Many people think of stress and anxiety as a normal part of life, but if you suffer from anxiety disorder, the effects can be debilitating. The result is a vicious cycle of anxiety and worry taking over your life, leaving you exhausted yet unable to sleep because your mind is racing. The next day, a lack of sleep only increases your anxiety. Lather, rinse, repeat. If you’re struggling with anxiety that makes it difficult to cope with day-to-day activities, these tips will help you regain quality of life.
Are you really present throughout the day in everything that you do? Mindfulness is proven to help combat stress and anxiety, yet many people think it’s something that requires hours dedicated to mindful meditation. While that approach can certainly help, you can also practice mindfulness simply by making an effort to be fully present in the moment.
Try enjoying your meals mindfully by focusing on enjoying the tastes and flavors of your meals. Listen to your body and pay attention to how you’re feeling throughout the day. If your body is crying out for rest, take it. The next time you’re in a store, take time to browse, pick up products, feel the packaging, and read labels. Mindfulness doesn’t have to be another thing on your to-do list once you’ve grasped how to practice it.
Incorporate Nature in Your Environment
Nature is a proven stress-buster. While a relaxing stroll through some beautiful natural scenery can lift your mood and relieve stress; you can take advantage of nature’s benefits by incorporating some plants and artwork depicting nature in your home and office. Some plants are low-maintenance, requiring little water and sunlight to thrive while also purifying the air.
You might also consider an essential oil diffuser, which diffuses pure extracts from flowers, plants, and herbs into the air. Essential oils such as lavender, rose, and Ylang Ylang are believed to be especially effective for reducing stress and anxiety.
Exercise is well-known for its physical health benefits, such as healthy weight management and improved muscle tone, coordination, and strength. But it’s not quite so widely recognized for its mental health benefits, which can improve an enhanced mood, reduction in stress and anxiety, and more. Exercise releases endorphins in the brain, the feel-good chemicals that contribute to the post-workout high many people experience.
Exercising regularly can be an effective way to keep the symptoms of anxiety under control; and it can also help you sleep better at night, which contributes to fewer symptoms in the coming days. That means that exercise has far-reaching effects beyond just the immediate aftermath of the activity. And, you don’t have to become a gym rat to gain the benefits of physical activity; a 30-minute walk a few times each week can have a dramatic impact on anxiety.
The foods that you fuel your body with can impact everything from how much energy you have to how well you sleep at night and even your anxiety levels. Too much alcohol or caffeine, for instance, can actually trigger anxiety attacks, and these substances also disrupt quality sleep.
Beyond avoiding harmful substances, you should make an effort to eat a healthy, balanced diet including fruits and vegetables and other foods rich in vitamins and minerals that keep your body functioning at its best. A body that’s lacking in essential nutrients will have a decreased ability to cope with stress and anxiety, worsening your symptoms.
There are many simple changes you can make to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and improve your quality of life. Things like mindfulness, exposure to nature, regular exercise, and a balanced diet are good places to start as they impact not only your mind; but your physiological functioning as well – meaning you’ll be better able to get the rest your body needs to regain your energy and vitality.