A lot of people struggle with anxiety. It’s extremely common actually; over 40 million adults in the US, 18 and older, struggle with it. But, just because anxiety is common, that doesn’t make it any easier to cope with when it’s happening to you. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to manage or even reduce the strain. Consider these tips.
(Photo Credit: Leo Hidalgo (@yompyz)/Flickr)
1. Get some sleep.
You’re probably tired of hearing about how you should get more sleep. Any good list of health tips, whether it’s addressing physical, emotional, or intellectual issues, will include a mention of rest. Sleep is important on so many levels. If your emotional well-being or your physical health could use a boost, getting enough rest is a great place to start. Experts recommend seven to nine hours per night; try to get as close to that as you can, habitually.
2. Consider talking to someone about it.
Our instincts sometimes trick us into thinking that talking about what’s bothering us will make a problem more real, and therefore, harder to overcome. But, sometimes just voicing how we’re feeling can help to alleviate some pressure. Confide in a trusted friend or family member about how you’ve been feeling. And, if your anxiety becomes severe, seek treatment. It’s too often the case that attending to mental health needs falls further and further down the priority list – but, it’s one of the most important ways you can take care of yourself.
Studies show that even just a brisk 10-minute walk can be enough to reduce anxiety symptoms. It’s all about brain chemistry. “Feel-good” brain chemicals are released via exercise that are hard to obtain so quickly any other way. Perhaps viewing exercise as the natural mood enhancer that it is could help us find the time to make it a priority. Even if we just take enough time to move around a few extra minutes each day, it can help.
4. De-clutter, and generally take care of your work and living spaces.
Some circumstances are particularly anxiety producing – often when life gets busy, we get stressed. During these times, take an extra few minutes to tidy up your desk, your kitchen, your spaces. If the physical world around you feels more controlled and less chaotic, you will too.
5. Reduce your schedule, just a little.
We Americans are hard-working over-achievers, there’s no doubt. A lot of statistics amount to the fact that Americans work more than just about anyone. But, try to find a way to take a little breather if you can. If you can’t take a full-blown vacation, that’s okay. Just find something that you can let go. Replace that activity with sleep and exercise, maybe do a little tidying up. It is actually more important that you take care of yourself than anything else. Don’t let our current nutso work culture tell you different.
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