Anxiety slows you down in life. And in severe cases, even bring you to a halt. Recovering from anxiety is not as easy as falling victim to it.
General Anxiety Disorder, or GAD, is when you have persistent patterns of worrying thoughts for over six months. Anything lesser than that can be a stress factor and emotional inconvenience but is hardly anxiety.
Although patients with ongoing treatments or mild anxiety levels find it easy to cope with work, relationships, and friends, patients with severe anxiety cases cannot keep up with the fast pace of life around them.
Though anxiety cannot be elf-diagnosed, you need a therapist to do that. You can, however, look for symptoms. The most common symptoms of anxiety are continually worrying and panic attacks. It is when you imagine baseless situations making out the worst that could happen, even when there is nothing to worry about.
And to break the ruthless cycle of negative thoughts, you need to make a few lifestyle changes. What you do in your routine impacts your cognitive behavior and can improve your anxious state. So, let’s get started with the easiest things to do to deal with anxiety independently.
Rethink Your Thoughts
The easiest thing to make out for a person with anxiety is when he thinks too much. You are all zoned out, and it snaps in a moment when you realize how long you had been thinking about something.
At this moment, you should start tracking back your thoughts and writing down what thought led to another and where it all started. You won’t find much success initially, but it all starts coming back to you when you try.
This helps you identify a thought pattern and a trigger point. So the next time when you find yourself spiraling down the same thought again, you’ll know if it leads to a logical solution or not. If not, you’ll naturally stop thinking more and save yourself the trouble.
Rethinking your thoughts also helps you develop rational thinking. When you trace back your thoughts, you notice that most of them root out something very ordinary. After this change, you can look at everything for what it is and not what you imagine it to be.
Mindfulness And Meditation
The most useful tool to deal with anxiety and get your thoughts under control is mindfulness. It has been practiced for centuries in different cultures and religions worldwide. Though the modern mindfulness and meditation techniques may confuse you because of diversity, they all have the same key principle, and more or less, the same results.
You are tasked to focus on something like your breath, a mantra, music, or just a singular sound during mindfulness. What this does is, it rebuilds the neural pathways of your thoughts and helps you avoid distractions better.
In mindfulness, distracting thoughts are called “the noise.” And once you start to distinguish your focus from the noise of anxiety, you see a much calmer side to life.
Not only will it help calm your roaring thoughts of anxiety, but also improve other aspects of your life. You will be able to put in a lot more effort into work, enjoy your family time, and boost your self-esteem.
Learning to control your thoughts is the most envious trait to have. Also, it is an ideal tool to help you get rid of anxiety in day-to-day life.
Limit Alcohol And Caffeine
People suffering from anxiety typically have only two go-to drinks. Coffee to “wake-up” and alcohol to “relax and calm down.” But that ends up doing more harm than good. It is very much possible that most of your anxiety comes from too much caffeine or alcohol.
Caffeine is a stimulant and really does “wake you up,” but too much of it induces hypersensitivity and speeds up brain activity. And as a result, you helplessly drown in a stream of negative and anxious thoughts. Drinking coffee later in the day messes with your sleep cycle as caffeine’s effects can last up to 8 hours.
Coming over to alcohol, which is a sedative, unlike coffee. Alcohol helps you put the noises in your head on mute for a while and helps you sleep quicker and better. But not always. There are times when your thoughts get the driving seat when drinking. And it’s not a very pleasurable experience.
However, the problem arises the next day when you have to deal with a hangover. Drinking a glass of orange juice and charging up on water may make the headaches go away. But it is before midday that you can completely feel the effects wear off, and half of your day is already wasted.
Have you ever heard about the term moderation?
Drink a coffee cup in the morning, and that should be enough to get you through the day. On the contrary, keep alcohol for the weekends when you have nothing to worry about the next day.
This will defog your brain and help you better control your thoughts rather than developing a dependency.
As I said in the beginning, anxiety slows you down in life and even brings you to a halt. And that only adds up more to think and stress about. Since you’re not being productive and social, you have a lot of commitments and work piling up as well.
At times, it is not because you lack the motivation to get work done but energy. If you’re eating lesser calories or munching on a lot of unhealthy food, you will be depleted all day and not get any work done.
Changing your diet and including a lot of energizing food will help you counter the effects of anxiety. Sugars and fats take a lot of energy and tie to digest, which is why avoiding them is the very first step you need to take.
Loss of appetite is a common symptom of anxiety. And to counter that, having a bit of CBD flower extracts will help you redevelop your appetite. Visit a nutritionist if you must, but making the right dietary changes like including greens, proteins, and drinking a lot of water scales down the effects of anxiety.
We often underestimate the benefits and effects of physical exertion in life. When you are suffering from anxiety, you are very much likely to give up any or all physical activity. And in turn, you stop using the stress hormones in your body, which results in even more overthinking.
To deal with anxiety, you don’t need to hit the gym like a powerlifter. It is vital to set up your goals for working out. It makes it easier and more fun.
Start with whatever you are comfortable at doing because remember, you have to build a lifestyle habit and go through a cutting cycle for a sporting event. So, go easy on yourself.
Compound exercises that work most or all of your body’s muscles like walking, running, swimming, and dancing are the best ones to start your new routine off with. Working out uses Cortisol, the stress hormone, in your body and leaves you much lighter and fresh.