The stressful world we live in can be difficult to handle at times, but it poses an even greater challenge for individuals suffering from anxiety. In those times, it pays to know that you are not alone and that anxiety disorders are highly treatable. With that in mind, here are five empowering ways you can reduce anxiety and improve how you feel right now.
Make exercise a part of your everyday routine
It’s no secret that physical activity can be a powerful tool in combating stress and anxiety. The way it works is it distracts the mind from negative thoughts while also decreasing the level of stress hormones in the body and increasing dopamine levels in the brain. The body releases endorphins, the happy hormones, which help your body cope more easily with pain and stress, triggering a positive feeling in the body.
Aim to introduce 150 minutes of physical activities of moderate-intensity into your weekly schedule while also dedicating 75 minutes a week to more vigorous physical activities. For instance, you can combine brisk walking with jogging, swimming, or dancing. The key is to identify the activities you enjoy the most as they will be easier to stick with, and aim for consistency instead of perfection.
Give yoga & breathing exercises a try
This ancient practice has been proven time and time again to be one of the most effective forms of exercise for individuals dealing with higher levels of stress. It’s effective because it encompasses different relaxation techniques into one activity. Yoga combines visualization and breathing exercises with progressive muscle relaxation, helping you regain the feeling of control and feel at peace. Since yoga postures, known as asanas, require you to focus on the present moment, they also promote mindfulness.
When time and place don’t allow for practicing yoga, breathing exercises can serve as a great alternative for stress reduction. Whether you are commuting, working, or taking a break, there are breathing exercises such as measured breathing or belly breathing that you can practice anywhere, whenever you feel like you could use a time-out.
Ease your anxiety with proper nutrition & supplementation
Certain foods can help manage stress more easily. Others, however, only aggravate anxiety, so it is best that you eliminate these triggers from your diet. Sweet foods, as well as caffeinated drinks, can do more harm than good, and you are better off eating protein or drinking a glass of water whenever you feel your body craves caffeine or sugar.
Other than eliminating certain triggers from your diet, you also need to ensure that your body is gaining enough vitamins and minerals. Certain essential nutrients such as protein can be very satiating so many people may have trouble eating enough of it. In that case, you should consider supplementing your diet with a vegan protein powder. You can easily use it to make protein shake you can drink pre and post workout, making it easier for yourself to ensure optimal protein intake. Aside from that, you should also strive to incorporate more foods that contain magnesium, zinc, and vitamin B into your anti-anxiety diet, as well as probiotic-rich foods and foods containing omega-3s.
Unwind by listening to your favorite tunes
Something as simple as playing music you like can be an effective tool in combating feelings of stress and anxiety. One study found that listening to the music genre you prefer or your favorite song can help reduce stress levels short-term.
Another study found that, in addition to alleviating stress and anxiety, listening to music can also help improve the functioning of your immune system. Whenever you feel like everyday stresses and day-to-day responsibilities are getting to you, consider turning up your favorite tunes. It will help you unwind and get your mind off the worries, providing an escape from negative feelings.
Set achievable goals & avoid procrastinating
For individuals dealing with anxiety, it might be difficult to reach certain goals as such individuals usually have incredibly high expectations for themselves. This causes them to delay their tasks in order to avoid stress. This is counterproductive as procrastinating causes an even greater amount of stress because the tasks are usually done last minute.
To prevent stress from triggering a range of health problems, try setting achievable goals. Be realistic, take one step at a time, and avoid procrastinating as much as possible, and you will be able to reduce stress and live a low-anxiety life.
Even though your anxiety may cause you to feel trapped, there are ways to break free of negativity and feel better, and it all starts with adopting anxiety-reducing habits. Keep them in mind, and you will be able to take control over your life and defeat anxious thoughts.