Does this sound familiar: sweaty palms, racing thoughts, hot flashes, trouble sleeping, exhaustion and nail-biting? At some point in our lives, we’ve all had a feeling of anxiety. Maybe its uncertainty in that close relationship, or that ridiculous work deadline. While learning how to handle this may be challenging, anxiety can not only give you negative thoughts but also make you sad.
Anxiety is basically how we react when stressed. Over 40 million Americans experience anxiety at one time or another, making it one of the most common diseases in the country. Even if you’ve not been diagnosed with the ailment, you may experience some of its symptoms at one point. Thankfully you don’t require a formal therapy or any kind of medication to handle this. Everything from re-framing your thoughts to eating the right foods and practicing strategic breathing can greatly help you cool your nerves. There are several self-help remedies that are scientifically proven to help you reduce some of the symptoms of anxiety. Here are 5 approved remedies that can help you deal with your anxious mind and get your life back on track again.
Several studies have shown that exercise lowers both anxiety symptoms and anxiety levels. In addition, it relieves muscle tension and helps with depression. The positive effects of exercise have been proven in patients with emotional disorders and healthy patients. The best exercise for anxiety is aerobic and rhythmic exercise such as cycling, jogging, walking, swimming and other exercises which are of low intensity. You don’t have to exercise for 24 hours to enjoy the benefits – just 15 to 30 minutes a day, for 3 times a week, is beneficial. However, you should not expect immediate result if you are just starting out as the exercise should last at least 10 weeks before you can fully benefit.
2 Instead of coffee drink matcha
Even though you love coffee and caffeine, it’s not a good thing to drink too much of it when you are anxious. This is because coffee stimulates the secretion of adrenaline which enhances the flight or fight response in your body which can lead to the feeling of stress and anxiety. In case you can avoid your morning coffee, and trade it with matcha tea you’ll greatly reduce some of the symptoms of anxiety. Matcha contains half the amount of caffeine that coffee contains and also has amino acids which help reduce the effects of coffee thereby producing more calmness.
If you want to stop taking coffee altogether you may start taking Valerian tea, chamomile, and rooibos anytime you are feeling stressed. All these drinks are not only caffeine free but also contain antioxidants that promote sleep and relaxation. Remember, there are also several other health benefits of tea.
3 Breathe the right way
Take some time and focus on how you breathe. Is it shallow breathing and what is expanding? Are you breathing with your belly or chest? One thing that happens when you are anxious is that you feel constricted. You tense up and close your body which affects your breathing style. When you breathe with a shallow chest, you only increase your stress and anxiety.
Take some time to learn the process of deep breathing. Breathe in slowly while expanding your tummy 5 times. Now hold it there and gradually release that breathe for 8 counts. Repeat this several times as long as you don’t feel lightheaded. You can repeat this 5 times the moment you wake up and in the evening before going to sleep. You can also do it during the day when you feel anxious or stressed. If you are driving in a rush hour, deep belly breathing can really help you.
4 Give yourself a mini-massage
Getting a massage every week is one of the best ways to get rid of your stress and anxiety. For instance, it’s good to keep a tennis ball in your purse or your desk so that, when you feel anxious or stressed, you can roll it behind your shoulders or under your feet. While doing this, engage in some yoga poses and gentle stretches which are good for relieving muscle tension and giving you the pause that you need in the day. Just think about what’s making you stressed and let it go.
5 Face your fears
When you are faced with an anxious or stressful situation, those butterflies can sometimes lead to panic. Instead of shrinking away from them, learn to confront those experiences. The more times you face your fears the less dreadful they will become. Just prepare yourself to face them beforehand. For instance, if you get a phone call that you were not expecting, you need to take a few minutes and do one-minute meditation while assuring yourself that you can handle anything that comes your way.
When you worry a lot about what might happen your anxiety level increases. Remember, sometimes we worry about things that might never happen. What you need is an assurance that everything will be fine. Although uncertainty is part of life, facing the fear and exposure to therapy can help you learn to live with uncertainty and risk.
Those are some of the best ways remedies to relieve your anxious mind. Sometimes, by just sitting down and staying calm you can greatly quell the anxiety that’s disturbing your mind
Marcus regularly blogs at psysci, a psychology, science blog that examines the latest research and explains how findings can impact and improve people’s lives.