Dealing with Anxiety

We’ve all been there:

Staring at the ceiling at 1am and worrying about a thousand different things. Maybe you’re having financial problems, someone close to you is hospitalised, relationship issues, or your car broke down, and your means of transportation to work is out of order for a week or two. Before you know it, it’s 2am, and you’re nowhere near restful sleep. This frustrates you even more, so you get up, go to the bathroom and get back into bed, then the same feeling of anxiety slowly creeps up on you again.

Some time passes, it’s 3am and now you’re worried and angry as getting even four hours of sleep is not an option anymore. At some point, you doze off only to be awaken what feels like only 10 minutes later by your alarm clock.

Needless to say, feeling like rubbish doesn’t help much with anxiety. The same feelings are there, but now you’re also very tired, and that’s going to reap havoc on your hormonal balance just for fun.

It’s clear that we need to find ways to punch anxiety in its ugly face. Luckily, there are many ways to alleviate anxiety without going to an expensive therapist or stuffing ourselves with drugs.

1. Make exercise a daily habit

Exercise is easily one of the most underrated anti-anxiety medications out there, and it’s free. It has been shown to help fight against depression and anxiety. Aside from that, exercise boosts our mood, outlook on life, and cognitive function. It also strengthens our bones and muscles, improves our work capacity, helps us lose weight and keep it off, reduces our risks of developing metabolic syndrome, high blood pressure, diabetes, and some cancers. The benefits are endless!

To start, as little as 20 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise can make a huge difference. Once you’ve established it as a habit, you can gradually increase the duration and intensity.

2. Improve the quality of your diet

What we eat has a direct impact not just on our gut health and body weight, but also on how we feel, how satisfied we are with our lives, and how anxious we get.

If your diet mainly consists of highly-processed, high-fat, high-salt junk, it’s very likely that you don’t feel that good on a daily basis. You are not getting enough protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals that your body needs for proper functioning and development. However, changing your way of eating takes time and patience. You shouldn’t try to change too much at once. A good first step is to switch just one of your daily meals for a nutritious and healthy alternative, and as time passes, you can make that two, and eventually three.

3. Accept that you cannot change everything

We often feel anxious because of thing we can’t do anything about. It’s important to realize and accept that not everything is within our control and worrying about it doesn’t do us any good.

Ask yourself: “Is there anything I can do to influence/change that?” If the answer is a truthful no, then there are more productive things you can focus on instead of worrying about it.

4. Dedicate time each day to relax

There are always a thousand different things on the agenda. We are always busy, always stressed out, and always in a hurry. Because of that, it is important to dedicate time each day to unwind and relax, it doesn’t matter what the activity is. You can choose to practice yoga, listen to some music, meditate, exercise, write, read, or even watch an episode of your favorite show.  All that matters is that you find time each day to gather your thoughts, unwind, take some deep breaths and rest.

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