A moment of vulnerability and honesty: this time last year was probably the hardest and darkest time in my life – there was an incident that caused my anxiety to spike to an all time high, which meant that eating, sleeping, and focusing on work and school were not only a challenge, they felt completely out of reach. While many of us have dealt with anxiety at one point or another, it can really negatively impact quality of life when it is sustained for long periods of time. Here are some ways to ease and tame that anxiety so you can get back to feeling like yourself:
Start Your Day With Exercise:
Whether it’s a walk, run, spin class, or yoga, exercising will reduce cortisol (the stress hormone), release endorphins, and help you to clear your head and sleep better at night.
Try Breathing Exercises:
Sit down with your back straight, with one hand on your heart and one on your stomach – count to 8 while you slowly breathe ALL the way in, hold for 4 seconds, and count to 8 as you slowly exhale and repeat.
Reduce Your Caffeine + Alcohol Intake:
Yep, this one is a bummer and I’ll admit that I’m not good at it! Both caffeine and alcohol mess with your hormones and your sleep which further aggravates anxiety. Try swapping out your coffee for decaf or a herbal tea latte and a fancy seltzer for a beer.
Write It Down:
Sometimes the best way to relieve anxiety is to shed light on what you’re anxious about. Set a time for 10 minutes and write down everything on your brain – you might find that you end up writing for a lot longer than that about something specific which will help you to process it.
If therapy is something you have access to, it can do wonders to speak to a professional who will listen without judgement and help you get yourself out of any negative thought patterns that cause anxiety.
Allow yourself to watch that sitcom or stand-up comic that makes you belly laugh – laughing reduces stress and tension and also releases endorphins!
Whether it is your person or your pet, cuddling releases oxytocin which promotes a positive mood.
Other things like calming music, essential oils, supplements, yoga, and drinking plenty of water will also help to soothe anxiety. If this is something you are dealing with, know that you are not alone – you are strong, special and awesome, and eventually this will pass.
Written by GUADS staff member Kate with contributions from healthline.com