Anxiety affects 1 in 4 Australians. On average, 1 in 3 women will experience anxiety along with 1 in 5 men. Anxiety is a scary thing to experience, as sometimes it feels like you can’t control it. Alongside anxiety, 40% of Australians will experience a panic attack at least once in their lives. These statistics are quite scary, but did you know that there are easy ways you can help control your anxiety? Here are ten ways you can keep your anxiety under control.
It’s no surprise that meditation can keep you calm, but you don’t have to sit with your legs crossed humming “om” in order to meditate. Meditation can be done at your desk. If you close your eyes for a few minutes at your desk, clear your mind and focus on your breathing, it can do you wonders.If meditation isn't working, you could try another technique. Suzanne Scarrow from Personal Peace offers her advice. "There is now a technique available to everyone, at all times, that can reduce the symptoms of anxiety on a daily basis. If used with the help of a skilled practitioner, you can even rid yourself of the fear of having another anxiety attack and then you have freedom from the experience of anxiety attacks. There is great comfort of knowing that with this very simple self-applied technique you have a tool to reduce your symptoms when they occur. You don’t need to wait for the availability of a practitioner to get relief. This technique is Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). It is a very simple tapping technique, which vibrates the energy meridians, releasing emotional blockages which hold the fear, and other negative emotions, in place. Once you have reduced the level of intensity of the particular emotion, or traumatic experience, you are able to look at the expe rience in a much more detached way. Clients are now able to separate themselves from the experience of the anxiety and the fear of the anxiety returning is neutralized. This technique of EFT can also be used as an energy toning treatment, anywhere, any time. This is like an exercise program for your energy meridians. When emotional blockages are released, subtle energy flows to all areas of your body keeping it in a healthy state, physically and emotionally." Find out more about Personal Peace by following them on Facebook.
Ditch The Caffeine
Coffee is an essential to get through the day, but it can often do more harm than good. Zsuzsanna Sipos from Sante Wellness explains how caffeine can affect our anxiety levels, and why to avoid a caffeine overdose. “We all love that morning, warm hug in a cup, but the trouble is, if you suffer with anxiety, consuming excessive amounts of caffeine can actually make your symptoms worse. Caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant and whilst this can help you to feel more alert and awake, the other effects of caffeine include: increased heart rate, restlessness, nervousness and insomnia. All of these symptoms could potentially worsen your anxiety. Ditch the coffee for a caffeine-free beverage such as ginger tea, warm water with slices of lemon, freshly squeezed vegetable juice or a nutrient-packed smoothie.” Find out more about Zsuzsanna by following her on Facebook and Instagram.
Watch Funny Videos
Laughter is said to be the best medicine, but how true is this statement? Very true, if you want to help combat anxiety.Laughter is the reaction to something amusing, which in turn releases cortisol and epinephrine, making you feel happy. These endorphins can combat anxiety, and all you have to do is find something funny. If you’re feeling a bit anxious at work, take some time out of your lunch break and head to YouTube. Hit up some compilations and feel the stress of the day slowly slip away. It may not keep the feeling gone forever, but it can definitely help ease the pain. If you’re at home, jump on your bed and get comfy. Lie on your pillow and escape with funny videos. You can even binge watch a funny TV show for an hour or two; just make sure you’re laughing. It can help a lot, trust me..
Exercise is another huge way to decrease your levels of anxiety. When you go out for a walk, run or even a bike ride, your heart rate goes up, which releases more endorphins. Along the same lines as laughter, exercise can help keep your spirits up and make you feel less stressed. Getting those feelings out may not always work, but there is no harm in getting some cardio down! If you’re not feeling exactly active, why not take your pet out for a walk? Get them out of their playpen and run around with them.
This one may make you want to roll your eyes, because duh. Positive thinking does play a huge role in combatting your anxiety levels. Rosemary Martini from The Key For Me has the perfect solution for those who want to think more positively, but may not have found the right way to do it. “Gratitude (once a day free associate all the good things you can think of - you only need to do this for a few minutes to change your mindset it is one of those amazing things that actually is very powerful. Start your day with positive affirmation - put them on your phone.” Find out more about The Key For Me by following them on Facebook and Instagram.
