5 Tips to Beating Anxiety
Anxiety. How to describe it? Frustrating? Debilitating? Depressing? The feeling can definitely get tedious at the absolute least, that’s for sure.
All of us have experienced anxiety at one point or another, and some more than others. Sometimes it just strikes out of the blue, or it can be a regular, even constant, occurrence. Reasons for it can vary wildly, from life circumstances, genetics, or even poor nutrition.
We all have different strategies to tackling anxiety, and here are some ways I’ve found that can be incredibly helpful. Obviously we’re all different, and there’s different strokes for different folks, but hopefully some of these will resonate and work for you
We’re all familiar with the mental wrestling we encounter every time we’re faced with the issue of working out.
“I’m too tired”. “What’s the point”. “I just want to sit on the sofa, eat pizza, and watch Breaking Bad”. Or just “No.”
Now I can delve into all the scientific research that shows how exercise reduces anxiety, releases endorphin’s, and increases your energy levels. But realistically, you don’t need to read that. You already know. We all feel a sense of achievement and pride every time we get up and do that workout. And yeah, that feels good. And feeling good is the very antithesis of anxiety. So get up, and just do it. Whether it’s running, weights, yoga or basketball, whatever floats your boat just go for it. You can always catch up with that pizza later. I know I will.
2. Eat well.. and get the right vitamins!
Yes, granted, a little rich of me to suggest this after admitting to being a glutton for pizza. Tomatoes are nutritious at least.. In all seriousness, our nutrition really is the fuel that drives our body, and if we eat crap, we’ll feel like crap. The B vitamins are particularly important for our mental health – . thiamine, or vitamin B1, is important for blood sugar control which has a major impact on anxiety. There’s a reason it’s often referred as the “anti-stress” vitamin. Niacin, or B3, is involved in many enzymatic processes and plays a key role in serotonin synthesis whilst pantothenic acid (B5) is important for the adrenal glands and helps with modulating stress. Wholegrains and oily fish are a great source of these vitamins, whilst omega-3 fatty acids found in salmon and mackerel have shown to boost serotonin levels).
3. Talk to someone
It’s easy to bottle it all up, and let our thoughts and anxieties consume us. When we see other people living happy, fulfilled lives it’s difficult to imagine that they’ve ever had to deal with similar circumstances. You’d be surprised. We’ve all been there to some degree, and talking to someone about it will help you unload, find empathy, and a form of release. If you don’t want to talk to someone you know, then try online therapy. Easier and less time consuming than traditional forms of therapy, even a single session can do wonders for your mental health. Check out www.yourmind.co for high quality online therapists.
4. Disconnect for one hour
Being drip fed photos of stunning models living perfect lives on Instagram can easily result in us having some kind of inferiority complex. Constantly checking emails, especially once you’ve left the office, also increases anxiety. Straining our neck muscles, staring at a tiny blue screen for hours in the day is not conducive to a relaxed state of mind. Don’t get me wrong – I’m totally guilty of being a phone addict, but putting it down for a fixed amount of time is a great way to refocus, and spend our energy on more fruitful endeavours. And hey – picking it back up after an hour also feels great!
5. Have a hug
Hugs are great. Paul Zac, an expert in neuroscience, gave a seminal Ted Talk in 2011 about the scientific benefits of hugging it out with your love ones. With the help of good old science, he explained how hugging your other half at least 8 times a day can increase oxytocin levels whilst decreasing your stress and anxiety levels, as well as your blood pressure and heart rate.