When left unconfronted, anxiety can affect an individual's life physically, emotionally, and mentally and can work to isolate an individual from their friends and family. It is an unfortunate reality that many people deal with regularly, but fortunately, there are ways to reduce anxiety.
Anxiety can become an obstacle in life; it is the sustained and excessive worry that an individual cannot control, and for many people, it is related to traumatic events and threats. It can manifest in different ways and as different symptoms, like paranoia, panic attacks, chest pain, trembling, and shortness of breath.
5 Ways to Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety can be consuming, but there are steps we can take in our lives to help reduce anxiety. Below, we have outlined five ways to reduce anxiety.
We become so wrapped up in the different things we need to do that sometimes we forget to take care of ourselves. Indulging in a little bit of self-care is a simple way to focus on yourself and your needs, as well as reduce your anxiety.
Self-care focuses on what makes you happy and relaxed, not what the media tries to feed you. Self-care can take on any form, such as enjoying a relaxing beverage, taking a long bath, setting a mood with candles, or even practicing a hobby. Research has been conducted that shows people who engage in self-care have lower levels of anxiety and stress and overall improved quality of life.
Limit Caffeine Intake
Though it's not discussed much, there is an association between caffeine and anxiety. Too much caffeine can mimic or worsen anxiety; some of the symptoms caused by caffeine are:
- Accelerated heart rate
Because of the association between caffeine and anxiety, one way to produce anxiety is to consume less caffeine. There are calming drinks you can consume instead, like anti-anxiety tea or mellow mood drinks. Switching out a cup of coffee for an anti-anxiety herbal tea is one easy change to make in your life to help decrease anxiety.
This may be a foreign term to some, but an adaptogen is a natural substance that helps the body handle stress and anxiety. When consumed, adaptogens Target stressors in the body and either increase or decrease chemical reactions; if you are feeling stressed or anxious, an adaptogen will help by reducing cortisol levels.
There are many different adaptogens; you might already have some of these in your diet. Common adaptogens are:
- American Ginseng
- Licorice Root
- Goji Berries
- Schisandra Berry
Adaptogens can be incorporated into drinks to relax your mind, like an anti-anxiety drink. Adaptogenic drinks are drinks that relax you by promoting a sense of relaxation and peace to give you the feeling of meditation in a drink. Adaptogens can be found in many anti-anxiety foods and drinks, and they are just one of many different ways to reduce stress and anxiety.
While not all stressors are within our control, some are. Sometimes having too many things to do can increase anxiety and stress, and it limits the amount of time you can spend on self-care or with family and friends.
Sometimes anxiety is caused by a large workload, which can occur when one doesn't say no to being assigned more tasks. With work, there can often be the pressure to do more, but at some point, boundaries have to be set. Your mental welfare is important, and it's time you pay attention to it. You can be selective with the tasks you take on and say no to anything that will overburden you.
Boundaries can also be set within our personal lives. Sometimes stress and anxiety can be caused by family and friends showing up unannounced or spending time with people who create unnecessary drama. Ways to establish boundaries are to request for families and friends to reach out before showing up at your home and setting conversation boundaries. Anyone willing to violate these boundaries is not worth being anxious over or having in your life.
When discussing ways to reduce stress and anxiety, yoga is one of the ways that comes to mind. There are many different styles of yoga, but the majority of them share one goal; to increase body and breath awareness. Participating in yoga can help reduce stress and symptoms of anxiety by teaching you how to control your breathing to calm your body.
Still, yoga is not for everyone. However, if you choose to get physically active, putting your body into motion can help reduce anxiety. While in motion, it's difficult to keep in mind what was making you anxious in the first place, and bringing up your heart rate increases neurochemicals that are anti-anxiety, like serotonin and dopamine.