11 Tips to Help Manage Anxiety
July 24, 2019 | Published by Adrenal Fatigue Team
Got stress? Chances are you’re dealing with some level of anxiety. Anxiety can be brought on by chronic stress or worry, and the symptoms can be both mental and physical. While anxiety can be mild for some, it can be debilitating for others. Regardless, no one wants to experience those feelings. Here are 11 tips to help manage anxiety.
Focus on your breathing
Breathing causes your blood cells to receive oxygen and release carbon dioxide. It’s important to breathe properly since incorrect breathing can upset the oxygen and carbon dioxide exchange in your body. This imbalance can help cause anxiety, fatigue, panic attacks and other emotional stressors. (1) When you’re feeling anxious, try focusing on your breathing and nothing else. Take deep belly breaths, exhaling out of your nose.
Be aware of caffeine
Caffeine can be especially detrimental to those with certain conditions like chronic high stress. The brief pick-me-up can feel good at first but leads to a crash that makes you feel worse than before. In addition to the harm it can do to already exhausted stress response system, it can also increase sleep disturbances, digestive issues, neurological disturbances, and nutritional deficiencies, all of which can induce anxiety. (12)
In addition to benefits such as promoting healthy sleep, clearing the mind, and charging endorphins, getting even a small amount of daily exercise is a well-known stress deterrent. Researchers show that within five years, people that exercise vigorously and regularly were 25% less likely to develop an anxiety disorder. (2) Those with high anxiety may find yoga, stretching, and other more “calm” exercises more helpful.
Practice muscle relaxation
One of the ways your body responds to stress is through muscle tension. One way to help relieve this tension is through a relaxation method called progressive muscle relaxation (PMR). PMR can also alleviate other symptoms of stress such as anxiety and insomnia. Like other forms of relaxation, PMR is especially useful during times of high stress and nervousness and can even help individuals through intense episodes, such as panic attacks. (4)
Adjust your sleep schedule
Getting adequate sleep each night is essential if you’re suffering from anxiety. Research shows that inadequate sleep intensifies the brain’s anticipatory reactions, which raises anxiety levels. (6) It’s also crucial to start off every morning stress-free, and not racing around the house trying to complete tasks before you begin your day. Waking up early and taking your time to prepare may be the therapeutic start you need each morning to conquer anxiety.
When you change how you see something, you also change how your body responds. That is why one of the most effective ways to lessen the stressful effects of an unavoidable, difficult situation is to reframe or refocus your perception of the situation. This often allows you to adapt yourself to the situation in a more positive way or gives you a key to changing the situation for the better. (3)
Eat well-balanced meals
Low blood sugar, poor hydration, and alcohol and caffeine use can all lead to anxiety. Doing your best to eat a well-balanced diet and avoiding processed, fried foods and foods high in sugar can help reduce feelings of anxiety. (11)
Add supplements to your diet
Many medications we take to feel healthier can in fact cause anxiety. Even prescription for anxiety have been reported to make individual’s anxiety worse. Treating stress through natural herbal supplements can help promote a healthy lifestyle, and along with other life changes on this list, may help you optimize your life to be less stressful and anxious.
Supplements such as Gamma-Aminobutyric acid (GABA), S-adenosyl-L-methionine (SAMe), and 5HTP can all have a calming effect that can help manage stress and anxiety. Take a look at Dr. Wilson’s Cortisol Stress Reset® for more information about the calming effects of herbal supplements.*
Get to know your anxiety
It’s important to know what triggers your anxiety. While the fear of entering a panic attack can cause anxiety for many, understanding what has led to initial attacks in the first place can prevent future episodes. (5)
Confront your fears
While completely avoiding anxiety triggers can be exceptionally helpful, especially in the short term, confronting the stressors that cause anxiety can be advantageous as well. Even approaching something that makes you anxious in a small way can show you that what you fear isn’t likely to happen, and even if it does, it’s something you can handle. (10)
Distract yourself with humor
Sometimes all you need is a distraction to help quiet anxiety. Watching a movie, television show, or any other form of entertainment that makes you laugh can not only distract you from what’s causing your anxiety, it can also elevate your mood in the process. (6)
- Ankrom, S. Deep Breathing Exercises to Reduce Anxiety. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/abdominal-breathing-2584115
- Exercise for Stress and Anxiety. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. https://adaa.org/living-with-anxiety/managing-anxiety/exercise-stress-and-anxiety
- Reframing: How to Manage Unavoidable Stress. https://adrenalfatigue.org/reframing-how-to-manage-unavoidable-stress/
- Star, K. Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Verywell Mind. https://www.verywellmind.com/progressive-muscle-relaxation-pmr-2584097
- Owens, B. How to Recognize and Overcome Triggers for Anxiety. Talbott Recovery. https://talbottcampus.com/how-to-recognize-and-overcome-triggers-for-anxiety/
- Strauss Cohen, I. 10 Simple Tactics to Manage Anxiety and Panic Attacks. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/your-emotional-meter/201706/10-simple-tactics-manage-anxiety-and-panic-attacks
- Breus M. 3 Amazing Benefits of GABA. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/sleep-newzzz/201901/3-amazing-benefits-gaba
- Lake J. 5-Hydroxytryptophan (5-HTP) for Anxiety. Psychology Today. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/integrative-mental-health-care/201810/5-hydroxytryptophan-5-htp-anxiety
- Murphree, R. Treating and Beating Anxiety and Depression with Orthomolecular Medicine. Needs.com. https://www.needs.com/product/NDNL-0712-01/htc_SAMe
- Anxiety Management Strategies. Beyond Blue. https://www.beyondblue.org.au/the-facts/anxiety/treatments-for-anxiety/anxiety-management-strategies
- Naidoo, U. Eating well to help manage anxiety: Your questions answered. Harvard Health Blog. https://www.health.harvard.edu/blog/eating-well-to-help-manage-anxiety-your-questions-answered-2018031413460
- Wilson J. Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome.
Categorised in: Effects of Stress