Women are known for putting others first. But when it comes to your health it is important to prioritise your own needs and speak up when you need support. Don’t fall victim to the societal notions of mental illness, anxiety is a normal response to what is going on around you. Financial struggles, relationship breakdowns, losing a job, sometimes it all adds up.
When this feeling of anxiety begins to impact your life more than the event that triggered it, it’s time to get some help to fix it.
How Do I Know If I’m Experiencing Anxiety?
Anxiety is an ongoing feeling of stress or worry, beyond the event or events that trigger these feelings. It can be debilitating, and if you experience some of these ongoing symptoms, you may have an anxiety disorder:
- Excessive Worrying
- Avoiding Social Situations
- No Longer Wanting To Do Things You Normally Enjoy
- Easily Agitated
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Irrational Fears
- Trouble Falling or Staying Asleep
- Panic Attacks
What Can I Do To Reduce My Anxiety?
Mental illnesses aren’t like physical illnesses, there is no wonder drug that will cure you. There are, however, natural ways that have been proven to reduce anxiety and stress.
Remember, it’s your interaction with the environment around you that creates these feelings. Primarily, it is lifestyle changes within this environment and how you interact with it that will reduce your levels of anxiety and stress.
Here are five things you can do to naturally reduce your anxiety and stress:
Change Your Diet
Increased feelings of anxiety and stress are linked to highly processed food intake and sugar intake. According to recent Harvard studies, processed sugars increase the symptoms of anxiety by causing spikes and drops in your blood glucose levels. This, in turn, has an impact on your mood and energy levels.
Choosing natural foods like vegetables, high-quality meat, and whole grains can mitigate and reduce anxiety and stress.
Consume Less Caffeine
High caffeine intake has been shown to increase the feelings of stress and anxiety or complicate an existing anxiety disorder by increasing symptoms.
While these effects may not impact everyone, it is noted that some people may be affected by even moderate or low caffeine intake.
Exercise is proven to lower your body’s stress hormone levels and release endorphins that improve mood. It has also been shown to increase an individuals self-perception and confidence, which in turn increases their mental well-being.
Simple repetitive exercises such as jogging and walking have been shown to be particularly stress-relieving.
Meditation doesn’t need to be the spiritual journey you might think it is. It can be as simple as taking a minute out of your day to sit in silence, blocking your thoughts and focusing on your breathing.
Practicing meditation increases mindfulness – anchoring you in the present – and reduces negative thinking. Clearing your mind also enables you to reapproach thoughts once you’ve relaxed.
Cut Back On Alcohol
Many people think that having a couple of drinks will take the edge off, but the use of alcohol in excess is strongly linked to anxiety disorder.
Alcohol disrupts brain chemistry and, after the initial relief of inhibition, heightens feelings of anxiety and stress.
If you are experiencing anxiety or stress, you don’t have to stop drinking, but cutting back is an important step.