Do you remember the feeling you experienced right before an important presentation? Or the feeling we experience during an important exam? We all have faced anxiety at some point in our life or the other. It is absolutely normal to feel anxious or stressed as it alerts us and help us focus better. But when does it become a problem? Experiencing too much anxiety can mess with our functionality which can be counterproductive. It can make us lose touch with reality and interfere with our productivity. Anxiety patients often experience sleep disturbances and change in eating habits. Overeating and under eating can be a common effect of excessive anxiety. Too much anxiety can be a symptom of an anxiety disorder. In such a case, the individual must check with a mental health professional. Along with this, there are always tricks and tips that can be done at the individual level to monitor, control, and reduce anxiety. Some of these techniques are explained as follows:
- RELAXATION TECHNIQUES: Relaxation techniques like yoga or meditation can help us get comfortable and calm. These practices can easily be done using apps that guide an individual through the course of meditation. Breathing exercises can also be an example of relaxation techniques.
- STRESSOR MANAGEMENT: Sometimes, the cause of our anxiety lies within a life event such as job loss, job stress, marital discord, financial problems, etc. One must work systematically to work these problems out. Sometimes, we tend to learn to live with our problems. Such practices can be very harmful to one's mental peace.
- LIFESTYLE REMEDIES: In today's fast lifestyle, it is very important to maintain a work-life balance. Lack of sleep can be a major cause of anxiety. An individual must ensure that they are getting sound and undisturbed sleep at night. Eating habits can also contribute to the same. Having a balanced diet, inclusive of fruits and vegetables is very important for our body to get proper nutrition. Having a healthy body will lead to having a healthy mind. Excessive intake of coffee can also lead to anxiety issues. An individual must ensure that they regulate and minimization caffeine intake. Lastly, in lifestyle remedies, exercising is very important. It helps to loosen up the muscles. It also ensures that there is optimum oxygen circulation throughout our bodies. Exercising also helps in inducing better sleep, which ultimately calms us down and helps in decreasing anxiety.
- FIND SUPPORT: Spending quality time with friends and family can help in maintaining a better emotional state. Having someone to talk to is very important for us to share things with. it helps in catharsis, commonly known as emotional unburdening. Being with close ones helps in generating feelings of security. A nice lunch with friends can easily take our mind off a bad day. This can help us identify that someone has got our back.
- CONNECT WITH NATURE AND YOURSELF: Most of us end up in an office setup, away from daylight and greenery. It is scientifically proven that looking at greenery helps us be happier. Make a balance between office hours and nature hours. Take strolls around the park, listen to some music, read a book, do things that make YOU feel good. Connect with yourself.
Identify unhealthy thinking patterns. It is very important to identify and work on the negative thinking patterns a lot of us end up having. These can be the negative 'what if's' that never happen. Or making too many negative future predictions. Overgeneralizing can also be an unhealthy thinking pattern. Just because you failed one exam, doesn't mean that you're worthless. Generalizing one event throughout the entire life is called over-generalization and it can be very unhealthy. An individual can work on these by going for therapy. A therapist systematically works on negative thinking patterns or cognitive errors that help the patient a lot. The patient is able to replace negative thought patterns with positive ones. This, in turn, helps in revolutionizing oneself and his life.
If your symptoms are still not under control, then I urge you to go visit a psychiatrist or a psychologist. Sometimes, people require therapy and medication in order to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. Along with those, the individual is also supposed to follow these lifestyle practices for a better effect of the therapy or medication.
I insist you be more aware and alert about the people around you. If anyone around you is experiencing any of the anxiety symptoms, talk to them. Try to be their support and psychoeducation about anxiety. Convince them to go seek help from professionals. Always remember, it is never worth to suffer in silence. Life can be better if you want to make a change. So decide today itself, to start working with yourself, take out time to make your way to a better life.