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6 Smart Ways To Overcome Anxiety That You Probably Haven’t Tried

6 Smart Ways To Overcome Anxiety That You Probably Haven’t Tried

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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5. Meditate

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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Tayyab Babar

Tayyab is a PR/Marketing consultant. He writes about work, productivity and tech tips at Lifehack.

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Last Updated on May 22, 2019

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

10 Simple Morning Exercises That Will Make You Feel Great All Day

There are lots of studies that show if you do some exercise in the morning, you will be in a better mood all day long. You will have more energy and you will certainly be a better colleague, friend or partner.

One psychologist at Duke University has researched the effects of exercise on depressed patients and he has come to the conclusion that exercise has a definite role in treating this condition and has an important role in preventing people from relapsing.[1] According to the New York Times, scientists have now established that exercise also boosts your brain power.[2]

In addition, there are studies from the Appalachian State University which show that blood pressure can be reduced by doing regular morning exercise.[3]

Here are 10 simple morning exercises that will help you feel great the whole day long. You can include some of them in your morning exercise routine or do them all at home without having to enrol in a gym. Consult your doctor before starting any form of exercise routine if you are new to this.

1. Cat Camel Stretch

Stretching exercises are useful for muscle toning and also preventing arthritis. They can either be dynamic or static.

Dynamic ones such as the cat camel stretch, are particularly useful for doing other exercises in the morning. They are also beneficial at other times of the day, especially after long periods of sedentary work. This one is great for spinal flexibility and is a good warm up exercise.

Kneel down on all fours. Start by rounding your back just like a camel so that your head will try to meet your pelvis. This is the camel position. Then lower and lift your head so that your lower back is arched. This is the cat position. Do these movements slowly and smoothly. About 4 or 5 times.

Here’s a video to guide you through:

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2. Go for a Walk or a Run

This is better done outside so that you can connect with nature but running inside on a treadmill is almost as good. You can time yourself and increase length and time according to your fitness program.

Always have new goals to reach. Start with brisk walking and work up to running. At my age, I am still walking!

The health benefits are considerable. You can build stronger bones and you can help to maintain your weight.

Also, you are helping your heart to stay healthy and keeping your blood pressure low.

Learn more about the benefits of running here: 8 Benefits of Running 5 Minutes Every Day You Didn’t Know

3. Jumping Jacks

Michelle Obama is a great fan of this exercise and has become “Jumper in Chief.”[4] They are great for cardiovascular health and also for toning muscles especially the calves and the deltoids.

Stand with feet together. Jump while spreading your arms and legs. Return to first position and keep going! You can start with doing these for 1 minute and then gradually build up to the number you are comfortable with. Here’s how:

4. Abductor Side Lifts

Watch the video below to see how to do this exercise. These muscles are important because you use them everyday to run, get into the car or onto and off a bicycle. They are very important also for your core stability and prevent the pelvis from tilting.[5]

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Do about 10 to 15 raises for each side like this:

5. Balancing Table Pose

This is a classic yoga pose. It benefits the spine, balance, memory and concentration.

Start with the table pose (hands and knees). Breathe in before starting each movement. As you exhale, raise your left leg parallel to the floor as you raise the right arm, also parallel to the floor. Breathe in as you lower arm and leg. Repeat for the other side. 10 repetitions on each side is a good starting point.

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    6. Leg Squats

    Not just legs are involved but also hips and knees.

    Stand with your feet a bit further out from your hips. Arms are out in front of you. Then lower yourself as if you wanted to sit down until you reach a 90 degree angle. You can go down further if you want to. Then return to the starting position. Repeat 15 times for 2 sets for beginners.

    The benefits are that these exercises help with knee stability and can benefit the leg muscles such as quadriceps, hamstrings and calves.[6]

    7. Push Ups

    You start lying down (face down) but with your body held up at arm’s length. Your hands should be in line with your shoulders. Breathe in as you lower your body. That is fairly easy. Now, as you exhale, you have to get back up to the starting position.

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    An easier version to start with is to bend your legs at the knees so you do not have to lift your whole body.

    Beginners may take up to a month to be able to do 100 push ups so you will have to start with a very small number and gradually increase it.

    This exercise is great for strengthening the chest, shoulders and the triceps. It is a great strengthening exercise for many muscle groups. In fact, most muscles from the toes to the shoulders are being used.

    8. Bicycle Crunches

    There are numerous crunch exercises targeting the abs. The bicycle crunch is a variation where you work more muscle groups. Aim for 15 to 20 reps to start off with.

    Watch the video to see how this is done correctly:

    9. Lunges

    Stand with feet shoulder width apart. Place your hand on your hips. Take one giant step forward with the right leg. Make sure the knee does not go too far forward, that is, past your toes. The left knee will go down to almost floor level. Alternate the legs as you go on.

    Try to do a set of between 8 and 12 reps for each leg. It is important to allow for a day of rest, so this exercise should be done on alternate days, especially if you are using weights.

    This exercise is great for strengthening and toning the quadriceps, glutes and hamstrings.

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    10. Bicep Curls

    You can do this sitting down so if you spend a lot of time on the phone, this is a great exercise to do.

    Choose suitable dumbbells or another household object that you can easily hold. Sit down with the dumbbell in your hand. You need to sit forward a bit so that your triceps can lean on your thigh to give you support.

    Then bring the weighted arm up to shoulder length and then down again. Exhale as you lift the weight and inhale as you lower it.

    Here’re some important notes before you start doing this exercise:

    Try to do one or two sets of about ten repetitions for each arm and then switch arms.

    These exercises are really useful for toning the arm muscles.[7] In addition, they can strengthen and tone the brachioradialis muscle located in the forearm. These are the muscles we use to pick up things when we flex the arm at the elbow so we use these muscles countless times a day.

    You may have to build in a rest day for the heavier exercises, numbers 6–10. On the rest days, you can do gentler stretching exercises and also some walking or running.

    Morning exercise is not only a great mood booster, but will help you keep your weight down and also sleep better![8] Start including one or some of these exercises in your morning routine!

    More Articles About Exercises for Beginners

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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