Anxiety is that feeling of heaviness, dread, and fear lodged in your throat and chest. It might cause you to feel restless, have rapid heart rate, sweat and more; the usual symptoms of a person feeling nervous. The only difference is, that you feel this nervousness or anxiousness, to be precise, for even the smallest of matters that others can just let go of as insignificant.
Anxiety is a part of life. It helps you deal with stress. Your body's innate fight or flight response is a direct reaction to an increase in anxiety. But dealing with it regularly is what makes this feeling detrimental. For people with anxiety disorders the feeling of anxiousness can be overwhelming and can negatively affect their daily life.
8 Ways To Reduce Anxiety:
- Meditation: It helps you to calm down and focus your attention. It produces a deep state of relaxation and helps eliminate negative and jumbled thoughts, causing enhanced well-being. You can clear away the information overload that builds up every day and contributes to your stress through meditation. It primes your perception and helps you respond to anxiety better.
- Exercise: It is a great stress buster. Exercise can help get your mind off topics that fuel your anxiety. It also releases feel-good endorphins that can enhance your sense of well-being. Exercising daily also helps increase your self-confidence and social interaction, and enables you to cope with anxiety more healthily.
- Sleep: A study conducted at the University of California, Berkeley, showed that a full night’s deep sleep especially non-REM sleep helps reduce anxiety. REM means rapid eye movement. It was seen that people subjected to sleepless nights had up to 30% of increased anxiety levels. The study also determined that deep sleep restores the brain’s prefrontal mechanism that regulates emotions, by lowering emotional and physiological reactivity and preventing the escalation of anxiety.
- Food: Studies show that people who follow a diet high in ultra-processed foods and added sugar are more likely to experience higher perceived stress levels. Plus, not eating enough nutrient-dense whole foods may increase your risk of nutrient deficiencies. Nutrients are essential for regulating stress and mood, such as magnesium and B vitamins.
- Breathwork: Your breathing starts getting irregular and shallow when you get stressed. It is your body’s way of dealing with stress. Mindful breathwork enables more air to flow into your body, helps calm your nerves, and reduces stress and anxiety. It can also help you improve your attention span and lower pain levels.
- Essential Oils: Aromatherapy is one of the oldest forms of herbal medicine used in many countries such as India, Egypt and Iran. The reason is, that essential oils inﬂuence the connection between body and mind by interacting with the olfactory system and help you reduce stress and anxiety1. Especially the usage of Lavender and Cinnamon essential oil is highly recommended.
- Journaling: It is a valuable tool which helps you process, manage and reduce anxiety. Anxiety is your body’s reaction to stress, and journaling helps you manage stress. A study showed that writing down past mistakes or negative situations or events helps you deal with them more effectively. It helps you stop overthinking and obsessing about it 2.
- Practising Gratitude: Studies have seen strong evidence that gratitude helps prevent and lower anxiety. Self-gratitude helps you understand yourself better which is critical when dealing with setbacks, frustration, guilt and more. Gratitude towards others improves interpersonal relationships at home and work. “Gratitude is an emotion that grounds us and is a great way to balance out the negative mindset that uncertainty engenders,” said Dr. Guy Winch, author of the book Emotional First Aid 3.