Stress and anxiety can affect our minds and our bodies in a lot of extremely serious ways. Anxiety can inhibit concentration, make even tiny problems seem insurmountable, it can compromise our immune function, lead to stomach pains and digestive issues, increase blood pressure and trigger the body’s inflammatory response, making us vulnerable to a wide range of health issues from high blood pressure to heart disease. Let’s have a look at 10 natural steps to coping with anxiety…
Identify your anxiety triggers
Anxiety may feel like it sneaks up on us from out of nowhere. But in reality, it’s often triggered by our thought processes as a result of the things that happen to us. The better able we are to identify our personal triggers, the better able we are to…
Reprogram your mind with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy
When we experience anxiety we tend to catastrophise, jump to worst-case scenarios and think illogically. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) conditions us to challenge unhelpful or invasive thoughts and think in ways that are more positive, realistic and beneficial for our health.
Indulge in a little pet therapy
Your furry, feathered or scaly friends can be a colossal help when you’re grappling with anxiety. Take some time to snuggle with your pets or simply be in the same room as them. You’ll find that they have a calming presence that will keep you grounded and remind you that you’re not alone. Pet cuddles are a great way of coping with anxiety.
Get some moderate exercise
Exercise floods your brain with endorphins, chasing negative feelings away and helping your problems to feel more manageable. Even a brisk walk is enough to get your heart pumping and the endorphins rushing.
Supercharge your diet
Your diet is one of the most important cornerstones of your overall health. If you’re feeling overly anxious, take a page out of Hippocrates’ book and “let food be thy medicine”! Nuts, seeds, chamomile, turmeric and dark chocolate are all foods that are medically proven to reduce anxiety.
Look into natural herbal remedies
As well as supercharging your diet with a range of anxiety smashing plant-based foods, you should also look into herbal remedies that are proven to alleviate anxiety without the need to resort to medication. Lavender, chamomile, valerian and passionflower are all herbal supplements proven to aid those struggling with anxiety.
Treat yourself and your home to some aromatherapy
Remedies for anxiety aren’t just enjoyed through the mouth. Why not treat yourself and your home to some aromatherapy by setting up essential oil diffusers at key locations? Chamomile, lavender, jasmine and rose oils can all help to alleviate anxiety as well as helping you drift off to sleep at night.
Talk it out
Talking about your feelings, either with a friend or a professional, can help you to get some much-needed perspective and allow you to better manage your emotions. While your instincts may push you to isolate yourself emotionally, coping with anxiety is so much easier when you’re not alone.
Put your phone away
A smartphone is a wonderful piece of technology, but it can make anxiety issues much worse. From exposure to blue light to people behaving obnoxiously on Twitter, your smartphone can be a gateway to legions of potential stressors. Keep it in a drawer when you feel anxiety set in unless you’re using it to call someone to carry out the above step.
Breathe. Just breathe
Finally, your breathing plays a crucial role in regulating your bodily functions, including managing your stress hormones. When everything seems a bit too much, spend 5 minutes concentrating on nothing but breathing. This kind of mindfulness meditation can not only lessen anxiety, it can help to aid concentration and creativity.