing lowers your heart rate and blood pressure and helps you to feel calmer. Deep breathing exercises are easy to do anywhere, and they can be a helpful way to reduce anxiety in the present moment.
Six: Write Down Your Thoughts and Feelings in a Journal
Writing your thoughts down in a journal can help to clear your head and give you a new perspective.
Putting your anxiety into words can help you to understand it better and see it from a different angle. It can also help release some of the pent-up emotions that are contributing to your anxiety.
As you write, try to focus on what's causing your anxiety and what you can do to address it. If you're not sure where to start, try brainstorming for a few minutes before you begin writing.
Once you get into the relaxing flow of writing, you may find that your anxiety starts to dissipate. Journaling is a helpful way to deal with stress in the moment and over time.
Seven: Get Some Exercise
When anxiety strikes, it can be tempting to curl up in a ball and try to hide from the world. But did you know that exercise can be a helpful tool in managing anxiety?
Just a few minutes of physical activity can help increase your heart rate and release endorphins, which can help lessen anxiety symptoms. Do a few jumping jacks, push-ups, run in place, or go for a brisk walk.
Eight: Connect with Loved Ones
When you're anxious, reaching out to loved ones can be helpful. Talking to someone who cares about you can help you feel supported and understood.
If you don't feel like talking, that's OK, too. Just being with loved ones can help manage anxiety. Whether you're watching a movie, going for a walk, or sharing a meal, simply being in the presence of people you care about can make a big difference.
Nine: Do Something Creative
Getting lost in a creative project can be a great way to reduce anxiety. Whether you're painting, drawing, writing, or doing some other type of art, immersing yourself in a creative activity can help take your mind off your anxiety and ease your stress.
Dealing with anxiety can be difficult, but there are many things you can do to ease your symptoms right now and in the long run. Try applying these strategies to your daily routine to help reduce anxiety and improve your overall well-being.