Shockingly, one in every seven Australians suffer from anxiety every year. For them, daily life becomes difficult to cope with. Depending on the severity of the anxiety, it could cause trouble in sleeping, panic attacks, racing heart beat, fatigue, digestive issues, headaches, and sweating. When someone with anxiety has started to consider these conditions to be a regular thing for them, it is crucial for them to start managing their anxiety.
Four Simple Steps To Manage Anxiety
The following steps are simple and can help minimise the effects of anxiety. They can help you feel more calm and in control and it is best to make them regular habits.
Mindfulness is the act of drawing your attention away from anxious thoughts and mental noise by tuning into your physical sense or focusing on the present moment. When you suffer from anxiety, trying to be mindful might seem an impossible feat. That is normal. Start in small steps. Here are some easy ways to help you practice mindfulness:
- Start with five minutes a day for the first week or so, and then slowly increase your time, up to 20 minutes a day as you see fit. Studies have shown that 20 minutes or more of mindfulness provides the most benefit for anxiety).
- Guided meditations and breathing exercises will also help keep your focus.
- Try working mindfulness into your routine, such as during your lunch break.
- If trying to be mindful while sitting still seems difficult for you, try going for a walk. Focus on the sights and sounds around you. Feel the wind against your skin. Slowly come back to the present moment if you notice your mind starting to wander.
Start a Journal
Keeping a journal can help you express your thoughts, and consequently, understand what triggers your anxiety. Ultimately, find ways to keep your anxiety from ever coming back. Some methods that may help are:
- Start with ten to fifteen minutes of writing down whatever it is that is on your mind, as quickly as you can, without judging yourself. This is called exploratory journaling, and this approach may help identify your thoughts and feelings that could be triggering your anxiety, even those that you may be unaware of. Going back to these thoughts, seeing them written down, may help you analyse which thoughts are actually accurate and which ones are not. It will help you gain more clarity about your thoughts and feelings, recognise a pattern, become more aware of the triggers, and finally be able to manage them.
- Set aside another ten to fifteen minutes for another type of journaling, an action-focused one. Write about situations or problems that you think are causing your anxiety, one scenario at a time. Continue writing about what steps you could take in order to overcome that situation or problem. You may break them into smaller steps. Then lastly, create a realistic goal to complete these actions. Watch your progress, monitor it on a regular basis. Celebrate any milestone that you’ve accomplished since you started implementing your action plan.
Do Sweaty Exercise
Exercising pumps up your brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters, helping you feel more relaxed after a round of physical activity. Neurotransmitters are produced by your brain to work as messenger molecules carrying signals between the brain and other cells of the body, including the muscles, influencing your mood. By boosting feel-good neurotransmitters through exercise, you begin decreasing your anxiety and at the same time, relieve muscle tension.
A good routine includes any kind of physical activity such as walking, jogging, running, swimming, hiking, and weight lifting. You can do any activity that keeps your body moving for at least 2.5 hours to 5 hours per week. You may start with few short sessions, until you can make exercising a regular habit. Having a family member or a friend join you gives an added bonus of connecting with loved ones and make you feel supported as you try to manage your anxiety.
Natural Medicine’s Power
Herbal medicine has been used for thousands of years to help ease an anxious mind. Due to modern studies, we are able to know how these herbs are able to do it. They work by increasing the production of a calming neurotransmitter, GABA (gamma aminobutyric acid). It helps reduce brain activity without making you feel drowsy, thus help you feel less anxious. Plus, it also relieves muscle tension.
The following natural medicine can help when your anxiety kicks in:
- Rehmannia and American ginseng. They are both used in traditional herbal medicine to relax an anxious and fatigued mind. American ginseng also helps increase the amounts of the brain’s neurotransmitters including GABA and serotonin.
- Zizyphus and passion flower. They both help increase GABA activity and works quickly to reduce anxiety levels. This wonderful combination also supports a restful sleep, without the feeling of drowsiness the following day.
- Lavendula. It helps to reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety, such as rapid heart rate, sweating, and hand tremors.
- Magnesium bisglycinate. This mineral is required by the body to produce neurotransmitters such as serotonin. It also helps relieve physical tension. This form of magnesium (mixed with glycine to form magnesium bislycinate) allows for quicker and more thorough absorption of magnesium compared to other forms. Additionally, glycine also increases feelings of calmness. Since magnesium deficiency is quite common, especially in stressed and anxious people, consider this supplement and mention it when you talk to your practitioner.
From calamity to Calm
Mindfulness, journaling, and regular physical activities may help ease an anxious mind. But to achieve an even greater relief, especially when your anxiety levels are high, natural medicine is the answer. Managing your anxiety doesn’t have to be difficult, making things even worse. For quality treatment options that is particular to your case, it is always wise to consult with a practitioner.