Chronic anxiety creates a difficult life. Anxiety and disease are related. Heart palpitations, headaches, insomnia and strained relationships are only a few of the effects of living with chronic anxiety.
What is Anxiety?
According to the American Psychological Association, anxiety is a broad range of disorders defined by feelings of tension, worried thoughts and physical changes. Anxiety disorders can trigger nervousness, apprehension and fear and their severity can range from mildly unsettling to debilitating. (1)
Some of the most common anxiety disorders today include the following:
-Generalized Anxiety Disorder
-Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
– Post Traumatic Stress
-Social Anxiety Disorder
While you might feel alone if you’re living with anxiety, the truth is that these disorders affect more than 40 million people across the United States, making it the most common category of mental illnesses in the country. Even so, just over a third of sufferers receive adequate treatment. (1)
Dealing with anxiety can be a lifelong struggle, as most people first develop the symptoms during childhood in their teenage years. Women under 35 tend to be the most diagnosed population, especially those living in western countries. (1)
Anxiety manifests itself differently for everyone, but the symptoms usually include a sense of losing control, either through nightmares, panic attacks or a feeling that there is a disconnect between your mind and body. Many people with anxiety struggle to fall asleep or can’t concentrate on what’s in front of them. (1)
Ways to Reduce Anxiety
1-Practice Relaxation Techniques
Deep breathing lowers your stress levels. You can practice the 4-7-8 breathing method by exhaling completely, then inhaling through your nose for four counts. Hold your breath as you count to seven and then release it for a count of eight. Do this at least three times whenever you feel a wave of anxiety.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy from a qualified counselor can also be helpful.
Exercise helps you release stress energy and also increases self-esteem. Research indicates that at least 21 minutes is needed to lower anxiety levels.
Outdoor workouts are even better because they boost Vitamin D levels and GABA, a calming neurotransmitter. Exercising among trees is even more effective.
3-Organize your thoughts by writing
Journaling is effective for some people as a way to understand the source of anxiety. Creative writing can process anxiety to the end point.
4-Spend Time With Animals
Animals provide unconditional love and the care of them organizes and calms the mind.
5-Practice Time Management Strategies
A lot of stress comes from feeling like you have lost control of your schedule. Taking the time to organize your life with a calendar will help to lower your levels of anxiety.
Both Chamomile and Green Tea are known to have beneficial anxiety reducing compounds.
7-Stay Full of Healthy Foods
It’s common for people with anxiety to skip breakfast. It’s much better to fill up on a satisfying meal early in the day to remain in control throughout the morning.
More Strategies to Reduce Anxiety
-Get 8 hours of sleep each night
-Laugh, loud and often, a merry heart does good, like a medicine!
(1) AFPA, Claire Riley, B.S.