Anxiety and panic attacks can manifest themselves in many different ways, and for that reason everyone experiences different feelings surrounding anxiety. But what can you do to reduce the affects of anxiety? The following may seem common sense, but can often either be overlooked or ignored. Take time to analyse what you do currently and what you could improve on. There are always ways in which you can improve what you currently do:
Drink more water
This may sound somewhat obvious, but it’s true. If you are dehydrated, your brain won’t function as well as it should, amplifying the affects of anxiety. Simply by drinking 8-glasses of water each day, spread out through the day will make you feel so much better and help to avoid fatigue.
Unfortunately, alcohol acts as a depressant, as well as dehydrating your body. If you are feeling low anyway, due to the anxiety, don’t think that alcohol will help. There’s a misconception that alcohol will help you to relax. It won’t, it will only make you feel even worse. Avoid at all costs.
Caffeine is a stimulant, and hence will raise your heart rate beyond what is normal. This isn’t a good idea when you are struggling to stay calm and relaxed. Avoid any high energy drinks, coffee or any other drinks that contain caffeine. There are plenty of alternatives, including redbush (Rooibos) tea. This is slightly sweeter than normal tea, but can be drunk the same, with milk etc. Also try the decaffeinated coffee if you can’t give up your daily fix.
Eat a balanced diet
Eating a balanced diet is so important when you have anxiety. Quite often people who are suffering from anxiety are low in vitamin-B. If possible, take supplements to boost your vitamin and mineral levels. Also, exercise increases your serotonin levels in the brain, which makes you feel happier.
Get some exercise
Like it or not, exercise can be great to relieve stress and anxiety. Depending on how you feel, try to get some exercise, even if it’s just a simple walk in the park. This doesn’t have to be strenuous, but will make you feel much better if you can achieve something.
Get plenty of rest
Some people find sleeping difficult when they have anxiety. I on the other hand found great relief when I went to bed at night. I knew that whilst I was asleep, I wasn’t constantly thinking of my breathing. If you’ve felt like this, you’ll know exactly what I mean. It was almost as if I couldn’t trust my own body to control my breathing. You then end up trying to concentrate on controlling your breathing, which in turn makes you even more anxious. There are also supplements that you can take at night to reduce your anxiety, such as valerian root. However consult your health shop staff first, as some supplements can be bad if for instance there has been breast cancer in your family.
In a modern world, nobody has time for anything. We all get caught up in the habit of keeping up with everybody else. This will do you no good. The world won’t end, just because you haven’t crammed enough into your day! Slow down, and plan your days. Be realistic. By making a plan and sticking to it, you’ll feel in much greater control and will feel a better sense of achievement if you stick to plan. Whilst you live in chaos, you feel out of control. This can only add to your level of anxiety.
Overcoming anxiety isn’t always easy, but just by making these minor adjustments to your life your anxiety level should reduce. Although this won’t cure panic attacks, many of the above could simply be habits that you’ve had for a long time. They won’t be the cause of your anxiety, but have added to the severity of your condition over time.