Stress and anxiety are a normal part of life, but for some people, they can become bigger issues. It’s necessary for both your body and mind to manage anxiety in a healthy way. Poor stress management can lead to a wide variety of health issues ranging from the common cold to severe heart disease. Here are few strategies to help you cope with anxiety:
- Identify your anxiety. When you’re feeling anxious, that emotion is processed by some thought that triggered it. Ask yourself, before I got anxious, what went through my head? Get to the root of what’s causing your anxiety. Dr. Daniel Amen recommends writing down your negative thoughts and then investigate them. To investigate a thought, you want to consider if the thought is even true. If you find that the thought is false, he recommends talking back to the thought by reasoning why it’s not true.
- Move your body. Scientists say physical activity may improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and anxiety. It also has a preventative effect: people who get regular exercise are 25 percent less likely to develop an anxiety disorder.
- Take a deep breath. Breathing may be something you take for granted, but concentrating on it and taking it slow can help bring your body back into balance and calm you down. Try breathing in through your nose for four counts, then out through your mouth for six. That balances the gaps in your bloodstream to help you relax. This is why some therapists recommend their patients practice Yoga, since it focuses on slow movements and controlled breathing.
- Eat well-balanced meals. “Eating healthier” is a phrase that’s thrown around a lot, but in the case of anxiety, healthy eating really does make a difference. Consuming more vegetables and staying away from unhealthy foods really will keep your anxiety in check.
- Do something. Sitting and thinking over your anxiety will worsen your state of mind and make it harder to overcome your panic. Distract your mind and body by performing a task such as cleaning, drawing, calling a friend, anything that will keep you busy. Preferably, do something that you enjoy as a hobby.
While self-help coping strategies for anxiety can be very effective, if your worries, fears, or anxiety attacks have become so great that they’re causing extreme distress or disrupting your daily routine, it’s important to seek professional help.
The information provided is for general interest only and should not be misconstrued as a diagnosis, prognosis or treatment recommendation. This information does not in any way constitute the practice of medicine, or any other health care profession. Readers are directed to consult their health care provider regarding their specific health situation. Marque Medical is not liable for any action taken by a reader based upon this information.