If you’ve been struggling to manage your anxiety, you’re not alone—at least 40 million American adults are affected by anxiety.1 Everyone has days when they feel a bit anxious, but chronic anxiety can have a negative impact on your health and get in the way of your everyday activities.
Fortunately, you don’t have to let your anxiety get the best of you. There are multiple ways to manage stress and keep your anxiety symptoms in check. In this article, we’ll discuss a few lifestyle changes and coping techniques that can help you cope with your anxiety.
Take a Moment
When your anxiety is getting out of control, it may be helpful to take a brief break and practice a simple relaxation technique. Many people find meditation and yoga effective for clearing their mind and centering themselves; others may prefer to listen to relaxing music. If you’re short on time, even a series of deep, calming breaths can help you clear and refocus your mind.
In our fast-paced world, it’s all too easy to let healthy lifestyle habits fall to the wayside; however, taking good care of your health can make it much easier to cope with your anxiety:
- Fuel your body with a balanced diet: Drink plenty of water, don’t skip meals and keep some healthy snacks on hand to maintain your energy levels throughout the day.
- Get moving: Exercise has a positive impact on both your physical and mental health, and it can help you keep your stress levels in check.
- Get more sleep: Lack of sleep can increase your stress levels, even if you don’t have an anxiety disorder.
- Just say no: When you stretch yourself too thin, your anxiety levels are likely to soar. Remember that it’s ok to put yourself first and decline commitments when your plate is full.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine: Think twice before reaching for a glass of wine or a latte to relax. Many anxiety sufferers find that these substances make their symptoms worse.
Get Help to Cope with Your Anxiety
Healthy lifestyle habits can go a long way toward keeping your stress levels in check, but sometimes you might need some extra help to get anxiety under control. Fortunately, many effective treatments are available.
One common form of anxiety treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy. This therapeutic technique helps clients make the connection between thought patterns and anxiety. By changing the way they think, clients are able to break the cycle of anxiety.
In some cases, medication can be helpful in treating anxiety. Selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are some of the most widely prescribed medications for anxiety. They work by boosting the levels of serotonin, a mood-enhancing neurotransmitter, in the brain.2 Benzodiazepines are another type of medication that can be effective in treating anxiety, but they carry a high risk of dependency and should only be used for short-term anxiety treatment.
Managing your anxiety can be challenging, but there’s no need to let anxiety stop you from living life to the fullest. With a healthy lifestyle, some coping techniques and a good understanding of your treatment options, you’ll be armed with the tools you need to keep your anxiety in check.