Fifteen Ways to Deal with Anxiety

Feelings of unease, such as worry or fear, can easily overpower you. However, if you take charge of the situation, then you'll be able to deal with your anxiety.
Fifteen Ways to Deal with Anxiety

Last update: 15 January, 2020

Do you feel that you’re constantly hanging by a thread? Do feel like you have no other choice but to live with emotional and physical anxiety? Such a high level of stress can be dangerous to your health. The good news is, there are ways to deal with anxiety.

Anxiety is normal and even helpful during very specific instances. The problems begin when it gets a hold of you and becomes chronic. Then, you become paranoid and see danger or complications where there aren’t any and you worry about all of the negative outcomes that could result without truly having a good reason to be concerned.

“Anxiety is like a voice that chases you and uses your insecurities against you,” explains psychologist Ilene Strauss Cohen, a professor at Barry University in Florida.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at this.

Anxiety: A Global Health Problem

A seemingly depressed or anxious woman.
People afflicted by anxiety experience a constant sense of fear in certain situations.

Some estimates claim that there are 246 million people in the world dealing with chronic anxiety. The Anxiety and Depression American Association considers it the most common mental epidemic of our era and warns of its consequences on our general health.

When you’re afflicted by anxiety, your brain releases adrenaline, cortisol and other hormones that impact the normal behavior of our body.

For that reason, you may experience discomfort and some side effects such as:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Depression
  • High blood pressure
  • Loss of appetite
  • Digestive disorders such as constipation or diarrhea
  • A weakened immune system
  • Exhaustion
  • Loss of sexual desire

Ways to Deal with Anxiety

Anxiety is most often in the mind and not based on reality, so there are various ways to help you manage it.

However, the way you treat your body has a direct impact on your mind. That’s why healthy foods and healthy habits will improve your mental health.

Deal with Anxiety and Take Care of Your Body

A woman anxiously eating pizza by the toilet.
Adopting good habits will help you get rid of anxiety.

1. Limit Your Caffeine Intake

Studies indicate that caffeine worsens anxiety as it doubles cortisol levels in the blood and, in turn, reduces Gamma-aminobutyric acid, a natural body relaxant.

2. Eliminate or Reduce Alcohol Consumption

It’s true that alcohol helps you relax and, although that’s partly true in moderate amounts, it’s excessive consumption and subsequent effects will worsen your feelings of anxiety.

Alcohol alters your serotonin levels, which elevates your stress levels. According to studies, 20% of people afflicted by anxiety are highly dependent on alcohol.

3. Maintain a Balanced Diet

There are more than 10 million neurotransmitters between our digestive tract and our brain that communicate back and forth. So, what you eat does affect your mind and you must include proteins, carbohydrates, and vegetables in each meal. Also, snack on fruit in between meals and drink plenty of fluids.

Foods rich in folate, a type of vitamin B, such as asparagus, watercress, spinach, and nuts, and those rich in vitamin B6, such as fish, chicken, bananas, and vegetables, greatly stimulate the production of serotonin. The reason why it’s in the group “happiness hormones.”

4. Eat Three Full Meals a Day and Two Small Ones in Between

People afflicted by anxiety have a tendency to skip meals.

The Anxiety and Depression Association of America warns the public that skipping meals can generate other disorders that are a lot more harmful and complicated, such as anorexia and bulimia, in the long run.

5. Get Enough Sleep

Anxiety can lead to sleep disturbances and lack of sleep increases anxiety. When sleeping 8 hours, there’s a reduction in body temperature, heart rate, and nerves, and all of this decreases the levels of anxiety.

It’s been shown that sleeping clears the mind and helps you see things from a clearer perspective.

6. Deal with Anxiety with Exercise

When exercising, the body releases the endorphins that keep pain in check and this produces a feeling of well-being. Exercise also helps you sleep better, reduces mental fatigue, and improves cognitive ability.

A woman seemingly happy because she won a marathon.
Change your attitude in order to counteract your anxiety.

7. Accept that You Can’t Control Everything

Change your perspective in regard to all your possible stressful situations and focus only on the important things you can solve. Many times, your fears make you perceive situations under a darker light than they really are. Focusing only on solutions because all problems have a solution.

If something doesn’t have a solution, then it isn’t a problem. Worry only about those things you can control. It’ll reduce your anxiety levels.

8. Always Do Your Best

Don’t look for perfection or torment yourself when things don’t go the way you thought they “should have.” Here’s a little secret: true perfection doesn’t exist.

Be proud of your achievements and learn what you can from your failures. Nobody ever learned anything from succeeding at something the first time they tried.

9. Keep a Positive Attitude

Recognize that a lot of your fears are unjustified. Everything – even bad situations – have a positive side and they’re always temporary. So, keep your mind focused on everything positive that surrounds you.

10. Discover Your Fears

Analyze which situations make you feel anxious. To do so, you can even keep a diary. Normally there’s a similar pattern. It could be the difficulty of working with your boss, distrust towards the actions of others or just the overload of duties that you’re forced to do, for example.

Once you discover the causes of your anxiety, try to solve it on your own or seek help from professionals.

11. Trust Yourself

Be aware that you can overcome any situation that you confront in one way or another. In fact, you’ve always done it. Otherwise, you would not be where you are. So, you can be successful from good and bad situations all the same.

Everything in life is about overcoming all kinds of obstacles. Once you learn to trust your ability to move forward, your anxiety will slowly disappear.

A meditating poser.
If you’re afflicted by anxiety, certain breathing exercises or meditation will help you reduce stress.

There are exercises and activities that can help to overcome anxiety. To do so, you must also occupy your mind with positive things. Let’s take a look at some of the exercises.

12. Breath Deeply

Deep breathing exercises help oxygenate your brain and regulate your heart rhythm. Also, take some time off your busy schedule daily to focus on your breathing.

Just five minutes in the morning before you start the day or when you return home will do wonders for your health.

13. Take Time Off

Breaks are necessary for your health and your mind.

Get away from situations that cause you to stress out, even if it’s only temporarily. This doesn’t mean you’re not going to solve them, but you can leave them aside sometimes.

Then, take some time off and breath deeply, it’ll help you gain a different perspective on everything. Do other activities instead such as going to the movies, doing community work or taking a class.

14. Deal with Anxiety and Meditate

If you’re not familiar with meditation, you can get a start in yoga or meditation centers. If you already know how to do it, then get to it and dedicate it at least 20 minutes a day.

Doing so will train your mind to help you control the destructive thoughts that lead to your anxiety.

15. Visit a Specialist

If you think you may be afflicted with anxiety and it’s out of your control, don’t hesitate to seek the help of a psychotherapist or any other professional with the capacity to help you manage it.

It’s amazing how much it can help.

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