According to experts at the National Alliance on Mental Illness, up to 40 million American adults suffer from anxiety and excessive worry. If you feel you may fit into this statistic, today’s article is for you — here are six ways you can better manage your symptoms and promote a greater sense of well-being.
According to a study out of Johns Hopkins University, mindfulness meditation can help eliminate or reduce anxiety symptoms. The research found that people are better able to manage anxiety and other psychological stressors when they regularly meditate.
If you struggle with mediation, try one of these helpful apps which provide guided instruction that can help you achieve a state of peaceful well-being.
According to a Princeton study published in the Journal of Neuroscience, physical activity such as walking reorganizes the brain, so anxiety is less likely to disrupt your daily life.
The simple act of walking can also help put you in a relaxed, meditative state that reduces anxious feelings. This effect is maximized when you walk outside and spend time in natural green spaces, such as Western Colorado’s many scenic hiking trails.
While certain strategies can help prevent or alleviate anxiety, other things can worsen your symptoms. These include:
Try to adjust your lifestyle to eliminate or limit these problematic anxiety triggers.
Countless studies have linked inadequate sleep to increased anxiety and low mood. If you haven’t been getting between seven and nine hours of sleep every night, take steps to improve your sleeping habits. This means maintaining a consistent bedtime every day, even on weekends and holidays.
You should also steer clear of known sleep disruptors within two to four hours of bedtime. This includes alcohol, caffeine, and even tablets and smartphones, which emit blue light that inhibits the body's production of melatonin.
It may sound counter-intuitive, but there is good evidence that you can reduce the negative impact of stress by viewing it in a more positive light. According to a study out of Yale University, subjects exhibited improved psychological symptoms when they were told that stress can be beneficial. When you feel anxious, try thinking of stress as your body's way of preparing for an important task.
In some instances, anxiety can become so overwhelming it makes it hard for people to function in everyday life. If you feel that your anxiety has become unmanageable, consider talking to a professional therapist. With professional guidance, you can develop healthier thought patterns and effective coping strategies that make it easier to let go of worry.