Research shows that around 1-5 of us will suffer from an anxiety disorder at some point in our lives and, as someone who has experienced its symptoms, it can be an emotional roller-coaster to get through.
However it is definitely manageable and by implementing some of the tips and tricks listed here, you’ll actually be able to improve your overall health and well being by a huge amount.
That’s the thing about life, we can’t control many of the things that happen to us, but we can control how we respond – turning adversity into our strengths!
With that being said, here are some tips to help you get back in control and start living a happier and healthier life.
Meditation has long been linked with easing the symptoms of anxiety. When we are in a meditative state, we take control of our thoughts and their for, the things we become anxious about. Meditation should become part of your daily routine, even if it’s just for 10 minutes a day. Here’s a guide for starting meditation.
2) Get a Massage
It’s essential to pamper ourselves every know and then and by massaging the physical kinks in our bodies, we’re left to focus on ridding ourselves of the mental ones. A massage will also improve blood flow and over all sense of wellness, making it easier for you to stay in a calmer, more positive state.
It sounds ridiculously simple, but did you know that most of us do not in fact, take in enough oxygen? When our brains are starved of oxygen, they jump to retrieve information from negative sections of the brain far more easily than they can from the positive side. Sit down in a comfortable position, close your eyes and breathe deeply, through your nose. Feel the pureness of the air filling your lungs and body.
On your exhale, imagine it’s all the negative energy, anxieties and fears that are exiting with the used air. Exhale for twice as long as your inhale, listening to the noise of the air entering and exiting your body. For more breathing tips, here’s some more tips.
You know the saying, an organised house is the sign of an organised mind – well this is true! Often our external settings are a reflection of how we feel internally. If our surroundings are chaotic then it means that those how our mind is finding trying to organise our thoughts and emotions.
It’s really important to set aside regular time to de-clutter and clean the places where we spend a lot of time. Through out anything that doesn’t have a purpose. This is basic Feng Shui and of much importance to our overall well being. If you want to learn more about Feng Shui, check out this guide.
5) Dive Into Nature
It’s really important to get outdoors and appreciate the natural beauty that surrounds you. Even if you live in a built up place, take time every day to go for a walk and notice things about your environment; the shade of paint picked for that building, the people going about their business etc…
Where possible try to get to some greenery. It’s good for the soul!
6) Practice Being Mindful
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully in the moment. While it seems very hard to switch from our chaotic switching of thoughts to being fully immersed in only what we are doing at that moment, there are simple ways to practice. This way, you can be mindful for a few minutes a day and as you practice, you’ll notice that you are naturally doing it for longer periods during the day.
Pick just one task a day to focus on, say making the bed for example. Become fully focussed on the task. Notice the weight of the covers as you pull them into position, the colours of the spread and the contrast they make against other items in the room, notice the smells of the morning, the rustling sounds of the covers being straightened and how the material feels under your fingers as you smooth out the creases…
Mindfulness allows us to take control of our thoughts, an essential skill for those of us who suffer from anxiety. Here are some more Mindfulness Tips.
7) Try Aromatherapy
Using the right fragrances can trigger relaxation responses in our brains. Essential oils have been used for thousands of years to help suppress, soothe or even enhance emotions, and for a number of other benefits. For more information on which oils you should be using, check out our guide to essential oils.
Exercise is really essential for our overall well being and even if you hate cardio, strength training will work just as well. Not only does exercise increase the oxygen that you take into your body, it also releases happy, positive hormones that naturally make your mind and body feel great.
Try to incorporate a session of exercise into every day, you will look and feel great and it’s one of the most successful ways of keeping our anxieties at bay.
9) Drink Green Tea
Green tea contains an amino acid called L-theanine which promotes relaxation and modifies the stimulating effects of the caffeine present in green tea. This means that green tea naturally offsets the ‘hyper’ effect found in caffeine and that can actually make anxiety worse. Green Tea also contains more theanine than other teas, leading to a more gradual and calming wake-up boost.
10) Listen to Music
Many studies have shown how music can influence our emotions. It can inspire us, provoke us and uplift us depending on its melody… Put something on that you find positive and calming, sit back and let it work its magic.
There are a wide range of mixes available on youtube, make sure to check them out. Why not start a playlist and save your favourites? Here’s one for example: