Listen to “How to Manage Anxiety Naturally“.
It’s normal to feel anxious when you’re facing a challenging situation, such as a job interview, a tough exam, or a first date. But if your worries and fears are preventing you from living your life the way you’d like to, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder.
There are many different types of anxiety disorders, as well as many effective treatments and self-help strategies. In moderation, anxiety isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It can help you to stay alert and focused, spur you to action, and motivate you to solve your problems. However, when anxiety becomes constant or overwhelming and excessive worrying lasts for months, you’ve likely crossed the line from normal anxiety into the territory of an anxiety disorder.
Other signs of an anxiety disorder include:
- Feeling restless, keyed up, or on edge
- Becoming easily tired
- Having difficulty concentrating or having your mind go blank
- Being irritable
- Having tense or sore muscles
- Having trouble falling asleep, staying asleep, or having restless, unsatisfying sleep
- Excessive list making
- Seeking reassurance from others
Here are a few tips to help reduce anxiety and manage symptoms of a disorder:
When practised regularly, relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce the symptoms of anxiety and increase relaxation and emotional well-being.
Mindfulness meditation has even been shown to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression after just eight weeks.
Mindful movement practices
Yoga, tai chi, and qigong can also offer relief. These practices are inexpensive, low risk, and can be very effective. They can also provide you with a sense of control over certain aspects of your life.
Being in nature can reduce anxiety and depression and increase happiness. Reconnecting with nature not only makes people feel better emotionally, but it also lowers blood pressure, heart rate, muscle tension, and the production of stress hormones, all signals of stress and fear.
When you are feeling anxious or depressed, find a park or green space and go for a walk to unwind.
Essential oils (aromatherapy)
Aromatherapy is a safe and effective way to tackle anxiety and depression. Lavender, chamomile, basil and frankincense, are generally found to have a calming effect, while bergamot and peppermint oil are stimulating and can help those with depression. However, it’s up to individual preferences and best to choose a scent which you like.
20-30 minutes’ exercise to increase heart rate
Studies show that it takes between 20-30 minutes of exercise to reduce anxiety reliably. If you’re anxious and you hop on a treadmill, you will feel calmer after the workout.
Ever wonder why you feel so relaxed after a spell in the sauna or a steam room? Research has found that heating your body reduces muscle tension and anxiety.
Sensations of warmth may alter neural circuits that control mood, including those that affect the neurotransmitter serotonin. Warming up may be one of the ways in which exercise helps to boost your mood.
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