No matter your age, lifestyle or ethnicity, anxiety can affect us all. Even if you have a fairly laidback lifestyle, a few changes to your normal routine can cause stress and anxiety over time. In fact, recent statistics estimate that around 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety (that’s around 18 percent of the population). So if you know that you are a worrier, and want to help deal with your anxiety, then now’s the time to do something about it. When it comes to anxiety, this truly is a matter of personal preference. There is no ‘one size fits all approach’.
The sad reality is that many people suffer in silence. You may feel that if you admit you are anxious to colleagues or friends, that you may be judged. Or worse, viewed as someone who is unstable. This is a tragedy. There is no harm in admitting that you feel anxious or overwhelmed, in fact, acknowledging this puts you well on the path to recovery. You may also want to consider counseling if you find it easier to talk to a third party about your feelings and emotions.
There are a variety of simple life hacks and tricks for dealing with anxiety, so if you want to wind down but aren’t sure how, why not try these out?
Use relaxation techniques
Even if you only have a few minutes to spare, there are simple relaxation techniques that you can use, to help you to take a step back and relax. First and foremost, check your breathing. When we become stressed and anxious we don’t always use our full lung capacity. If you find that you are breathing shallowly fix your eyes on a spot in the distance and try to regain control. Make sure that you incorporate an element of relaxation into your daily routine – in particular at bedtime. If you are anxious, this can also affect your sleep patterns, making you feel like you are tired or not rested. Try having a hot drink before you go to sleep, remove all electronic devices from the bedroom, and schedule in 20 minutes of reading a good book. Sleep is something that you can control, so make sure that you get enough of it to help you reign in your anxiety.
Take a break
When did you last have a vacation? Taking time out, with your partner or family, is an important way to relax and unwind. A long weekend or mini break could give you the boost that you need to get back on track. Famed for it’s mountains, beach and snow, California is a great destination to escape the winter blues – not to mention medical marijuana use is legal, learn more here. It’s important to break your routine and have a break from any factors in your daily life that could be causing you anxiety. So make sure that you speak to your manager and personnel department, and book some time away from your desk.
Check your triggers
There may be different factors that trigger your anxiety. From social situations, when you have to meet and interact with new people, to meeting with deadlines or even finding yourself in crowded places. If you can keep tabs on your triggers, your anxiety will be easier to manage. So before you feel yourself falling down the rabbit hole, it’s important that you recognize what triggers these feelings. You may not be able to control the situation that you are in, but you can reduce any feelings of stress or panic. It could be as simple as taking a different route to the office or finding a friend or colleague to accompany you, but make sure that you have a plan B in place to make sure you manage your anxiety triggers like a boss.
Keep a journal
Even if you aren’t much of a writer, writing down any worries or fears could help you to manage your anxiety. Seeing any potential problems on paper, or in a list, can make them to appear more manageable. Plus, it brings back an element of control into your life. You don’t need to write an essay about what is keeping you up at night. Even by writing a few lines about how you feel and what you plan to do about it, can be enough to keep anxiety under control. So put pen to paper and consider keeping a journal, if you find that writing things down is an effective life hack.
A laid-back lifestyle and poor diet choices could be making you anxious. In fact, exercise is one of the best ways to combat stress. It’s easier than you might think to get active. You could take a walk with friends or check out a class at your local gym if you fancy working up a sweat. When you exercise, you release endorphins into your blood stream, which in turn travel all across your body and to your brain. These happy hormones can help to boost your mood, and improve your attitude too. So, it’s important to get moving it you want to reduce your anxiety.
Even if you aren’t much of a gym bunny, there are other less high impact exercise options. Try a tai chi or yoga class if you want to make sure that you relax and unwind for a set period of time. Swimming is also a great way to move your body, without causing too much wear and tear on your joints. Even if you hate exercise, give it a chance – there is sure to be an activity for you.
Once you’ve got moving, you may want to check your diet. Factors such as drinking too much caffeine or eating oily, fatty foods will mean that your body isn’t receiving the nutrients it needs to function effectively. Not to mention, these foods could be making you irritable and anxious without you even realizing, as you begin to become more dependent on your daily latte to get you through the morning. So if you can’t cope without your caffeine fix, then now could be the time to cut down. Try herbal teas or fresh juices, if you are looking for a healthier alternative on the way to work.
So if you are feeling anxious and stressed, worry not. Try using these life hacks to help you slow down and manage your anxiety.