You feel it.
That ever-growing pit down in the center of your stomach.
Your hands are shaking. Your heart is racing. You feel the (literal) weight of the world on your shoulders.
A panic attack.
It’s a continual struggle, something you constantly battle with.
Even when not in the midst of an episode, the gnawing feeling in your gut is still there, its presence an always looming reminder of the doom and gloom you fear will come to pass.
Adults with anxiety often feel like they are in a perpetual fight or flight response, never able to really relax and enjoy themselves.
That’s no way to live.
People with an anxiety diagnosis can survive and thrive once they learn to effectively manage the symptoms.
Here are 5 tips to help adults combat the symptoms of anxiety.
It can be difficult to distinguish between momentary stress and a true anxiety disorder.
This is especially true if life has been hitting you extra hard and that momentary stress is starting to wear out its welcome.
Though the tips given here will help relieve run-of-the-mill stress, it’s important to get to the bottom of your symptoms so you can move forward with the right treatment plan.
The tricky thing about anxiety is that its symptoms are often similar to other mood disorders. Though there can be some overlap between the symptoms seen with these diagnoses, the necessary treatment is not always the same. By arming yourself with as much information as you can, you will be able to make the best possible decisions to get and stay healthy.
First and foremost, we recommend speaking with a licensed therapist. In doing so, you’ll be able to work through your thoughts and feelings and better understand what your brain is doing and why. You’ll also gain valuable tools to help cope with the symptoms of anxiety as they crop up during your day.
Along with talking to a therapist, it’s also important to have a community of supportive friends and family members.
We aren’t meant to do life alone.
Find a trusted loved one you can speak with when things get hard….that one person you can call day or night and you know they’ll pick up and offer a listening ear. If you keep things bottled up inside, never processing your feelings, they’ll begin to eat away at you over time.
Knowing you are not alone is crucial when it comes to overcoming the hold anxiety has on your life.
Most of us know that exercise releases happy chemicals into the brain. It’s a great way to relieve stress and promote positive mental and physical health.
But sometimes anxiety can present a challenge when it comes to leading an active lifestyle.
Why is this?
Well….the toll stress takes on your body and brain is exhausting. Just going about your day-to-day routines can leave you worn out and ready to hit the hay.
Even though it can feel like an uphill battle at times, adding in regular physical activity can increase your energy and improve your mood. For those reasons, we’d say it’s well worth the challenge!
Spending time outside is an often overlooked way to calm busy minds.
This is one reason hiking, biking, and other forms of outdoor recreation are so popular. It gives people a chance to escape the daily grind while enjoying fresh air, sunshine, and beautiful scenery.
Plus, spending time in nature is an easy (and low-cost!) way to promote physical health which often has a direct effect on mental health.
Vitamin D deficiency is extremely common and can contribute to an already existing anxiety disorder.
Often, replenishing our vitamin D stores is the boost our bodies need to feel better.
What better way to do this than by spending time in the sun!?
You may have heard this famous quote by Shelley Shepard Gray. Whether you have or not, you can likely relate.
Uninterrupted time to think through thoughts, feelings, and ideas is good – necessary even.
When life gets too busy, it’s easy to avoid thinking about things that cause stress. While you can put off processing hard things for a bit, it will eventually catch up to you. Working through the tough stuff is important and you’ve got to set aside time to do it.
Too much of a good thing isn’t always a good thing.
When you’ve got nothing but time on your hands, it’s easy to get lost in your head and that’s when the anxiety-ridden thoughts begin. And it’s a cycle. Once they start, they tend to take on a life of their own.
It’s important to find productive and enjoyable ways to spend your time. When your brain and body are busy, you aren’t dwelling on stressful thoughts.
Read uplifting books, take up a hobby, adopt an animal from the shelter, learn something new, volunteer for a cause you care about, spend time with friends – whatever you do, do it because you love it!
Choosing to focus on the things you enjoy, really does make a desirable difference.
When all is said and done, it really comes down to a few main points.
-Knowledge is power.
-Surround yourself with community.
-Lead a healthy lifestyle.
-Keep busy doing things you love.
While anxiety may be a difficult diagnosis, with a few positive changes, you can still live a very full and enjoyable life.
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