Seven Ways to Deal with Your Anxiety
1. Take a breath
First and foremost, just breathe!
Most of the time when things get a little overwhelming, we begin to breathe faster, or hyperventilate.
Hyperventilating can affect you in two ways at the molecular level:
Rapid breathing can reduce the amount of oxygen brought into the body, which supports normal brain and organ function
Rapid breathing can reduce the amount of carbon dioxide (or CO2) released with every breath
These outcomes can cause light-headedness and make you feel like your chest is tightening. Because of this, you can actually make your anxiety even worse.
Try simple breathing exercises to try and reduce the amount of anxiety you feel when stressed.
We all love something that smells good.
This is why aromatherapy, or the practice of using essential oils, has been used as a natural remedy for anxiety and stress relief.
In fact, studies have shown that releasing aromas like citrus, lavender, and chamomile can actually reduce anxiety and stress as well as improve mood, even in people who work in highly stressful conditions like hospitals.
As a fun fact, several different kinds of essential oils taken from many different types of medicinal plants have also shown promise in treating a variety of neurological disorders like dementia, cerebral ischemia (or stroke), and oxidative stress.
3. Stretch It Out
Getting in a good stretch by practicing yoga can help you reduce your anxiety and stress levels as well.
In fact, studies suggest that 9 weeks of yoga training can reduce anxiety and worry, even in people with chronic mood disorders.
Interestingly, even a single yoga session was able to reduce anxiety in younger people, which suggests that this mindfulness-based strategy can be effective in all ages.
4. Journal Your Emotions
What once used to be a hobby by many people around the world is now an effective strategy at reducing anxiety and managing stress: it’s called journaling.
When you find yourself in a pickle, try writing down your thoughts and feelings on some paper. Doing so engages you to truly feel and visualize what is going on in your mind.
At the same time, it allows you to engage muscles in the hand that may deter you from focusing on anxious thoughts.
Journaling can be an effective way to take the thoughts from your mind and lay them out so you can prioritize them.
Speaking to the example earlier in this article, having many tasks throughout the day can be daunting and be a significant source of anxiety.
In this case, try writing down each of these tasks and check them off one-by-one and see how much more manageable multiple tasks can be.
5. Dietary Changes
You are what you eat—or so they say.
This saying is actually becoming more factual than anecdotal in recent years.
In fact, studies have linked the health status of the gut with changes in mood and emotion.
Eating high-fat diets have been shown to increase anxiety levels in humans and rodents.
Moreover, consuming a high-protein, low-fat diet improved symptoms of anxiety in overweight and obese women, which suggests that low-fat diets may be necessary when dealing with a lot of stress.
Many other dietary choices like salmon, yogurt, dark chocolate, and turmeric have ingredients in them that have been shown to help with anxiety as well.
6. Supplements for Your Anxiety
Adding supplements like ashwagandha to your diet can help you reduce anxiety levels when dealing with stress. While more controlled studies are required to verify the effects of valerian root, it is still being used as a natural remedy for anxiety and stress—be cautious if you choose to include these in your diet and consult your physician.
Not only should you cut down on the high-fat diets to reduce anxiety, including exercise into your daily routine is also very helpful when it comes to managing stress levels.
In fact, swimming exercise was found to reduce anxiety as well as increase mood and quality of life in older people.
Furthermore, regular exercise may help boost mood and relieve anxiety by increasing levels of feel-good hormones like endorphins and cannabinoids in the brain.
If you aren’t someone who likes to run much, even resistance training was found to improve anxiety in older individuals, which suggests that simply challenging your body through any sort of exercise can be helpful in managing stress and anxiety.