Anxiety is a widespread condition and it is affecting millions of people globally. Anxiety involves feelings of distress, fear, and apprehension. Anxiety is typically experienced on cognitive, emotional, and physical levels. Experiencing occasional anxiety is a normal part of life. But, someone who experiences symptoms for 6 months or longer may have a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). The symptoms of GAD include psychological and physical symptoms, such as:
- Feeling nervous, restless or tense
- Excessive worry about everyday events and problems
- Increased heart rate
- Having trouble while sleeping
- Difficulty concentratingDifficulty for controlling worry
- Issues with their personal social and work relationships
- Having the urge to avoid things that trigger anxiety.
With an anxiety disorder, it’s important to look into strategies that can help manage or overcome anxiety in the long term like talk therapy or medication. But, everyone can overcome anxiety by changing lifestyle such as eating a well-balanced diet, limiting alcohol and caffeine, and taking time for yourself.
Fortunately, by changing some simple habits and lifestyle can make to overcome your anxiety. Listed below some ways to help you cope with your feelings of anxiety.
How to Overcome Anxiety by Changing Lifestyle
1. Maintain a Positive Attitude
Depression and anxiety start with a series of negative thoughts. A positive attitude leads to success and happiness. and helps you cope more easily with the daily affairs of life. It brings optimism into your life and makes it easier to avoid worries and negative thinking.
Other benefits of a positive attitude are:
- Happiness and joy in life
- Improved self-esteem and self-image
- Good relationship with family and friends
- More closeness and intimacy
- More success at work, school, or with hobbies and sports
- Increased motivation
- More energy
- Improved sense of well-being.
2. Practice Deep Breathing
Our breathing changes when we feel anxious. Deep breathing is a technique that helps you slow down your breathing when feeling stressed or anxious. Newborn babies naturally breathe this way, as do singers, wind instrument players, and yoga practitioners. Deep breathing increases the supply of oxygen to your brain and stimulates the parasympathetic nervous system, which promotes a state of calmness. Deep breathing involves taking smooth, slow and regular breaths. Practice this simple breathing technique:
- Begin by getting into a comfortable seated position
- Take a slow breath in through the nose, breathing into your lower belly (for about 4 seconds)
- Hold your breath for 1 or 2 seconds
- Exhale slowly through the mouth (for about 4 seconds)
- Wait a few seconds before taking another breath.
6-8 breathing cycles per minute is often helpful to decrease anxiety.
3. Do Exercise
There is a link between being physically active and enjoying positive mental wellbeing. Furthermore, researchers have proved that being physically active can protect people against depression and anxiety as it causes chemical changes in the brain which can positively change the mood. It also brings about a sense of greater self-esteem, self-control and the ability to rise to a challenge.
Some of the mental benefits of physical exercise include:
- Less tension, stress and mental fatigue
- Improved sleep
- Focus in life and motivation
- Less anger or depression
- A better social life.
4. Stop Being a Night-Owl
Going to bed early and getting a good night’s sleep is one of the small steps you can take to improve anxiety. Late bedtimes and lack of proper sleep are linked to increased anxiety. A study from the University of Barcelona has found that night owls are more likely to suffer from mood disorders, depression and mental illness. So if you’re staying up late watching Netflix or playing video games, you’re wasting your life!
5. Stay Away from Drugs and Alcohol
Some people resort to the consumption of alcohol in an effort to deal with their anxiety issues. While alcohol can reduce anxiety temporarily, it can also increase anxiety within just a few hours of consumption. This includes even moderate amounts of alcohol, and the effects on anxiety can last into the following day. A study done by the University of North Carolina School of Medicine showed that excessive drinking can lead to the rewiring of the brain. This can make an individual more susceptible to the development of anxiety problems. While alcohol abuse can increase a person’s risk for a traumatic event that could lead to post-traumatic stress disorder.
6. Eat Healthy
A well-balanced diet with adequate fruits, vegetables, lean meats, and healthy fats remains a good recommendation for those who struggle with anxiety. Avoiding processed foods and foods high in sugar means the body experiences fewer highs and lows of blood sugar, which helps to further overcome feelings of anxiety.
Some of the following tips may be useful for you to overcome anxiety:
- Avoid sugar and processed food
- Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and smoking cigarettes
- Eat foods rich in zinc, like whole grains, oysters, kale, broccoli, legumes, and nuts
- Eat foods rich in magnesium: fish, avocado, dark leafy greens
- Eat foods rich in vitamin B, such as asparagus, leafy greens, meat, and avocado
- Eat foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, for example, wild caught salmon
- Eat probiotic-rich foods like kefir, yogurt, and other fermented foods.
7. Go to Nature
There is a strong connection between time spent in nature and reduced negative emotions. Spending time in nature can help relieve stress and anxiety, improve your mood, and boost feelings of happiness and wellbeing.
Countless studies have proven that nature has a positive effect on your mental health. What you see, hear, and experience in nature can improve your mood in a moment. Getting outdoors doesn’t have to be a lot of work. There are lots of simple ways you can get quality time in nature. planning a day trip or taking a walk in the woods to spend some time outside is a good way to give your mind and body a much-needed break from the hustle and bustle that causes your anxiety and stress in the first place.
8. Read Books
Whenever you feel low, depressed or stressed, Just open your current novel or anything column that you enjoy reading and let yourself lose free in the words. Stories and words especially hold a great deal of power to read and heal the human mind. When you move ahead in the story through characters, your thoughts and inhibitions travel with you. It’s said that, when you have a book, you have a friend. Reading reduces feelings of loneliness. A reduction in these traits can help treat many mental health problems such as anxiety and depression.
9. Take Aromatherapy
Aromatherapy is a branch of herbal medicine that uses the essential oils found in plants for their healing or medicinal properties. Aromatherapy is widely used to overcome anxiety, stress and detoxify the body, and to treat specific conditions. There are a number of ways to use aromatherapy. If you have a serious condition, you may want to contact an experienced aromatherapist who can help guide you.
Research shows that aromatherapy can have many benefits on mental health. Such as:
- Boost feelings of relaxation
- Ease stress, anxiety, and depression
- Improve sleep
- Help improve quality of life for people with long-term health problems like dementia.
10. Limit Social Media Intake
Social networking sites have become part of twenty-first-century people’s lives. Different social networking sites seem to be a modern means of facilitating our connection with others, sharing activities and news, and keeping in touch with friends. But, an experimental study by psychology researchers at the University of Pennsylvania has shown for the first time a causal link between social media use and lower rates of well-being. Loneliness appears to have a reciprocal relationship with social anxiety. Social anxiety is an anxiety problem where a person has an excessive and unreasonable fear of social situations. Social anxiety is known to facilitate loneliness, but loneliness also increases social anxiety and feelings of paranoia. In this sense, the researchers recommend limiting social media use to 30 minutes per day to improve your mood and mental health.
After all, besides changing this lifestyle to overcome anxiety, it’s important to know that finding and understanding the root cause of anxiety often makes it easier to handle. Many therapists agree that this is essential for moving forward. To truly overcome anxiety, panic and agoraphobia, you must first accept the fear, face it, relax into it, and expose it for what it is.