A staggering 18% of American people over the age of 18 live with anxiety, and only ⅓ of them receive treatment. But anxiety and it’s many forms are paralyzing if not treated. The first step to treating anxiety is understanding how anxiety is experienced. The more we learn about anxiety, the more we can manage it, and take back the reigns to our life. We hope you find these tips helpful.
Why Do We Experience Anxiety?
Anxiety is a reaction to fear, a reaction to potential threats in our lives. Anxiety is a normal feeling and is meant to keep us safe from harm — it is a way of nodding to our will to survive. Like stress, it causes a flood of cortisol and adrenaline, triggering the “fight or flight response.” If this “fight or flight” response happens frequently, as a reaction to non-threatening circumstances or imagined circumstances, these are signs of chronic anxiety, or Anxiety disorder.
Anxiety disorders cause our body to frequently release cortisol and adrenaline, which overcome our distinction between real, exaggerated and imagined threat. If we aren’t careful, we can rewire our brains to experience anxiety during inappropriate, unthreatening circumstances. Chronic anxiety can also lead to other mental health problems, such as Depression, social isolation and even physical problems.
Taking charge of anxiety can be a scary task in itself, but we want to help you face this fear so you can finally feel better. It’s time to emerge from this cycle. Here are some changes you can include in your daily routine to feel relief from chronic anxiety.
Meditation: Consider meditation, seriously. You’ve heard this over and over, but in the over-stimulating world we live in, it’s crucial to give your mind time for intended rest. Meditation teaches us to see our thoughts and emotions without judgement. This will also help you understand the thoughts that lead you toward anxiety.
Healthy Diet: Your diet plays a major role in the symptoms of anxiety as well as your ability to manage them. Make sure your gut flora is healthy and regulated, as unhealthy gut flora can actually affect your moods. To do this, eat plenty of fermented foods, and avoid simple carbohydrate or sugary foods. Omega-3 Fatty Acids also improve emotional well-being, so stock up on nuts, seeds and fish.
Regular Exercise: The endorphins from exercise help balance the cortisol and adrenaline that pumps through your body during a bout of anxiety. Some studies suggest that regular exercise can be just as effective as anxiety medication. Aim for 30 minutes of daily exercise, anything that gets your heart rate up. We recommend these exercises:
- Running/walking: While running provides a more intense release of endorphins, some studies reveal that just 10 minutes of walking can reduce stress and anxiety.
- Hiking: Spending time in nature every day has been shown to improve our mental health.
- Yoga: stretching, low-impact movement and focus on breathing is excellent for balancing symptoms of anxiety.
Seek Help: Anxiety can be a powerful obstacle to conquer alone. If you feel controlled by your anxiety, please know you are not alone, and we are here to help. Call Healing Minds to set up an appointment, and together we can overcome this.