5 Ways to Cope with Anxiety
Anxiety is something that many people suffer from at some point in their life, with around 8 million people in the UK suffering from every year. It can make you feel trapped and unsure of where to turn, and can sometimes lead to further health issues. There are a variety of different ways to help alleviate feeling of anxiousness. Below is a list of 5 things that can help people cope to with anxiety:
- Exercise regularly
- Optimise your environment
- Have a support system in place
- Reduce caffeine intake
- Practice mindfulness and deep breathing
By incorporating these into your daily routine, you can help to alleviate feelings of anxiety, and thereby promote your overall health and mental wellbeing.
1. Exercise Regularly
Incorporating regular exercise into the daily routine can help you to reduce feelings of anxiousness. By putting your body through physical stress, you can ironically alleviate mental stress.
Exercise actually lowers the amount of stress hormones (e.g. cortisol) produced in your body. It can also promote the release of endorphins, helping to uplift your mood. Additionally, exercise can improve your quality of sleep, which can lead to reduced anxiety levels.
Make time every day or every week to go to the gym or do an exercise class – or take simple steps like walking to the shops or taking the stairs instead of the lift.
2. Optimise Your Environment
Creating a peaceful home environment can also help to alleviate feelings of anxiety. Using essential oils and drinking chamomile tea can help you to feel relaxed when coming home from the every-day stresses of life. Even having a room in the home when you can put your feet up and read or watch television can become your safe place.
Additionally, if you buy a weighted blanket, it can also help to reduce anxiety, especially when it comes to sleeping.
Weighted blankets help the body to relax, providing proprioceptive input to the brain so it can better place the body in its environment and help you to feel less restless.
Weighted blankets can also provide a range of other wonderful benefits; reducing levels of the stress hormone cortisol and increasing the production of serotonin and melatonin through the principles of deep pressure stimulation.
Therefore, you can help to de-stress by optimising your home environment, introducing products that help you to feel more relaxed at the end of the day.
3. Have a Support System in Place
Anxiety can often leave you feeling isolated from the rest of the world. However, it can really help to talk things through with someone, and get support from loved ones when you need it most.
It’s important to have a strong support system in place to help you get through the tougher times. Reaching out to family and friends, whilst maybe nerve-racking at first, can be a great way to help you cope when feeling anxious.
4. Reduce Caffeine Intake
Caffeine is found in numerous different beverages, such as tea, coffee and energy drinks. Whilst caffeine can help you to focus throughout the day, too much of it can cause increased anxiety (Source: Health.com)
Therefore, it might be best to reduce your caffeine intake and opt for alternatives such as decaffeinated tea or coffee, or mint tea.
5. Practice Mindfulness and Deep Breathing
Practicing both mindfulness and deep breathing can help you to alleviate feelings of anxiety. Through mindfulness, you bring your attention to the present moment in time, and meditate in this moment. This can help to alleviate negative and stress-inducing thoughts, and promote a sense of calm and relaxation.
Things like meditation along with deep breathing exercises can help to enhance this sense of calm, further alleviating feelings of anxiety. Deep breathing exercises help to activate what is known as the parasympathetic nervous system, slowing the heart rate down and promoting relaxation.
For busy people on the go, you can use apps such as Calm, Headspace, Stop Breathe and Think to help you relax when you are feeling anxious.