Anxiety is something that millions of Americans suffer with on a daily basis. Unfortunately, the condition goes largely untreated. People tend to turn to unhealthy habits and crutches, making the underlying causes worse in the future.
Did you know that almost half of all teenagers suffer from some form of social anxiety? And unfortunately, this early exposure to anxiety often leads to even bigger issues in adulthood. Many who suffer from extreme forms of anxiety turn to things like alcohol, drugs, and risky behavior to cope, but it’s important that people know there are healthy ways to deal with anxiety.
From going for a run to talking with someone you trust, here are some ways to deal with anxiety.
1. Go on a Run
Physical exercise is one of the best ways to fight stress and anxiety. Not only does it provide physical relief, but it also helps clear your mind. When you engage in physical activity, your immune system strengthens, and your body releases neurotransmitters known as endorphins. These endorphins help relieve pain and make you feel better. Exercise also burns away stress hormones and tires the muscles, which aides in sleep.
So next time you’re dealing with anxiety, force yourself to go for a jog. Half an hour at a moderate pace should do the trick. And go ahead and turn on some motivational tunes while you’re at it.
2. Try Your Hand at Meditation
If meditation isn’t something you’re familiar with, then you may feel like it’s hokey or ineffective, but be wary of jumping to this conclusion. Meditation can be a very powerful tool for gathering your thoughts and recognizing how you feel.
Meditation doesn’t have to look like a sitting in a yoga pose and holding your hands up in front of you. All you need is some peace and quiet. The goal is to focus on your breathing and constructively deal with thoughts as they enter the brain.
3. Call a Trusted Friend
Do you have a best friend, parent, or coworker who you really trust? Consider giving them a call when you feel overly anxious about something. It often helps to converse about the issue with someone else, even if you’re the one doing most of the talking.
4. Question Your Way to the Root
Often, people feel anxious without really knowing what they’re anxious about. When they dig deep and understand the cause, they realize that things aren’t that bad after all.
If you find yourself anxious about a particular issue, try questioning your way to the root cause. For example, let’s say you’re nervous about giving a presentation at work. Start by asking yourself why. You’ll discover that it might not actually be the presentation you’re nervous about, but rather the possibility that you’ll forget what to say. And it’s not the forgetting that scares you, but the fact that you’ll be embarrassed. Specifically, you’re afraid that a critical coworker will think less of you.
So, getting to the root cause, you realize that all of your anxiety is tied to the fact that one coworker will think less of you because you may forget something in a presentation. Suddenly your anxiety sounds a little ridiculous and you can rest easier.
Approaching Anxiety From a Healthy Angle
When you suffer from anxiety, your ultimate goal is to calm your nerves and feel better. This could lead you to seek instant gratification through alcohol, drugs, sex, gambling, and other risky behavior. Unfortunately, these crutches tend to get abused and lead to addictions and other adverse health effects. As you deal with anxiety, make sure you’re using healthy coping mechanisms.
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