Anxiety can be defined as distress or uneasiness of mind caused by fear of danger or misfortune.
As human beings faced with life’s different tests and challenges, it’s perfectly normal to feel anxious or nervous from time to time. What’s not normal is stressing too much, uncontrollably, about almost everything, almost every day.
If your anxiety is causing you to panic overwhelmingly, if these episodes are affecting your day to day activities and causing you mental or emotional suffering, if you are experiencing physical symptoms along with these attacks such as a pounding heart, sweating, fatigue, bloating or stomach upset, dizziness and shortness of breath, you may be experiencing anxiety attacks.
I too have suffered from anxiety attacks so intensely, even in my sleep, that to me, it’s a miracle to be seating here alive today.
Now, while most people with anxiety disorders refer to psychotherapy or medications, in my experience, I found that lifestyle changes can make a huge difference. I still get anxious every now and then, but over the years, I have learned a lot about how to be in control to a certain extent and I’ll be sharing with you some tips that I find helpful.
Science has provided evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise is a powerful stress reducer and is very vital even for mental fitness. Physical activity for just a few minutes everyday will give your mood a boost and help anxiety.
Listening to my favorite music also helps a lot. When you feel the attacks coming on, focus your attention on something you love to do, something that makes you happy. Pick up your phone, talk to a loved one. Play with your kids or your pet, if you have any. Take a walk. Do something that distracts you from your current state.
Breathe in through your nose for at least 5 seconds, focusing on filling your stomach first. Hold for 3 seconds and then breathe out for 7 seconds. Keep doing this while concentrating on calming down until you feel your body begin to relax.
AVOID ALCOHOL AND CAFFEINE
Alcohol disrupts the balance of chemicals and processes in the brain, which can worsen anxiety. Stay away from caffeinated drinks: sodas, energy drinks, coffee etc. This is because the boost we get from caffeine is caused by an increase in our heart and breathing rate, reactions that are commonly present during a panic attack.
Keep reading articles, write ups and peoples testimonials about overcoming anxiety. It helps to know that you are not alone, and you can learn greatly from people’s experiences. If you keep up with the Kardashians, Khloe also struggled with anxiety. So did Selena Gomez and Oprah Winfrey. Educate yourself on its symptoms and remedies. Information is power. If nothing seems to be helping your anxiety and stress, please talk with your doctor as soon as possible about other ways to manage it. Take care now.