Anxiety – everyone struggles with it. To a greater or lesser extent, we all have things that wind us up, worry us, or stress us out. For some of us, anxiety comes and goes but does not consumer us. However, for others, it can have a significant negative impact on quality of life. If high stress and anxiety is a day to day struggle for you or something that you just want to get a better handle on, you may find the following three strategies very helpful for managing your anxiety.
Learn How To Relax: We all assume that we know how to relax. However, for many people, our concept of ‘relaxation’ may not actually be helping our bodies calm down at all – in some cases, it may actually be making things worse. Sitting in front of a TV or computer isn’t true relaxation, and neither are such things as tobacco, drugs, or alcohol – these things create a facade of relaxation while actually putting stress on your body. Instead of relying on old habits, try something new that is proven to actually relax you. This may be deep breathing, meditation, yoga, or anything else that you are interested in trying. Consider them mini-experiments and see how these types of activities make you feel. Try different techniques to find the one that works best for you. What’s important is not to let relaxation be a passive exercise. Don’t just assume you know what will help; actually discover what really does!
Take Care of Your Body: Living in the world today, many people treat their bodies like a Jeep that can be banged around and fed cheap gas without any real consequences in performance. The fact is that unfortunately that’s just not how it works. Your body is highly sensitive to what you put into it and how you treat it, which makes sleeping, eating healthy, and exercising vitally important to general mental health. If you have been feeling overwhelmed, see if there is anything you can do to carve out an extra 60-90 minutes of sleep for the night. Skip the candy bar and load up on a wide variety of vegetables, protein, and healthy fats. Although it may not be possible to make it to the gym, there are lots of ways to be active – even starting your day with 20 push-ups or a half hour walk can make a big difference. Make a commitment to treating your body right for a month – you will be amazed not only by the changes you experience on a physical level, but the extent to which it enhances your ability to manage high stress and better regulate your anxiety.
Control Your Thoughts, Control Your Life: Although it’s a cliché, thinking positively really does have a big impact on our happiness levels. The important thing is to not let it just be wishful thinking – it means proactively taking steps to change the patterns of thought that can exacerbate anxiety and stress. It can also be helpful to take time out of your day to focus on gratitude, a thought process that acts as a natural anxiety reliever. If you like to write things down, you may want to set a goal of journaling three things that you are grateful for each day. Research shows us that over time, this simple, daily action trains our brains to think more positively, thereby improving our overall quality of life.
While these techniques are powerful, they may not work for everyone. If your anxiety feels extreme or overwhelming, professional help is often the best course of action. If you would like to make an initial appointment, just visit my contact page.
For more little tips and tricks for living a healthier, happier life, keep checking back to this blog – I’ll be updating it continuously with posts just like this one!
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