Everyone will experience a degree of anxiety at some point in their lives. It is our body’s natural reaction to stressful situations such as job interviews, educational exams, or the death of a loved one. However, some may experience it more often than others, and that can turn into an anxiety disorder, in which the feelings of anxiety are uncontrollable and interfere negatively with daily life.
The most common symptoms of an anxiety disorder are mentally worrying more than usual and often over small things, regularly feeling tired even after just waking up, panic attacks, and constant avoidance of social situations. You may need to seek professional medical help for this extremity of anxiety if the tips we offer are not effective.
A number of different things can cause anxiety, and each case is individual. Nonetheless, some of the most common causes are overactivity in areas of the brain involved in emotions, imbalance of the brain chemicals serotonin and noradrenaline, past stressful or traumatic experiences, or genetics.
Within this guide, we will be discussing surprising ways to help overcome daily anxiety, in the hope that this will help you in your daily life.
Eating a Healthy and Balanced Diet
Food can affect your mood. When you are hungry, we are all guilty of getting irritable and often ‘hangry’... So, it makes sense that what we are putting in our bodies will alter our emotions and mood. If you are not eating vegetables, fruit, and other natural foods, then this may be contributing to your anxiety.
In order to reduce your anxiety levels, you should take a look at your diet and include more natural foods. You can find countless recipes online to avoid preservatives and other artificial ingredients in foods. This may lead to reduced anxiety levels and may overall boost your mood!
In particular, fermented food and drinks have been strongly associated with mental health benefits. Fermentation is a process of bacteria and yeast breaking down sugars in your body. Some of these foods include probiotic yogurt, sauerkraut, and kimchi— there are many more out there too.
Simply changing your diet to become healthier will not completely get rid of your anxiety, but can certainly contribute if you incorporate other lifestyle changes. Also, it can sometimes take up to 3 months for the nutrients to settle in your body and for you to see the benefits of introducing certain foods into your diet.
Limiting Caffeine Intake
It has been proven that excessive caffeine intake can amplify feelings of anxiety. Caffeine shakes up your nervous system in order to boost your energy, and too much of this can increase anxiety as it overstimulates your nervous system.
However, you do not have to give up caffeine completely! You can still enjoy your morning coffee or midday pick me up— it just needs to be drunk in moderation. Ideally, this is 0-2 caffeinated drinks per day. If you struggle to do this, you can pick up some decaffeinated coffee or herbal teas to ease the process.
Regular exercise has been long associated with good mental health and low levels of anxiety. Exercise consumes a lot of energy and concentration, so it can divert your attention away from anxious feelings and redirect it towards the task in front of you.
However, if you have an anxiety disorder, this may not help as effectively as those dealing with mild anxiety. Nonetheless, it is still important to regularly exercise as it can prevent further disorders that are linked with anxiety, such as phobias, OCD, and depression.
For a long time, yoga has been considered a great way to manage anxiety in people’s lives. Yoga can improve your mood and put you in a state of relaxation in both a physical and mental manner. Also, yoga counts as exercise, so it brings all the benefits other types of exercise brings.
Mediation has an endless amount of mental and physical health benefits as it can help you train your thoughts, relieve stress, and live in the moment (a phenomenon called mindfulness).
As meditation has been shown to help prevent stress, this translates to reducing anxiety. You can easily introduce meditation into your daily life as it will only consume 10-30 minutes of your time (depending on your preferences). There are thousands of guided meditation sessions on YouTube that will talk you through what to do in terms of what to think, how to breathe, how to move, and so on.
Also, there are various paid meditation apps out there like Headspace if you want to meditate on the go if you have a long commute to work or school.
Overall, meditation is a sustainable, non-time-consuming, and easy way to help you manage the anxieties and stressful situations in your life. Everyone should give it a try.
Improve Your Sleeping Schedule
A lack of sleep or oversleeping can significantly increase feelings of anxiety. Everybody needs the right amount of sleep in order to function properly in everyday life. The optimal amount of sleep is 7-9 hours for adults.
There are ways to train your body into falling asleep by a certain time. The best and most successful way is to develop a nightly routine to follow through as it will trick your body into thinking when you begin the routine that you are tired. Some great things to include in your nightly routine (which can actually improve your mental health) are reading for 30 minutes, a skincare routine, a gratitude journal, and turning your phone off after a certain time.
You should also consider getting up in the morning 10-15 minutes earlier than you actually need to, as this can reduce anxieties around being late and reduce the need to rush around. With this extra time in the morning, you will be able to take your time, get to work or school early, and prepare, or if you are feeling extra productive, you may want to meditate.
Writing down your thoughts, feelings, and emotions can help you clear your mind from anxiety in your life. This can be done by just grabbing a random scrap of paper and a pen and writing down your stream of consciousness and just throw it away afterward. This will help you live in the moment and let go of any anxiety.
Or, you can conduct this in a more organized way like with a journal that you write in every night about your day, your thoughts, or your plans for the next day. Another journal idea is a gratitude journal, in which you can write down three things you are grateful for in your life; this can be anything from being thankful for your loved ones or even that you have found a great new TV show! This can allow you to live in the moment and appreciate the good in your life.
Self Love Through Self Care
Loving yourself is a great feeling! However, it can be difficult to do at times, especially when we are not at a mental peak. However, self love can reduce feelings of anxiety due to its power of distraction and boosting your respect for yourself.
So, a great way to feel amazing about yourself is through self care, which can easily be done on a daily basis. Self care can just be regularly applying skincare products, going for a walk while listening to your favorite album, painting your nails, having your favorite food for dinner, and so on. Simple acts can qualify for self care if you commit to performing them on a regular basis.
The best thing to do for overcoming anxiety is to not overwhelm yourself with an abundance of tasks all at once. So, we suggest that you do not try all of what we have advised all at once, as it will likely increase your feelings of anxiety. Ideally, you should try 1-3 of these tips at once, and start at the shallow end and build your way up.
Something to keep in mind is that you can’t simply ignore your anxiety and expect it to go away. One of the best ways to move through your anxiety is to pay attention to it and allow yourself to feel it, so that you can allow it to pass. Trying to force it away may not work the way you’re hoping that it will. Additionally, once you start allowing yourself to feel your anxiety, it may make it easier to identify triggers in your life such as overworking, family issues, or drama between friends. Whatever it is— you can work through it with some motivation!
We hope this guide to overcoming anxiety with surprising tips you may not have previously thought of has helped you in some shape or form and will help improve your life.