How To Best Manage Your Anxiety and Stress?
My anxiety is crippling sometimes and it turns into a severe panic attack. I am not the omg I am freaking out type. I just shut down and I feel like my brain is stuck in a K-hole and I am panicking thinking why hasn’t it ended it yet. I am not going to lie. I am on anti-anxiety medication, Lexapro and I will be the first one to put my hand up to say hey. I’m not ashamed. My brain requires some serotonin that’s missing. I have military-grade C-PTSD and severe panic disorder so if anyone knows anxiety, it’s me.
The world has seen a significant rise in the prevalence of mental health issues. From anxiety to depression, it’s increasingly common for adults and children alike to suffer from a mental health issue. Encouragingly, the world has also become more open to discussing such health problems and how we can best treat, manage and overcome them. That’s why we’re exploring what some of those treatment methods are and how they can help you to manage your anxiety and stress.
However. here are some statistics just for some knowledge:
What the Statistics To Have Say
As the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) explains, “Anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States age 18 and older, or 18.1% of the population every year.”
The statistic remains relevant for countries outside of the United States as well. Similarly, Beyond Blue explains that “One in seven Australians is currently experiencing an anxiety condition.”
What Are The Best Ways to Deal with Anxiety and Stress?
Whilst it’s clear many individuals around the world suffer from anxiety and stress, the great news is that these issues are treatable. ADAA confirms, “Anxiety disorders are highly treatable, yet only 36.9% of those suffering receive treatment.”
The effectiveness of each treatment will differ depending on each individual and their needs, however, the following suggestions are some actionable ways that you can manage your anxiety and stress.
- Exercise regularly to release endorphins and improve your overall mood
- Ensure you fuel your body with a nutritious, healthy and balanced diet. From taking in enough iron (to keep energy levels high) to eating protein, the food we eat is intrinsically linked to our mental health
- Remain connected socially. Whether joining a book club, a sports group or a support network, social connections will help to provide you with a positive outlet.
- Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. These substances can aggravate your stress and anxiety, ultimately having a detrimental effect on your mental health and wellbeing.
- Get sufficient sleep each night to ensure you’re well-rested and that your mood is not suffering from fatigue or tiredness
- Spend time in nature. There’s a wealth of research reflecting the positive impact that spending time in nature has on both mental and physical health.
As Harvard University explains, “Research in a growing scientific field called ecotherapy has shown a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced stress, anxiety, and depression” (2018).
Whether you’re looking to pass a day in the park or walk along the beach, you may be surprised at the way your mood is lifted after being in nature.
- Practice meditation. Focussing on your breath and checking in with your thoughts can be a great way to manage your anxiety and stress. Apps such as Headspace are a great and easy way to introduce you to meditation and walk you through the process.
- Talk to someone. From speaking to a friend to have an open conversation with family members about the state of your mental health, the first step to treating your mental health problems can be to acknowledge them in the first place. It’s recommended to speak to a therapist, counselor or physician to ensure your receive reliable and accurate medical advice.
- Try exercises such as Yoga or Pilates. The focus on your body and mind that both Yoga and Pilates offer can help to slow down your thoughts whilst releasing endorphins in the process. Both practices can have a calming and therapeutic effect when it comes to lifting your mood and relieving stress. Opt for a session with meditation included at the end to get the most out of your practice.
- Write in a diary. Through the art of journaling, you can begin to process your thoughts by writing them down. You may be surprised just how therapeutic you find journaling. Plus, there’s a great sense of clarity and newfound perspective that the activity can offer.
- Go see your GP. There is a lot of fantastic health care practitioners that specialize in anxiety.
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