No matter how brave a face you put on, everybody feels anxiety occasionally. Whether it is because of a looming deadline or a busy social-life or even just bubbling nerves that seem to come from nowhere, stress and anxiety can have a hugely negative impact on your life. Here are some tips for dealing with the symptoms of anxiety so you can focus on dealing with the causes:
1) Dealing with Insomnia– One of the key symptoms of anxiety is poor sleep, something which can seriously affect your health and daily-functioning. Here are a few tricks that you can try:
- Be strict with a sleep pattern- try to avoid napping, as it can prevent you being able to sleep at night. Set yourself a bedtime and stick to it, routine can help.
- Don’t use technology in bed- phones and laptops stimulate your brain, the opposite of what you need when you should be focusing on sleep. As soon as you get into bed, leave technology out of arms reach. If you wake up in the night, avoid using your phone as the lights will wake your brain back up.
- Put herbal scents on your pillow- lavender in particular has a calming effect, so try putting a few drops of lavender oil or a bag of lavender under your pillow. It is a simple trick, but it can have a very positive result.
- Avoid caffeine and sugary foods- although this is easier said than done when you are sitting in work feeling exhausted, caffeine and sugars can stay in your system for longer than you realize disrupting your sleep at night.
2) Preventing a panic attack- The experience of having a panic attack can be scary and overwhelming, so here are some tips of what to do if you are having a panic attack. You can also use these methods for when you feel your chest start to tighten to prevent it from escalating:
- Remove yourself from the situation- whether you are in a crowded place, or by yourself stressing in front of your computer, if you can, get up and physically move to another space. Being in a new space allows your brain to reassess the situation and just the act of moving can act as a distraction.
- It is all about breathing- Panic attacks make you feel like it is impossible to take control of your breathing. Zone everything else out and tap or clap in time with your breath, starting off fast and gradually slowing down. Take as much time as you need, sometimes it can take seconds, sometimes minutes. Just make sure all you are focusing on is the sound of your hands.
- Don’t be afraid to tell people to go away- sometimes having someone stroke your back can help a great deal. Other times, it can make you feel crowded and even more overwhelmed. If someone being there isn’t helping, tell them to leave.
3) Taking care of your body- When you are tired and stressed sometimes it feels like staying at home and eating comfort food is the best thing to do, when often it can be the worst.
- Eat well- The impact of your diet on your ability to deal with the symptoms of anxiety is huge. We are not saying that eating well will cure anxiety, but with stress and insomnia impacting on your immune system, your digestion, your skin quality and much more, having a healthy diet can help to combat these symptoms so that you don’t add to your stress by feeling ill and out of sorts.
- Get fresh air and exercise- if you can, getting out of the house and having a bit of fresh air and movement, even just a five minute walk around the block can have a really positive impact. Getting out of a physical space does wonders if your brain feels like its trapped in a cycle and exercise releases endorphins which boost your immune system.
So try these methods out, so you can get back to feeling yourself again!