Talk To Someone Friendly
Friends are there for you at your high and low points, so why not keep them by your side when you need them the most? Confide in a friend if you’re having trouble coping with your anxiety. Sit them down and tell them how you feel; sure, it’s a tough one to do, but it will honestly make you feel better. You may feel a weight lifted off your shoulders, and you will have someone to talk to if things get too tough. In return, they will also have someone to talk to, in the event that something makes them feel the same way. Marney Perna from Kinique offers her advice for those who suffer from anxiety. "Stress and anxiety are feelings that can cause you to create negative habits. The more you attempt to ignore those feelings the more intense they become. Instead of ignoring how they make you feel, acknowledge the feeling. When you know how you feel you can do something positive about it. Imagine "anxiety" is visiting you, it keeps knocking on your door. The more you ignore the knocking the louder it becomes! However, if you open the door, acknowledge "anxiety" and say hi, thank you for calling, however, mention you are OK today and do not require them to hang around. Then close the door gently. This action takes the negativity away from feeling anxious and allows you to change old negative habits. By also telling yourself well done it uplifts your energy and assists you to feel better. Smiling and being mindful about good things that have happened each day also helps to reduce stress and anxiety." Find out more about Marney and Kinique by checking out their website.
This one is a major key to combatting anxiety levels. Sleep is a huge contributing factor to our mental health, and it can be the make or break point for a lot of issues we may be experiencing. It’s not even about sleeping at night, it’s about getting the correct amount of sleep a night. On average, we need eight to nine hours of sleep in order for our bodies to be in perfect working order. With a good eight hours sleep, we experience three stages of sleep, including REM (the one where you dream a lot) and NREM stages 2 and 3. It’s in NREM stage 3 where a lot of your brain’s healing occurs. Stage 3 doesn’t happen very often, so if you avoid sleeping for quality hours at night, your brain may be prevented from gaining this necessary recovery stage, which can cause great damage to your health in the long run. If you’d like to read more about the correlation between sleep and your mental health, head here.
Get Some Sunlight
Sunlight is a great song (I’m looking at you Superman Lovers), but it’s also a huge benefit to your health. Vitamin D is also known as the sunshine vitamin, which is produced when you spend time outdoors or eat certain foods. Vitamin D helps regulate insulin in your pancreas, maintains the health of your bones and teeth, supports lung function and can support your immune system. There have been studies that people who are Vitamin D deficient may be more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, so get outside and eat some cheese; it’s good for you. It's not just sunlight that can provide you with vitamin D, it's also a healthy lifestyle. Vitamin enriched foods in general can help you combat anxiety, and Katina Beveridge from MyMaha has the perfect examples of what foods you should be eating to help combat anxiety. "The best way to combat anxiety is to live a healthy lifestyle and adopting a green diet. Aside from living a healthy lifestyle - no alcohol, balanced diet, no caffeine, more water - there are also other specific considerations for a low-anxiety diet. Magnesium-rich food (like spinach and other leafy greens, nuts, whole grains and seeds) and food with high zinc content (liver, beef, oyster, cashew and egg yolks) help lower anxiety. Asparagus (famous for its anti-anxiety properties), foods rich in B vitamins, probiotic-rich foods and those that contain omega 3-fatty acid are also helpful in managing anxiety." Find ut more about MyMaha by following them on Facebook and Instagram,
Listen to Music
Music is an instant mood changer. Whether you’re feeling down about a breakup or feeling stressed over traffic, music can be an instant mood booster. Pump up the volume to your favourite song, bust some moves and feel the anxiety slip away.
Recognise When Your Body Is Experiencing Stress & Anxiety
Anxiety is extremely common. In fact, it is the most common mental health condition in Australia. Facing your fears and accepting that you suffer from anxiety is the first step in the right direction. Duda Jadrijevic from the Little School of Buddhism offers her advice for when anxiety becomes too much. ", it's best advised to do the same - 'check in' each time a new anxiety creeps up. That ways we start guiding ourselves, controlling our thoughts and not be controlled by them." Find out more about Duda by following her on Facebook and Instagram. When you start feeling the symptoms of a panic attack or an anxiety attack, take note.Symptoms may include a pounding heart, sweating, trembling and feelings of choking. In the event that you begin feeling these symptoms, put your hands on something flat, take deep breaths and close your eyes. After you accept that you suffer from anxiety, you may need to see a professional who can help you take care of your mental health. Sonja Courtis has the perfect advice if you’re suffering from anxiety, and you just can’t shake it. “Gone are the days of just accepting "I have to live with this" that is simply just not the case anymore. The important thing to remember, however, is that unless underlying causes are treated, the Anxiety is likely to return if the person is re-triggered again.” Find out more about Sonja by following her on Facebook and Instagram.
As one in four Aussies suffers from anxiety in their lives, it’s important that you know how to combat the feelings. They may not be taken away forever, but they can certainly be minimised.