There are obvious and clear advantages to living in the modern world. We don’t have to worry about predators, or the elements, or, for the most part, about food. It’s all been taken care of. However, that doesn’t mean it’s all plain sailing. We’re still subject to our human bodies, which haven’t made the transition into this worry-free existence. Our anxiety buttons are still triggered, but now it’s because of things like flashing screens, beeping horns, crowds, and so on. Life is pretty complicated, even if it’s convenient, and as a result, there are plenty of people living with anxiety. If you’re one of them, then the good news is that there are things you can do to reduce the severity of your anxiety. We take a look at eight ways below.
Run it Out
When we’re anxious, it can feel like we’re a little ball of nervous energy. It seems like our insides are rattling, and there’s no way to make it stop. One of the most effective ways to reduce this sensation is to go for a long run, during which we use up their nervy energy, and also release feel-good chemicals into our brain. There are few things that a long run can’t fix! So the next time you’re having an anxious day put on those running shoes and hit the streets or treadmill. Plus, there’s a bonus: you’ll be getting fit at the same time, too.
Identify Your Triggers
There are certain anxiety-inducing situations that we can’t do much about. For example, if you get anxious delivering a speech, yet have to as part of your job, then that’s just something you’ll have to overcome. But sometimes, the causes of our anxiety are within our control. Take how much coffee you drink, for example — it’s one of the more common causes of anxiety, yet it’s not like anybody forces you to drink it. That’s all you! The next time you’re feeling anxious, do a little bit of reverse engineering and figure out what may have caused it. From now on, you’ll know that you need to avoid that thing, or at least learn how to manage it better.
Put Down the Tech
There’s been a sharp rise in anxiety in recent years, and there are a few reasons why. It’s a little to do with growing global problems and decreased wages. And it’s also to do with technology. While those smartphones, tablets, and computers are sold as magical devices that will liberate us all, there is a darker side: they can be a nightmare when it comes to anxiety. Your brain can’t tell the difference between a ping that’s alerting you to danger, and a ping that’s alerting you to a message on your phone. All those flashing lights mess with your internal rhythm too, especially at night. If it’s dark outside, it should be dark in your mind, yet your brain is being constantly stimulated by the flashing lights of your phone. It can’t rest — put it down for a while. You won’t miss anything!
Create the Right Environment
No-one goes on a week-long beach holiday and returns hyper-stressed. That’s because they’ve just spent seven days existing in an environment that is conducive to feeling relaxed. But here’s the thing: there’s nothing to stop you from creating a similarly relaxing environment in your own home. You can add candles, comfortable fabrics, and gentle music to your living room, and have a space that beats the stress away. From there, it’s up to you to have the discipline to enjoy it — which means committing to a night in your chill spot rather than playing games on your phone, drinking with friends, and so on.
Of course, while creating a relaxing spot in your home will be useful, it’s unlikely to rid you of your anxiety entirely. It’ll calm you down in the moment, but you may have the same trouble the following day when you’re out of your home. As such, it’s worthwhile engaging in practices that encourage long-term relaxation. Try meditation, hypnosis for relaxation, and yoga. They’ll all help you to enter a calmer state of mind, and keep your anxiety levels in check. If you’re ever having a particularly stressful day, then treat yourself to a message. A super relaxed body is the first step to a relaxed mind.
With Loved Ones
Our anxiety levels grow when it feels like we’re just out there, on our own, taking on the world. Of course, this isn’t really true, but it’s difficult to remember that when we’re in the middle of it all. As such, one of the best ways to keep anxiety away is to remind ourselves that there are people who are on our side. Spend some time with friends and family, and you’ll find that your anxiety levels drop, especially if you’re doing nothing but laughing and enjoying each other’s company.
Control What You Can Control
As we said earlier, you’ll often find yourself in situations that cause your anxiety to spike, and there’ll be little that you can do about it. If you’re having a stressful day at work, then the only way to avoid it would be to quit, and that would just add more stress to your life. The key is to control the things that you can control. You don’t have to get swept up in the rush of life; how fast you move is up to you. If speeding through the checkout process at the supermarket causes your heart to beat faster, then slow down. The people in the queue won’t mind waiting a few extra seconds, yet it’ll have an excellent effect on your state of mind.
Into Another World
Finally, don’t forget the power of escaping into another world for an hour or two. Watching a television show or reading a book can get us out of head, and by the time w snap back to reality, we find that we’re feeling much better.