Anxiety affects many people across the globe, and for some, it can be very debilitating. Anxiety doesn’t discriminate when it comes to race, gender, background, or age and can even pop up out of nowhere. If you’ve found yourself struggling with anxiety for a while and have seen how it is affecting the quality of your life, the best thing you can do is reach out to your doctor. They may recommend medication, therapy, or both.
In addition to traditional forms of treatment recommended to you by a health care professional, there are also some simple, natural things that you can do each day to reduce your anxiety. These are not meant to replace traditional treatment but to be something supplemental. Some examples include exercise, meditation, and self-care.
Reducing Anxiety Through Exercise
Staying active is one of the best things that you can do to reduce anxiety, and it can dramatically improve your mental health and boost your happiness. In fact, exercise releases endorphins, which are known as “feel-good” chemicals, in the brain. Endorphins reduce pain and promote a sense of pleasure. This is why after a workout, you may feel more energized and in a better mood.
While exercise has many benefits on its own, if you can exercise outside, that may be even better. This is because when you’re outside and are getting exposed to the sun, your body is taking in vitamin D. Vitamin D is critical for regulating inflammation, promoting strong bones and teeth, and managing other natural bodily processes. It is also very important for your mental health. It can boost mood and prevent problems like anxiety and depression.
There are a lot of ways to fit more outdoor exercise into your daily routine. Consider taking a job before work, doing some pilates out in the backyard, or offering to walk a friend or family member’s pets if you don’t have any of your own. Just getting your body moving at least once a day can make a huge difference.
Reducing Anxiety Through Meditation and Mindfulness
Meditating and practicing mindfulness can have a huge impact on your mental health in a positive way. Mindfulness is essentially a way to focus on the present. It is especially good for those who struggle with anxiousness about the future or who often dwell on things that are out of their control. There are a lot of different ways to engage in this practice. Some people may choose to work religion or spirituality into it. Others may choose to meditate while practicing yoga simultaneously. Some people also use essential oils, candles, or mantras as they meditate.
However, if you’re just a beginner, you don’t have to get into anything too complicated. Mindfulness, in its simplest form, is just sitting quietly with your eyes closed and focusing on breathing deeply, and being aware of your body and mind. As different thoughts come to you, let them wash over you without dwelling upon them or allowing yourself to form any particular thought patterns. This practice can help you to feel more grounded, less distracted, and more in tune with yourself. Most importantly, it can really reduce anxiety.
Reducing Anxiety Through Practicing Self-Care
So often in life, it is easy to get caught up with rushing from one thing to the next and trying to keep up with different responsibilities. Sometimes this can even result in failing to take care of yourself. As time goes on, this can really have an impact on your mental health. It can lead to anxiety, depression, burnout, and low self-esteem.
This is why self-care is so important. Start out with the basics. Make sure that you’re getting enough good quality sleep, staying hydrated, and making time to eat healthy, well-rounded meals. Self-care also involves doing things that bring you joy every single day. At first, if you’re not used to this, this may seem selfish or like a waste of time, but it is truly anything but. This allows you to recharge, giving you the boost you need to put your best foot forward every day, whether it be at work, at school, or at home with your kids.
Determining what the right form of self-care is for you may take time. You can start by considering when you feel most at peace and what sort of activities help you to reduce your stress. It could be spending time outside in nature, taking a break from social media and reading a book, or listening to your favorite music. It could also be sitting down for a cup of coffee and having a quality conversation with a friend or family member. Or it could be as simple as cooking your favorite meal, watching a television show, or even taking a nap.
If you’re struggling with anxiety, consider incorporating exercise, meditation, mindfulness, and self-care into your life. If your anxiety continues to persist, be sure to reach out to your doctor, as your treatment plan may need to be altered to better fit your needs. No matter what, don’t feel as if you have to suffer in silence. There is help available. When anxiety is not addressed, some people turn to substance misuse to cope. If you are struggling with a substance use disorder, our team at The Ho Tai Way can help. We offer female-only treatment and trauma-informed care. Call (714) 581-3974 today to learn more about what we have to offer.