Due to mounting stressors, more and more are suffering from anxiety than ever before.
For some, the feelings of anxiety are mild and can be managed until they pass. But for others, anxiety can be debilitating.If you have feelings of anxiety that last more than 6 months and impact your daily life, you could have an anxiety disorder.
What does anxiety look like in most people?
Anxiety can show itself in many ways and is different among all people, symptoms of anxiety disorders (including panic and phobia disorders) can be:
- Feelings of restlessness or difficulty concentrating
- Being irritable or “on edge”
- Trouble falling or staying asleep
- Excessive worrying or irrational fears
- Biting nails or skin
- Stomach and digestive discomfort
5 Healthy Habits for Coping with Anxiety
Here are just a few self-care tips you can start adding to your daily routine:
Deep breathing exercises
Lay in a comfortable position and close your eyes. Then gently breathe in through your nose for 6 seconds, and out through your mouth for another 6 seconds. Continue for up to 10 minutes or until you feel more relaxed.
DID YOU KNOW?: Slowing down your breathing can activate your parasympathetic nervous system, signaling to your body that you’re safe, thereby reducing the fight-or-flight signal you may be feeling.
Genius Corner: Natasha’s Anxiety Tip
“I have a daughter with autism who copes with daily anxiety. One of the ways we help her feel at ease is the ‘blow out the birthday candle’ method. By having her take a deep breath in, and a deep breath out, blowing out an imaginary candle!”
– Natasha Ness,
Sr. Product Designer, GeniusRx
Learning to say no
Choose carefully what you feel you can take on, and politely decline any other requests. Learning to say “no”, can surprisingly open up opportunities to say “yes” when you’re ready.
DID YOU KNOW?: There are many things in your life that you cannot control, and that’s okay. However by saying no when you feel overwhelmed you can gain control over the activities in your life that are causing you stress.
Set a timer for 5 mins, and while in a comfortable position, take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. Observe your breathing, and when your mind wanders with other thoughts, take note of where it went, and return to focusing on your breaths.
DID YOU KNOW?: Being mindful is all about bringing your attention to the present. That means letting go of past occurrences or future worries. Being more mindful can help curb your impulse to spiral into a negative thinking pattern. There are many ways to utilize this method, such as mindfulness-based cognitive therapy or meditation.
Grab some Affection
Cuddling is the easiest way to connect physically. Grab a blanket and cuddle with your favorite person or pet.
DID YOU KNOW?: Positive physical contact can help release oxytocin and lower cortisol. This can lower blood pressure and heart rate, both of which are physical symptoms of stress.
Write your to-do for the next day before getting ready for bed. Lessen the load on your brain by having a list of things to prioritize throughout the day.
DID YOU KNOW?: Procrastination can lead you to act reactively, leaving you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality.
Above all, know that you are not alone, and managing anxiety is possible through self-care and seeking help from other sources.
Suffering from uncontrollable panic, depression, or you just need someone to listen? Please contact the National Alliance on Mental Illness Helpline: 1-800-950-NAMI (6264)
Sources: 1. WebMD, 2. Healthline, 3. KFF