Have you ever felt your heart suddenly beat faster? Your palms sweat when you enter a room or intrusive thoughts consistently circling your mind? That means you surely know what anxiety feels like. While it is normal to feel an occasional sense of worry sometimes, it is not normal to allow these feelings to dominate your life.
Anxiety is currently one of the leading mental health conditions in the world. It varies in severity from person to person: Some struggle with it consistently with anxiety becoming a part of their being, while others experience once in-a-while flare-ups triggered by life events.
The good news is that you can learn to manage your feelings of anxiety more effectively, both by good counseling and by implementing some simple coping strategies. Here are 8 daily habits that will help you manage your symptoms effectively so you can feel in control of your life again.
1. Wish yourself a very Good Morning!
Yes, you heard that right.
Most mornings you’ll notice your mind off and running before your body has even left the bed. It is important to understand your mental state first thing in the morning instead of rushing hurriedly into your day. This habitual disconnection from ourselves creates a sub-concious buzz of unease, which we carry along the entire day. On the other hand, coming back to ourselves is inherently calming.
So Before you get out of bed in the morning, tune in to your body and breath. Take three deep breaths, feeling how it moves the body. Check in with yourself, see how you’re doing, ask yourself how your mind and body feels. You can return to this grounded mind-body union anytime throughout the day.
2. Talk to someone:
Seeing a therapist will sure help you overcome your anxiety, but sharing your feelings with people you trust help to manage the symptoms more than you think they do. You don’t have to suffer in silence. It can be greatly helpful to tell someone you’re close to that you suffer from anxiety, rather than keeping it a secret.
Our friends and family can provide us with that listening ear, shoulder to lean on and nonjudgmental perspective that we need. They can also help increase our sense of belonging, improve our self-confidence which in turn reduces stress and anxiety to a great extent.
3. Start a journal:
Taking out time everyday to write down your thoughts is a great way to reduce anxiety. When you feel obsessive, and when intrusive thoughts rush in, grab a pen and write them down.
Writing down what you’re thinking and feeling each day can help you understand yourself better and take control of your anxious thoughts. It helps us understand our feelings better. When you see your worries written down on paper, they might not feel as threatening or overwhelming. Over time, you can also look back on past journal entries to see how far you’ve come in your personal growth journey.
4. Get outside for a walk:
Exercise is a fantastic stress reliever that works like magic! Stepping outside allows you to enjoy a change of scenery, which can get you into a different frame of mind, bringing along the benefits of exercise.
Exercise regulates your brain’s response to stress and alleviates feelings of anxiety almost immediately. So whether you take a stroll around the office to get a break from a frustrating task or you decide to go for a long walk in the park after work, walking is a simple but effective way to rejuvenate your mind and body.
5. Be grateful:
Gratitude can do wonders for your mental health, especially in moments when you’re feeling restless and anxious. It is often said that one cannot be grateful and anxious at the same time. By choosing to be grateful, you can shift your perspective and keep your thoughts in check. Practicing gratitude can take your mind away from worry and allow you to fix it on the good things in your life rather than the negative fears. So take out some minutes daily to reflect on atleast three things you’re grateful for each day.
6. Limit your social media intake:
How many hours do you spend on social media daily?
Did you know that it can serve as a huge anxiety trigger?
Social media has become a way of life for most people but whether you see a news story someone posted or read something a friend says that makes you worry, social media isn’t always the best space to help foster a sense of calm. While you don’t need to detach yourself from it completely, it’s a good idea to monitor your screen-time and limit how often you check your socials.
7. Prioritize sleep:
In today’s faced-paced world, it can be tempting to skip sleep in order to get more work done. But a lack of sleep can worsen your symptoms of anxiety greatly. To help prioritize sleep, you can calculate an appropriate bedtime and wake-up time based on your everyday routine, and stick to it every single day. From there, you can make gradual adjustments until you reach your desired amount of sleep.
8. Celebrate your wins:
Anxiety begs you to focus on what you don’t have, your insecurities, worries, and fears. So if you struggle with anxiety and something doesn’t go your way, those feelings naturally tend to heightened because it feeds off of the appearance of defeat.
Moreover, our minds are better at remembering our losses, griefs and disappointments, rather than our joys, accomplishments and victories. This makes us forget them very easily. As a result, it can seem like our days have mostly been bad. Feeling this way can worsen our anxiety.
That is why it only makes sense to combat anxiety in those moments by celebrating your small wins.
Ask yourself questions like what did you do right today? Did you give yourself time to calm down and recharge? How far have you come? Have you been kind to people when you didn’t feel great yourself? Did you go through the day instead of giving up? How can you celebrate these small wins with friends and family?
Before you go to bed at night, write down three things that went well during the day. Be specific—for example, “i enjoyed baking a great chocolate cake today” rather than “i made desert”—so the memories settle down vividly as possible in your minds.
Disclaimer: The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.