3 Ways to Reduce your Anxiety
By Space Coast Daily // October 1, 2020
Anxiety, It’s an awful sounding word. It’s little coincidence that saying “anxious” causes one to make a “ksh” sound similar to that of glass breaking.
And as awful as the word itself is, the feeling of anxiety is worse.
Linked to high blood pressure, breathing issues, digestive problems, and libido loss, anxiety can legitimately shrink your lifespan. That’s why addressing your anxiety remains important, especially during the COVID era.
This article will give you a few tips on how to reduce your anxiety, using small steps to give your brain just enough of a breather to help you navigate stress.
Prepare for the Bad Times When Things are Good
“An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure” is probably the best advice in relation to anxiety. Whenever things are going well for you (like, for example, on the weekend), you have the perfect opportunity to make small preparations for whatever bad times may come your way.
1. Prepare your work lunches for the week, so that you can have something easy to eat for lunch all through the week.
2. If you can, whenever Sunday evening rolls around, do 10 minutes or so worth of work to give yourself a slight advantage when Monday starts.
3. Get your clothes for the week ready on Sunday, doing any washing or ironing when you have free time.
4. Put an umbrella in your car, and leave it there just in case.
5. Make sure your car has enough gas for the week.
Small improvements like these can make your week so much easier and begin your anxiety support management.
Take Time to Separate Yourself from the Situation
No amount of preparation, however, can prepare you for everything that comes your way. And, whenever trouble comes in, your body may naturally tense up. Your body doesn’t know that the angry customer in front of you is not a lion primed to attack, so it may naturally act as if a physical threat were imminent.
So, when stress hits, check-in with yourself:
• Unclench your jaw, and remove your tongue from the roof of your mouth.
• Roll your shoulders back and forth, then relax them.
• Breathe deeply and slowly in, then out.
• Make sure that none of your muscles are tensed up as if you’re about to exercise.
Once you’ve relaxed your body a bit, review the situation. If your situation is a project, break down the project into smaller elements, and mentally check off whenever you complete one of those elements.
If your stressor is a person, like an angry customer, take a moment to try to see things from their point of view. They are unlikely to be angry at you but at an unrelated situation. If instead of seeing this as a them vs. you situation, you see this as a cooperative situation with the customer, you can determine their issue and help them solve it.
This may not solve all situations, of course, but this serves as a good base to help with customer interactions.
Get your Diet and Exercise Right
Your body is the greatest tool you will ever have, so taking care of it can give you a nice buffer against stress issues.
Take a 30-minute walk at least 3 days out of the week.
Give strength training a try. A cheap way to start strength training is through bodyweight exercises (push-ups, squats, lunges, and planks are excellent starter exercises for the bodyweight novice).
If you don’t eat many vegetables, add a small salad to your dinner. Try a new vegetable you’ve never had before, and learn to cook it. Be willing to stretch your spice rack beyond salt, sugar, and black pepper, as this can help you make flavorful food without adding calories or salt.
Consider a dietary supplement that focuses on stress. Some good dietary supplements include L-Theanine (improves cognition and focus), GABA (short for gamma-Aminobutyric acid, an amino acid which aids with anxiety relief and mood elevation), and Rhodiola (an adaptogenic herb which has multiple applications, including fighting depression and stress).
Stress Bad, You Good
These are only a few stress relief tips, and they are basic. However, these tips should be generally applicable regardless of who you are, and work as an excellent base for an anxiety management routine.
Just remember that you are worthwhile, and while you can never live in a world free of stress, you deserve to be strong enough to handle anything that comes your way.