Anxiety is dynamic. It can be exhausting, draining. Between the genetic disposition to anxiety and external factors like the COVID-19 pandemic, millions of people suffer from some form of anxiousness. Whether you have an anxiety disorder or only get worried when world events make you feel precarious, it is vital to remember that your anxiety doesn’t control you. Anxiety makes you feel like things aren’t going to be okay. It makes you feel physically tense and short of breath. Luckily, there are many things you can do to gain control of these symptoms. Below are five ways you can mitigate anxiety.
Believe it or not, one of the most important things you should do to get a handle on your anxiety is exercise. A lot of people don’t want to work out, but it doesn’t just provide physical elements. Cardio for an extended period of time will alleviate anxiety and help you feel more content. Exercise diverts your mind from anxiousness and moving your body decreases tension and lowers physical symptoms of anxiety. Activating the frontal region of the brain responsible for executive functioning, which helps the part of the brain called the amygdala that reacts to real or perceived threats in the individual’s environment. If you are feeling anxious, exercise is a proven treatment studied by the top universities.
Lack of sleep contributes to your anxiety more than you realize. When you’re tired, your brain isn’t capable of functioning the way it does when you are well-rested. The response increases levels of anxiety that you feel. Staying active is pivotal to decreasing your symptoms of anxiety, but so is getting enough rest. Take a look at your sleep habits. Are you getting enough sleep? Do you stay asleep through the night? How can you improve your sleep? Pay attention to how much rest you are getting to decrease your anxiety.
Drink Less Caffeine & Alcohol
Caffeinated and alcoholic beverages can also contribute to your anxiety. We’ve all felt the anxious over-caffeinated jitters. When you’re tired and you overcompensate with caffeine, you won’t be doing yourself a favor with your anxiety. It will probably get worse.
Furthermore, alcohol may ease the tensions of anxiety when you are drinking but the next day your levels of anxiety can spike. Another thing most people have experienced is the anxious hangover on Sunday morning. You have to go to work tomorrow and you waste the last day of the weekend feeling sick. This does not help your anxiety in the long-run. So if you’re feeling really anxious, the answer isn’t to consume more caffeine and alcohol, it’s to consume less.
Another helpful way to mitigate your anxiety is to practice mindfulness meditation. Every day try to sit in silence. If you cross your legs on a soft surface and close your eyes, your mind will wander. Every time it wanders, bring your thoughts back to the current moment. Focus on your breathing and the sounds around you. This is the process of teaching yourself mindfulness, being completely in the moment. When our minds are able to stay focused in the present, anxiety goes down considerably. You will be able to get control over these feelings and acknowledge that your thoughts of worry are not reality.
Try Remedies & Medications
When you have tried everything and you still can’t get your anxiety to go down, you can try using a variety of different treatments. CBD oil has been shown to mitigate anxiety, depression, PTSD, and more. If you try CBD and it doesn’t work for you, it might be time to see a psychiatrist for a prescribed medication to decrease your symptoms. Using Ativan, XanaX, or Hydroxyzine for anxiety may help you stay calm and treat feelings of worry. While you should try to get control over your anxiety without medication, if your disorder is bad enough you may have no other choice to feel better.
Anxiety is a multifaceted physical and mental feeling. It is different for everyone. Luckily, it is manageable. It doesn’t matter how bad your anxiety is, you can get a handle on it. Combine these methods as you see fit and as you work on it, you will begin to alleviate the stress and tension of anxiety.
Ryan Beitler is a writer and journalist who has written extensively about mental health.