Anxiety Coping Mechanisms
Do you suffer from anxiety? Whether it’s your everyday stress, an anxiety disorder, or something that comes in the form of panic attacks, there’s a lot that can be done to help holistically. In my last article, I talked about twenty things that you can do instead of mindlessly eating. In this article, we’ll look at anxiety and the little things that you can do to ease your anxiety when you’re feeling stressed. Anxiety is one of those things that we often do not have control over. It can take a toll on your mental health and give you a feeling of overwhelming helplessness. Maybe you have a social gathering, and everyone is huddled up in a group talking about the latest iPhone, but you just don’t know where you fit in, so you just take go to the bathroom and hide. Perhaps you have a project coming up, and the nature of your job gives you anxiety over the situation. You don’t know whether you’ll meet the deadline, so you worry and you hyperventilate. Believe it or not, anxiety is becoming a major part of our lives. It trickles into our lives in many forms, but I have some good news to share. If you struggle with any of these things, it may be time to invest a little time in trying some of these activities that may help you gain some relief.
I know that this one is a little tricky, but crying can be really cleansing and good for your emotional health as well. Sometimes when things well up and you feel like there is nowhere to pour out your festered feelings of anxiety, retreat to a quiet place and let it all out. The physical effects of crying show that once crying stops, the body moves from a state of high arousal to one more associated with relaxation. Breathing and heart rate slows, sweating decreases and the period of the relaxed state tends to last longer than the time spent crying. There’s nothing like a good cry to help you flush out those negative feelings.
Count 1 to 1000 Before You Explode
Depending on how you express your anxiety, anxiety can be really hard to deal with because it often can make us feel like we have no control over our feelings or actions, and this is the time to pause and count to 1,000. A co-worker might get on your nerve, or even try to slight you in front of your boss, adding to your anxiety and this is the time to slow down and count. Do it before you explode.
Light a Candle
Aromatherapy is an excellent way of soothing your anxiety. Candles come in different shapes, sizes, and smells. Find the one that suits you and stick with it. There are specific candles that are meant to turn your anxious nerves. Find them, and invest in them Light them in your living room, bathroom and bedroom. You’ll be glad that you did.
Pray or Meditate
Sometimes taking out quiet time to sit somewhere and pray or meditate, depending on your preference, can help to put a lot of things into perspective. Connecting to a higher power can also be an incredible source of strength and gives you the knowledge that everything will fall into place.
Yoga is a form of exercise, so of course, it is very beneficial to our overall health. It gets you moving, enhances your fitness, improves your strength and of course, helps to curb your anxiety and stress. We all know the dangerous havoc that stress can do to our bodies. Yoga does amazing wonders when it comes to holistically plugging into a source of relief for anxiety. Yoga is especially powerful because it gives you an opportunity to unplug, and focus on the present. It also has the ability to tame stress and fosters more stability within your body.
Eat Magnesium-Rich Foods
Magnesium is a calming and relaxing mineral. It helps to regulate the nervous system and can also help people cope with stress so that they can prevent anxiety, fear, nervousness, restlessness, and irritability. There are certain foods which are rich in magnesium and can help you with anxiety. Knowledge is power, and I have you covered on some of the foods that you can try, they are; dark chocolate, spinach, turnip greens, broccoli, kiwi, berries (blueberries, Goji berries, blackberries), tea, salmon, romaine lettuce, bananas, avocados, mushrooms, milk, and oatmeal to name a few. These are great for your body as well as your mind, so it’s totally a win-win situation.
Breathing is a useful tool to prevent panic attacks, the frequency of the types of breaths that you take throughout the day is also a great marker of where your anxiety level is at. Short, shallow breaths signify a high amount of stress and anxiety within the brain and body. On the other hand, consciously breathing, plus lengthening and strengthening the breath helps send signals to the brain that you are relaxed, and everything is under control. Practicing different breathing techniques can help you keep your anxiety in check when it feels like you’re about to lose it. I just did it, and it works!
Use a Vision Board
If the future seems big and scary, try changing the thoughts about what lies ahead for you and what you can envision. Often times, the mere fact that you are setting concrete goals can take the edge off anxiety about future unknowns. Take out enough time out of your day to produce a vision board that creates excitement about projects and possibilities to come. And if you aren’t the crafty type like me, try making an e-vision board (there are many online tools for this). While making the board, try as much as possible to use the T.H.I.N.K. tool: Is my thought true, helpful, inspirational, necessary and kind? If not, dump the thought immediately.
Avoid These Foods
Just like there are certain types of food that cause anxiety, there are also certain foods that significantly increase anxiety. Our bodies are so smart because they tell us which foods are good for our bodies holistically and not just physically. The following liquid and solid foods are foods that you absolutely need to avoid if you want to stay on course with your mental health and reduce the levels of anxiety that you experience, and they are: alcohol, fast food, soda, coffee, biscuits, sweets sugary rolls and danishes, frozen meals, fried food, anything that contains artificial sweeteners, processed foods, processed meat and so on. Basically, don’t eat anything that your Mother would not be proud of you eating.
What are your thoughts on these? If you are reading this you probably have a loved one who suffers from anxiety, or perhaps you do as well. What has worked for you in the past and what hasn’t worked quite as well? It is important to be patient with yourself and to know that it is going to take a while, a whole lot of patience, and a whole lot of doing the right things consistently. Do not underestimate the power of a good diet, and the power of planning ahead in advance. It could be that you are planning a date, a vacation, or something else. Whatever it is, plan it and you’ll feel a sense of control over the situation as well as a rush of happiness.