How Can Small Changes In Your Life Help Battle Your Anxiety Disorder?
It is okay to feel down sometimes, and it is normal to have anxiety now and then. But if you have been experiencing anxiety attacks for more than six months, you might want to get serious about your health. Slow down from this hustle lifestyle and calm your anxiety disorder.
Against many normal beliefs, anxiety attacks can start anytime, anywhere. You don’t have to be in a packed elevator or at gunpoint to experience it. You can be just sitting on your couch watching your favourite movie, and boom! The attack can start with just a surge of fear, followed by a pounding heart, sweating, and lack of breath. And before you know it, you have an anxiety attack that can last up to 20 minutes.
How to Fight Anxiety?
There are various types of anxiety, including generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety, separation anxiety, etc. People with anxiety may develop its symptoms at an early age. Every person has a different experience, and their anxiety triggers are other. Hence, there are no answers to questions like what causes anxiety or how to reduce or control the anxiety attack.
While seeking help from an experienced one is recommended, you can follow these small ways to fight anxiety attacks without medications.
1. A Little Chit-Chat to the Rescue
Nothing compares to a light-hearted chit-chat with your friend, partner, or loved ones. It can be therapeutic and help you calm down your jumping nerves. If you have someone who checks up on you and listens to you calmly, you can discuss your anxiety with them.
Just let go of the fear of being judged. The more you fight your anxiety while trying to curb it, the more difficult it can get. A healthy release of emotion is necessary to destroy the pent-up frustrations. Seeking a friend for help can actually make you feel more relaxed. Talk about things that trigger you. Some common crazy suggestions from your friends may include punching a pillow or shouting at the top of your lungs. Do whatever it takes to calm yourself down and reduce your anxiety organically.
2. Exercises That Can Help You Relax
Although exercising can be the last thing on your mind while fighting anxiety attacks, many exercises for anxiety have proved beneficial. Meditation and yoga help you relax your body and mind; hence, many suggest exercising to calm your racing heart.
Adding exercise to your daily routine can improve your physical health and relax your racing mind. Cycling to your favourite location and skipping ropes are some of the easy and best forms of exercise that you can follow. Adding your favourite sport to your weekly to-do list can also prove to be a beneficial choice.
Some other forms of exercise for anxiety include:
- Relax by breathing slowly. Focus on your breath while keeping one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach.
- You can also do the “imagine your happy place” exercise. Just close your eyes and imagine the place that has made you feel happy and alive while breathing slowly, and it can magically help your heart to calm down.
- You can relax your tensed muscles with the help of exercises. Making a tight fist while slowly breathing and then letting it go can help you let go of the stress.
- Chanting a mantra, your favourite lyrics, or counting can also help you relax your breathing. The idea is to divert your mind that is stuck on your anxious thoughts.
3. Stay at Present and Acknowledge Your Anxiety Attacks
It is normal to distract yourself during anxiety building, but it can be unhealthy. It is better to focus on your anxiety. Without fighting your symptoms, try focusing on your breathing. During anxiety attacks, your breaths become quick and shallow. Try adjusting your breathing by inhaling from your nose and exhaling from your mouth.
Practice mindfulness. Tell yourself repeatedly that the phase will pass. You can also close your eyes and acknowledge your attack reasons. But try not to dwell too much on the triggers. After some time, you will feel anxiety fade away.
4. Take a Break from Caffeine
A cup of coffee or chocolate may sound tempting, but staying a good distance from caffeine is best if you do not want to worsen your anxiety. In contrast, they give your system a jolt. But when you are under pressure, these energy boosters can trigger anxiety attacks.
You can slowly reduce your caffeine intake and check how you feel. It is better to switch to much healthier options. Green tea is the best choice, and it does not have any side effects like caffeine and is good for your immune system and can calm your mind and nerves.
5. Improve Your Sleep Cycle
Anxiety symptoms include loss of sleep. Suppose you are someone who purposely limits the amount of sleep for the sake of work or binge-watching your favourite show. You must stop. A human needs a good amount of sleep (generally eight to nine hours) to function properly.
Limit your screen time and add activities such as reading books or listening to soothing music before bed. Developing a bedtime routine can be a healthy choice for reducing anxiety attacks. Add activities that can help you sleep like a baby.
