5 Ways to Prevent Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common mental health issues that people (including myself) struggle with.
I have dealt with anxiety my entire life and over the years I've learned a ton of ways to prevent it as much as possible. To those with anxiety- If there's one thing I want to say, it's that how you're feeling is not your fault.
For those who don't know what anxiety is like, symptoms can range from racing heart, dizziness, headaches, nausea, chest pain, chronic fatigue, numbness, heaviness in legs, brain fog, and body pain, among tons of others. And let me tell you, it isn't something you can just turn off. It is an imbalance in your brain that results in these awful symptoms. It can actually be extremely debilitating for many people.
But enough of that talk. Instead of feeling upset or helpless, it is important to make sure you are trying everything you can to help yourself. Hopefully by using some of my tips below, you'll be able to get control over some of your anxiety.
The one thing I have done my entire life, and my #1 tip is to eliminate caffeine. Caffeine is proven to cause anxiety or make it worse, and can leave you feeling jittery and uneasy. I love this tip because it is so easy. Plus, I still drink coffee all the time, I just get decaf!
There have been countless times in my life where I have felt paralyzed by my anxiety. The first instinct most people have is to hide away where its comfortable and safe. However, laying around only causes anxiety to become worse. If you're too anxious to leave the house, try to sit outside on a bench or the grass without your phone or laptop. Try people watching or just zoning out- it is a huge stress relief and takes your mind off of everything.
No matter how big or small the workout, any type of movement helps immediately reduce anxiety. When you exert energy you also are exerting those feelings of jitteriness. It also can be great for people who are suffering from obsessive thoughts or excessive worrying. It gives you a chance to stop thinking and focus on the movements of your body.
Meditate or unwind
Practicing meditation over a period of time can help you improve your anxiety and relax. I use the Simple Habit app a few times a week when I'm feeling stressed or even just to help me fall asleep. If meditation isn't for you, another easy way to relax is by lighting some candles, taking a hot bath or shower, and then getting into bed and reading a book or watching a movie. You can get creative with how you unwind, but it's basically anything that allows you to disconnect from the real world.
A lot of people are afraid to ask for help because they think that nothing can fix their problem. If you are at the point where your anxiety is not allowing you to live your life to the fullest, it's time to find new options. I first suggest trying out therapy for a couple months and seeing if this improves your symptoms at all. If therapy isn't as effective as you'd like, I think talking to a psychiatrist about medication is a great option. Although it isn't for everyone, if you have reached your breaking point, it is completely OK to go on medicine! If you're afraid to try out medication (another symptom of anxiety), it can help to ask your psychiatrist about getting a drug-gene test. The test tells you which types of drugs agree with you and which don't, which can save you a lot of time and effort.