What to Do When Worry and Anxiety Get the Best of You
From sweaty palms before a huge presentation and an ever-increasing heartbeat, while giving a tough exam to sleepless nights due to your kid’s fever and that nervous sensation in the stomach over whether you did well in a job interview, anxiety and worry often get the best of most of us.
Being anxious and worrying over the smallest of things is part of being human that none of us can permentantly get rid of. It is natural to feel your chest tightening up as you flip open your exam paper or for your mind to race with endless thoughts and questions when you await a test result.
Adding to this, research shows that anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues in the world with more than 18 percent of adults in the US alone being affected by anxiety disorders every year.
Anxiety: You Must Take Action
You may read up on all the possible solutions and treatments for anxiety in the world, but no amount of reading will matter until you take control and take due action.
As you experience these nerve-wracking symptoms on a daily basis, the best way to control the shortness of breath and a restless body is to improve your anxiety symptoms, now with the help of some of the following fast-acting solutions.
Thankfully, there are some simple time-tested and easy fixes that have proven to be effective solutions for managing everyday apprehension.
Take Deep Breaths
As simple and common as this may sound, taking deep breaths have actually proven to be a great way for relieving elevated levels of anxiety. According to Marla Deibler, a clinical psychologist, deep breathing helps trigger our relaxation response that results in the relaxed and balanced response of our parasympathetic nervous system and switches off the flight-or-fight response of the sympathetic nervous system.
The key to deep breathing is to inhale slowly and count up till four on your fingers. Inhale all the way to your belly then to your chest and hold your breath till four counts. Gently exhale to the same number of counts and repeat this cycle until you feel at ease.
Exercise Helps Relieve Anxiety
Needless to say, exercising is an excellent way to release stress and burn off anxious energy, as also shown by research. According to a review conducted in 2015 which included 12 randomized controlled trials, exercise could be a possible treatment for anxiety.
Another study conducted in 2016 also produced similar results in which exercise seemed to control the kind of anxiety associated with stressful circumstances. The study suggested that exercising is a very effective measure for those people who struggle with anxiety related to quitting smoking.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Most of us are unable to get an adequate amount of sleep every night which results in various health complications. Not getting enough sleep at night can also trigger symptoms of anxiety which is why during the day you often find yourself worrying over things, experiencing shortness of breath and extreme restlessness.
If you also struggle with sleeping peacefully, try to engage yourself in relaxing and calming activities like taking a warm bath, taking deep breaths, listening to soothing music, etc. right before bedtime. Also, try to ensure that you get at least 8 hours of proper sleep each night.
Like exercise, meditation is a super effective technique to clear your mind, relieve your body off of all possible stressors and slow down fast, rapid and racing thoughts. Meditation contains a plethora of styles and strategies including meditation during yoga, and mindfulness, to name a few.
Mindfulness, in particular, has been gaining significant popularity in therapy in recent times. A meta-analytic review conducted in 2010 clearly showed that it is extremely useful and effective for people dealing with disorders that are associated with anxiety and mood.
It is simply a therapeutic technique through which people are made to achieve a certain kind of mental state by focusing all awareness and attention on the present moment followed by an acceptance of one’s thoughts, feelings, and bodily sensations.
Make Changes in Your Diet
Many substances like caffeine and alcohol are believed to be mind-altering substances that can induce long-term anxiety and panic in an individual. These are basically stimulants that trigger the adrenaline glands in the body to produce and release large amounts of adrenaline. Adrenaline is a hormone in the body which is also referred to as one of the body’s main stress chemicals.
You must include foods containing magnesium in your diet because this mineral has been shown to help relax the muscle tissue of the body. A magnesium deficiency can also lead to insomnia, anxiety, and depression. Try to incorporate foods like leafy green vegetables, low-fat dairy products, and whole grain cereals into your daily diet.
If you feel like your situational anxiety has started to interfere with your ability to function normally, you must go for therapy. One of the most effective therapeutic techniques has to be Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) which helps an individual understand how their thoughts directly affect their behavior and emotions. The main goal of CBT is to help replace those negative or adverse reactions with positive ones and further constructive alternatives.
CBT or any other kind of therapeutic measure simply helps a person understand what triggers their anxiety, how to deal with elevated anxiety levels and also suggests surefire ways of managing occasional anxiety.
Untreated anxiety, worry, and panic can lead to greater stress and anxiousness in a person’s life if no immediate action is taken. It is very important to deal with even the smallest symptom or trigger with the help of natural remedies, medication, changes in lifestyle, and therapy.
Different people may need combinations of different remedies and therapies in order to assess which one works best for them. In any case, treatment is vital, and one shouldn’t overlook the long-term consequences and effects of anxiety which can be quite detrimental.