6. Let Go of the Guilt That’s Holding You Back
One of the main reasons behind the increasing stress is people cannot say no to others. The tendency to make everyone around you can worsen your anxiety disorder. If you have shown anxiety attack symptoms before, then putting everyone’s happiness above yours can only worsen things.
7. Go For a Healthy Diet
While you make changes in your lifestyle to avoid anxiety attacks, there are still chances for them if you are not taking a proper diet. A balanced diet not only gives you enough nutrients for your physical tasks but also helps make your moods better. People with anxiety tend to skip a meal or two when they experience anxiety symptoms. Research also suggests that proper meal intake with the right nutrition can improve the symptoms.
Add healthy fruits, yoghurt, egg, and nuts such as brazil nuts to your meal. Improved physical health can help you calm your mind as well. Avoid foods with a high level of sugar, salt, and trans-fat. You can also add green tea, which significantly reduces stress and relaxes your mind. It is the perfect replacement for soft drinks, coffee, and alcoholic drinks.
8. Live the Moment
If you worry about past mistakes and future plans, you will likely develop an anxiety disorder. Worrying about things you cannot control is a sign that you must slow down and sit on the passenger seat for a while. You can not always sit behind the wheel and take your life wherever you want.
Practice the act of letting go. Mindfulness and meditation are tools to ease your anxiety. Focusing too much on the things you cannot control can only unleash the beast named anxiety.
While seeking a doctor for anxiety is okay, you can make slight changes to your lifestyle to tackle your anxiety issues yourself. It can be challenging to live with anxiety disorder, and the constant fear and worry can eat your energy. Introducing small changes, adding healthy habits to your list, and eating a healthful diet can positively affect your mental health.
If your anxiety symptoms do not reduce, it is best to consult a psychologist. With the help of medications and small changes in your lifestyle, you can live a life free from anxiety. This way, you can thrive in your professional and personal life.
What are the 5 symptoms of anxiety?
The common symptoms of anxiety include:
- Feeling tense, restless, or nervous
- Increased heart rate
- Feeling weak throughout the day
- Having trouble sleeping
What are the types of anxiety disorders?
There are several types of anxiety disorder:
- Social anxiety disorder
- Panic disorder
- Separation anxiety disorder
- Generalised anxiety disorder
What happens when you experience anxiety?
When you have an anxiety attack, all the functions needed for the moment start shutting down. Anxiety test takers cannot remember the answers because memory shuts down when you are in a panic state. Sometimes, people with anxiety disorder experience improper digestion during anxiety.
What is the difference between anxiety attacks and panic attacks?
Anxiety attack has clear triggers, while panic attacks can start unexpectedly. Unlike anxiety attacks, which can last up to 20 minutes, panic attacks only last for a few minutes.
What are the common panic attack symptoms?
Panic attack symptoms include:
- Discomfort in the stomach
- Hot flashes
- Chest pain
When is it best to seek professional help?
Experiencing discomfort, nervousness, and worry is normal. But when it gets to a point where you cannot perform your daily task, it becomes a problem. If neglected, it can have many adverse effects on your life. When the situation arises where anxiety holds you back from performing daily tasks, then it is the right time to seek professional help.
Is it okay if I take anti-anxiety drugs?
Yes, only when your doctor prescribes it to you. It is best to speak about your anxiety symptoms to your psychiatrist. If your doctor suggests inculcating some lifestyle changes, you must follow the suggestion. If the changes in activities can no longer help you, they will prescribe medicines. It is up to you and your doctor to decide which option is best for you.
What is the 333 rule in anxiety disorder?
Whenever you feel your heart racing, your mind is going numb, and your breathing becomes shallow, you can practice the 333 rule. In this, psychologists suggest you name three sounds you hear or move three different body parts and point out three things you see. During anxiety attacks, your brain shuts down functions for that moment. The idea behind this rule is to ask your mind to work and make you do things that can distract you.
What happens when you leave your anxiety untreated?
Untreated anxiety can result in mental disorders such as depression or substance abuse. If not treated properly, people with anxiety are prone to show self-harm behaviour. They also have a higher risk of committing suicide. It is best to seek professional help and change your lifestyle to live a beautiful and healthy life.
What can cause anxiety disorder in men?
Family dynamics, work stress, and personal trauma can cause anxiety disorder in men.