If anxiety is taking a toll on your mental health, you can take proactive measures to try to get into a better frame of mind. By taking these measures, you can reduce your feelings of nervousness and may even improve your mindset if you experience chronic anxiety.
The increased breathing, heart rate, and blood flow that happen when you exercise can put your mind into a calmer state. Physical activity also causes the body to release more endorphins, which can make you feel calmer naturally. Almost any physical activity can be good for reducing anxiety, but jogging, cycling, and dancing are known to be among the best exercises. Your mind is also taken off the worries in your mind and is now focused on the exercise being performed, helping to think about the situation rationally when the time comes again.
Limit Social Media
Social media offers an easier way for people to connect with others and keep up with the latest news, but too much social media exposure can have a downside. If you spend a lot of time on social media, you’re likelier to receive rude comments and even threats from other users, and the extra negativity can increase your anxiety. As difficult as it might seem, you may need to reduce the amount of time that you spend on social media or possibly stop using certain social media platforms altogether to improve your mental health.
Make Dietary Changes
The foods and beverages you consume may be contributing to your anxiety, and you may need to cut out or at least reduce the consumption of certain foods and beverages to minimize your nervousness. Caffeine has long been known to cause anxiety in many people, and chocolate, coffee, and other caffeinated items may need to be limited. You should also be mindful of consuming sugary and highly processed foods and beverages. Iron, magnesium, and B-complex vitamins can further help relieve stress and anxiety. You should consider taking supplements if you don’t get enough of these vitamins and minerals in your diet.
Get Support from a Professional
Most people experience anxious feelings from time to time. When those feelings become all-encompassing and prevent you from enjoying life, you may be suffering from a serious anxiety disorder. If you’re having trouble reducing your anxiety on your own, a mental health care provider can offer you the extra support that helps you achieve greater calmness in your life. One way people choose to work through anxiety disorders is by using counseling. You can meet with a licensed counselor, who may try different therapies, such as talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy, to get to the root of your anxiety and find the best solution. You may also benefit from psychiatric services if your anxiety is caused by a physiological problem that should be treated with medication. When you learn more about how counseling and psychiatric services work, you may find that it’s the right treatment option for you. Below is a quick list of what to expect when you go to your first session.
- Your counselor will identify the specific disorder you’re suffering from: Anxiety disorder is an umbrella term that covers several conditions. Each condition varies in certain ways to the last. Generalized anxiety disorder involves persistent feelings of anxiety, while Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) follows a stressful event. Some forms of anxiety are spurred by phobias, such as flying. Although each one has similarities, understanding the differences determines how you approach finding relief. When you seek counseling, you bring yourself closer to understanding your condition, which then places you on a path to recovery.
- Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) helps you challenge your thoughts: Many forms of anxiety involve thoughts that spiral out of control. Unlike someone who doesn’t have anxiety, you may begin reflecting on a worst-case scenario and let that take over how you behave. If your counselor sees that this is the case, they can use CBT to help you challenge your thoughts. Their approach will include helping you identify and challenge harmful thought patterns so you can develop coping mechanisms that prevent anxiety attacks.
- Exposure helps you tackle phobias: One specialist form of counseling is exposure therapy. It proves useful when tackling phobias or when overcoming conditions such as social anxiety. Your counselor can help guide you through exposure to the thing that scares you so that you can see no harm arises when you encounter it. Although doing this alone may seem insurmountable, having a professional by your side makes it possible.
- You can build problem-solving techniques: Another common feature of anxiety is freezing and feeling unable to cope with or manage a problem. Skilled counselors are adept at helping you develop problem-solving techniques. When you have those techniques on your side, you’re less likely to enter into a spiral of panic when a problem arises. Such techniques apply to perceived problems, as well as real ones.
When you seek counseling, you’re opening yourself up to various approaches that help you tackle anxiety. By finding a counselor who’s experienced with your condition, you should find that your attacks become less and less frequent.
Chronic anxiety doesn’t have to be part of your everyday life. By finding the best ways to treat your anxiety, you’ll be able to approach life from a calmer, healthier perspective. Just remember the tips listed above and you should have the perfect first steps to take when handling your anxiety.