Times are uncertain and there are a lot of people who are anxious. Anxiety is a symptom of life’s problems, but it is also a disorder that can be chronic. Many people struggle with anxiety and don’t even know it. Don’t worry, there are plenty of methods you can use to mitigate physical symptoms and get control of your worries. Anxiety can feel crippling at times, causing physical discomfort, trouble breathing, and other mental health issues like depression. If you’re struggling with anxiety, below are five ways to help you manage and live with it.
Believe it or not, exercise has a great impact on anxiety. When you exert yourself physically, your brain focuses on other things. There won’t be enough room to worry after you just ran for a few miles. Something happens when you work out that can’t be done any other way. It is primal. Your brain can’t focus on your worries. After all, we are designed evolutionarily to be on the move all the time. When you simply can’t take your anxiety anymore, ask yourself—am I doing all that I can to feel better? If you’re not exercising then the answer is no.
While yoga could be put into the category of exercise, it should really be its own topic. Yoga isn’t just stretching. It is the combination of breathing techniques, mindfulness, stretching, and physical exertion that heals both your body and mind. Not only does yoga reduce inflammation, but it will also help you learn how to control your breathing. If you are very anxious you might have a problem with holding your breath or irregular breathing yoga will help. It will teach you to recognize when you’re not breathing properly. It is one of the most effective ways to mitigate your anxiety.
Meditation can be spiritual, but it doesn’t necessarily have to be. Meditation is the practice of being fully in the moment. This is often called mindfulness. When you sit in silence with your eyes closed and allow your mind to wander before pulling it back to the present moment, you are training your brain to keep out negative thoughts and worries about the future. It’s true that when we live fully in the moment we worry less and have less anxiety. This is because, when you’re sitting and meditating there is truly nothing wrong. All the noise in your mind can be quieted. You will learn how to control negative thoughts. Meditation and mindfulness training are an effective way to do that.
Sometimes anxiety is a learned behavior from your family. Anxious people often need to talk about how they feel to someone who won’t judge them. This is where therapy comes in. Seeing a professional therapist won’t just help you get a handle on your anxiety and provide methods to manage it, you will also be able to work through your other problems. Cognitive behavioral therapy is one of the most common therapeutic methods to treat anxiety disorders. Anxiety can also be caused by trauma, depression, PTSD, and more. When anxiety is a big problem for you but you also want to work on other things, therapy is a good place to start. As society ends the stigma surrounding it, more people will begin to work on themselves and their neuroses.
Finally, if all else fails you can try taking medications. When you’ve tried everything to decrease your anxiety and nothing works, you could have an anxiety disorder that needs to be managed with medication. There are plenty of prescriptions for anxiety disorders. Using Ativan, Xanax, and Hydroxyzine for anxiety can help you worry less and be happier. If you’ve tried everything above and nothing seems to make it better, you should remember it’s not your fault. It might be time to start taking medication.
Anxiety is very common. Over 40 million people in the United States struggle with the disorder. While it could be categorized as a mental illness, some people feel anxious from time to time but don’t need medication. It’s necessary to determine where you fit in this spectrum, but either way, it isn’t a reflection of you. Anxiety is a problem for many people in the modern world, but don’t fear — there are plenty of solutions to help you effectively manage it.
Ryan Beitler is a journalist, writer, and blogger who has written about mental health for many publications.