With ever-busy lives often juggling the pressures of work and parenthood, it is little wonder stress levels are higher than ever. Anxiety disorders are becoming more prevalent over time, and can be completely debilitating, often ruining relationships and career outcomes. While medical treatments exist for more severe cases, anxiety management specialists explain how changing your daily habits can go a long way towards breaking the loop. Here are their top 5 tips:
1. Cutting Down On Social Media
Studies show that excessive social media use can lead to depressive outcomes. For those prone to anxiety, it can also fill your mind with worry of dangers, FOMO, and other negative thoughts. Instead of focusing on photos of people having a great time, understand that these posts don’t express a holistic view of peoples’ lives, and that perpetuating social media use will do nothing to help your mindset.
While trite, exercise is one of the biggest alleviators of stress, anxiety, and other mood ailments. A ten minute daily walk will start to help you feel better. When you walk, keep good posture: instead of staring at the floor and feeling bad, make a point of keeping your head up, walk tall and look up. This will actually trigger your mind to become more alert and help lift your mood.
3. Breathing Techniques
You can trigger your biological relaxation process by extending your breath. Hold your breath for five seconds and exhale and count to eleven. Then breathe in for a count of seven and repeat for one minute. This will relax your mind and help you think more clearly to calm your anxiety.
4. Challenging Your Assumptions
Anxiety often stems from fear of disaster, even when disaster is unlikely. Since worry and dread are the primary drivers, these scenarios can rapidly become worse until it feels as if it is almost certain to happen. To rid yourself of these thoughts, start by challenging them. What is the percentage chance that this scenario will occur? What is the worst consequence of this outcome? Are you being rational given the consequences? In recognizing the irrationality and understanding that the worst case is not the only possible thing that could happen, you start to dilute the hold of anxiety.
5. Finding Your Mental Peace of Mind
Just like having a computer with a full memory and trying to run several applications at once, an anxious brain struggles to concentrate, focus or think logically. Start finding some time to cool your brain down and give it some space. Using meditation, mindfulness or relaxing music can help to clear your thoughts and quickly give your mind some time off. New to meditation? Use audiobooks or guided meditation like Headspace: https://www.headspace.com/.
This post was written by Allison Chang. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.