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How to ease anxiety

December 18, 2016

 

  1. Reduce alcohol, caffeine and sugar intake

Caffeine is a stimulator that can trigger anxiety symptoms like heart palpitations, anxiety and irritation. If you’re someone who is prone to getting anxious, avoiding caffeine is very helpful. The same goes with sugar and alcohol. They not only trigger anxiety, but also affect your mood in general. Alcohol is a depressant. Whilst you drink it, it gives you the feel-good feeling by increasing endorphin levels in the body. However, once the effects of alcohol have faded, there’s a drastic decrease in this neurotransmitter, causing us to have feelings of anxiety and depression.

Therefore, avoid having these stimulants that can trigger anxiety symptoms.

  1. Practice deep breathing exercises

When you suffer from an anxiety attack, your heart rate goes up and you start hyperventilating. When you hyperventilate, you’re breathing very quickly, allowing more oxygen into the blood, whilst you’re body is lacking carbon dioxide. Your blood becomes over-oxygenated and your blood ventricles start to contract. This is when the symptoms of breathlessness kick in. Our automatic reaction is to breath in more air, but that’s not what’s going to solve the issue, because that would mean even more oxygen in our body when what we need is carbon dioxide.

Therefore, practicing deep breathing is very helpful when suffering from an anxiety attack as it balances the breaths and the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in the blood.

Take a deep breath in for 6 seconds followed by an exhalation of 6 seconds. Do this several times until you feel that you have you’re breathing under control and you’ve calmed down.

  1. Exercise

Exercising frequently reduces stress, which as a result, will help reduce anxiety. Research shows that engaging in physical activity improves mood and decreases anxiety. Whether it’s going to the gym, running, yoga, pilates, swimming, dancing, cycling or simply going on daily walks in the park, make sure you take time to move your body and distress from your day. It takes your mind off things and is great for both your mental and physical health.

  1. Drink calming teas

You can create daily calming rituals that help your body enter in a calming mode and distress. There are many herbal teas that have calming benefits, like chamomile, passionflower, valerian and lavender tea. Take a moment of the day to drink an herbal tea and relax.

  1. Aromatherapy

Using essential aromatherapy oils is another way of calming the nervous system. Lavender oil for example has many calming and relaxing properties that can help soothe anxiety. By adding a few drops onto your fingertips and breathing the scent in a few times through your nose, you can instantly feel much calmer. You can also add a few drops to an air diffuser so that your room has the relaxing scent floating in the air.

  1. Practice meditation

Because a lot of our anxiety stems from an accumulation of worries and stress, practicing meditation can be very beneficial to calm the mind. By calming the mind and body, you learn how to manage stress better and are less anxious. By being less stressed, the levels of cortisol, the stress hormone, will greatly be reduced and you will be able to have a calmer state of mind and greater sense of wellbeing.

  1. Rest and recovery

Ensuring you have a good night’s sleep should also be one of your priorities when it comes to dealing with anxiety. When you don’t sleep enough, you’re not giving your organism the time it needs to recover and reset itself. On top of that, being tired causes us to be more irritable, stressed and anxious. Therefore, make sure you get your 8 hours sleep.

Also take time to schedule in relaxing time doing something that allows you to disconnect from everything around you, but connect with yourself. Whether it’s taking a bath, reading a good book, listening to music, practicing yoga or cooking, there are many things you can do to relax and disconnect.

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