Everyone at one point or another suffers from anxiety. Anxiety is a physical and emotional response to perceived danger: We are human and therefore worry about everything, especially future outcomes and predictions. What triggers our anxiety are our own scary predictions of future events, which aren’t always real.
Anxiety does not necessarily have to be caused by great occurrences. It is often the little things that take us over the edge: not finding your keys where you remember putting them, the email you forgot to send, getting caught up in traffic jams, and so forth.
It is easy to lose your cool because of anxiety, but with the following tips you can learn to beat anxiety and have fun while doing so.
Remember: these tips are to overcome mild, everyday anxiety. If a serious anxiety disorder prevails, it is essential you go to a specialist.
1. Press pause and laugh
Literally, stop everything and take a break to tickle your funny bone. Laughing and smiling frequently have been proven by science to reduce your stress levels, making you less prone to anxiety. So the next time you feel stress building up, pause whatever you are doing to browse through the vine, YouTube, or any other web pages hosting funny videos and images.
2. Indulge in color therapy
Although an ancient practice, color therapy can still be used as a means of treating anxiety. Incorporate an article of clothing or paint a wall with a cool color, such as shades of blue, purple or green. This therapy is easily practiced throughout the day by simply noticing which colors your eye is drawn to, and how the color makes you feel. Color therapy works if you have high self-awareness, so the more developed your awareness, the more you will realize how a color will make you feel.
3. Listen to songs that you love
Listening to music each day can help overcome anxiety and improve overall health. Let your mood be the guide to your playlist: listening to certain favorites can leave you in the mood to bust a move. Coinciding with this tip, keep your earphones with you at all times. This way you don’t disturb others with your music and whenever you feel anxiety creeping up, just pop in your earphones to shut everything out.
4. Completely disconnect
Unplug communication devices, pull up that chair, kick your feet up and do nothing. However, completely disconnect only when it is doable and make sure that people who rely on you know that you will be unreachable during that time. Spend the disconnection wisely: that means no TV, no phones, no tablets. Take a long, relaxing bath or indulge in some aroma therapy. Basil, anise, and chamomile are great choices; they reduce tension in the body and help increase mental clarity. This will resurrect you emotionally and physically so you can deal with stress.
Scientists have discovered that meditating increases gray matter in the brain, which makes it easy for us to cope with stress. Scientists have also carried out various studies on meditation’s effects on stress and anxiety disorders, with the outcome almost always positive. Take meditation a step further by enrolling in yoga classes or doing it at home daily. Yoga is a combination of physical exertion, meditation and breathing exercises that has helped anxiety patients and given them a new, brighter outlook on life.
6. More omega-3 and vitamin B, please!
Anxiety affects our entire mind and body; therefore, the recovery should be of both the mind and body. To give them the nutrients they need, try eating foods rich in omega-3 and vitamin B. Studies have linked vitamin B with good mental health, and omega-3s may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Also, cut down on sugar, processed food and caffeine for a better, stronger mind that can cope with and fight stress, as these foods have been observed to increase symptoms of anxiety.
Featured photo credit: Anastazja Stanowska via flickr.com
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