You know the feeling well. Your heart starts to beat faster, and you start to sweat. You may feel overcome with fear or dread, and you begin to look for an escape route. Anxiety can have a big effect on your daily life, and it may even affect your physical health if left untreated. While the main thing you need to do to combat your anxiety is seek professional help, there are also many habits that can lessen some of the effects.
Take Care of Your Body
The brain needs certain things to function, just like any other organ in the body. If you are experiencing anxiety as the result of a chemical imbalance, you may need medication, but you can also create healthy practices to give your brain a fighting chance. Caffeine can exacerbate the effects of anxiety, so start by lowering your daily intake. Exercise releases endorphins, creating the chemicals needed to give you an energy or happiness boost. Use healthy food as fuel to make sure your body is getting the nutrients it needs. Finally, try to develop better sleep habits so that your mind can rejuvenate and be better prepared for the next day.
Take Care of Your Soul
A common trigger for anxiety is the belief that you don’t really fit in the world or that the world is not a safe place to be. By addressing these thoughts, you can work to overcome them. If you are religious, you can do this by seeking a personal relationship with God. You may also find comfort in meditation or by repeating a soothing mantra whenever anxious feelings start to surface.
Take Care of Your Emotions
Anxiety can trigger a strong emotional response. You may find yourself more prone to anger or depression. You may not believe you have a lot of control over your emotions, but certain habits are correlated with negative feelings. Social comparison can leave you feeling like everyone else you know has a better life than you do. It’s important to keep in mind, however, that when you look at friends’ posts on Instagram, you are probably only seeing the happy moments but you’re comparing them to both the positive and negative moments of your life. To keep social comparison in check, try to spend less time on social media to give yourself a break from this inaccurate message.
If your doctor has diagnosed you with anxiety, he or she is your best resource for treatment options. Cultivating a few other habits on your own can also help you manage the overall effects of anxiety.