HOW TO REDUCE ANXIETY
1. Stay active.
Regular exercise is good for your physical and emotional health. Regular exercise works as well as medication to ease anxiety for some people. And it’s not just a short-term fix; you may experience anxiety relief for hours after working out. Just don’t overdo it. 15 – 30 minutes of muscular and cardio-vascular exercise each day should be enough.
2. Don’t drink alcohol.
Alcohol is a natural sedative. Drinking a glass of wine or a finger of whiskey when your nerves are shot may calm you at first. Once the buzz is over, however, anxiety may return with a vengeance. If you rely on alcohol to relieve anxiety instead of treating the root of the problem, you may develop alcohol dependence.
3. Stop smoking.
Smokers often reach for a cigarette during stressful times. Yet, like drinking alcohol, taking a drag on a cigarette when you’re stressed is a quick fix that may worsen anxiety over time. Research has shown that the earlier you start smoking in life, the higher your risk of developing an anxiety disorder later. Research also suggests nicotine and other chemicals in cigarette smoke alter pathways in the brain linked to anxiety.
4. Ditch caffeine.
If you have chronic anxiety, caffeine is not your friend. Caffeine may cause nervousness and jitters, neither of which is good if you’re anxious. Research has shown caffeine may cause or worsen anxiety disorders. It may also cause panic attacks in people with panic disorder. In some people, eliminating caffeine may significantly improve anxiety symptoms.
5. Get some sleep.
Insomnia is a common symptom of anxiety. Make sleep a priority by:only sleeping at night when you’re tired.avoiding taking long naps during the day. (if you are really exhausted then a 20 minute “power nap” is just as helpful as a 2-hour daytime sleep).not reading or watching television in bed.not using your phone, tablet, or computer in bed.not tossing and turning in your bed if you can’t sleep; get up and go to another room until you feel sleepy.avoiding caffeine, large meals, sugary drinks, snacking and smoking 2 hours before bedtime.keeping your room dark and cool.writing down your worries before going to bed.going to sleep at a similar time each night.
Find a meditation technique that works for you. A main goal of meditation is to remove chaotic thoughts from your mind and replace them with a sense of calm and mindfulness of the present moment. Meditation is known for relieving stress and worry. 15 minutes of meditation twice daily will alleviate some anxiety symptoms and act as an antidepressant.
7. Eat a healthy diet.
Low blood sugar levels, dehydration, or chemicals in processed foods such as artificial flavourings, artificial colourings, and preservatives may cause mood changes in some people. A high-sugar diet may also impact temperament. If your anxiety worsens after eating, check your eating habits. Drink 3 or 4 glasses of water a day to stay hydrated, eliminate processed foods, and eat a healthy diet rich in complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins.
8. Practice deep breathing.
Shallow, fast breathing is common with anxiety. It may lead to a fast heart rate, dizziness or light-headedness, or even a panic attack. Deep breathing exercises — the deliberate process of taking slow, even, deep breaths — can help restore normal breathing patterns and reduce anxiety.
9. Drink chamomile tea.
A cup of chamomile tea is a common home remedy to calm frayed nerves and promote sleep. A 2009 study showed chamomile may also be a powerful ally against generalized anxiety disorder. The study found people who took German chamomile capsules (220 milligrams up to five times daily) had a greater reduction in scores for tests that measure anxiety symptoms than those who were given a placebo.
10. Stop procrastinating.
If there is something that needs to be done, then do it, even if it may be difficult for you. The longer you wait to do something that needs to be done, the more you will worry about it. Taking action to get things done will leave you with feelings of relief afterwards. Live in the moment and in the day and do what you can each day to resolve any issues that need your attention. Understand also, that there are many things in life over which you have no control. Learn to let them go. Teach yourself to make conscious choices not to stress out over the little things which you can do nothing about, i.e. “I dropped and broke my coffee cup” …or “that person did not turn up for our meeting today” …or “I’m late and the traffic is terrible”. Tell yourself – “I am making a conscious decision not to get worked up over this”.
In order to reduce anxiety, remember that you cannot change the past, but by making rational and sensible choices, you can change yourself, your thoughts and your attitudes and make practical plans for the day and the future. Never be afraid or ashamed to ask for help.