HOW TO OVERCOME ANXIETY
Meta description: We all experience feelings of anxiousness, but what's important is to understand what you are feeling and find ways how you can overcome anxiety.
Anxiety is a normal emotion, but sometimes it can get overwhelming and affect your daily life. Today, I'd like to share a few tips with you that I wish I had known before suffering from postpartum anxiety and OCD. The problem is that we are often taught to avoid our anxiety and fear it like the monster underneath our beds. But it's not like that.
There are different ways that you may be able to overcome anxiety to enjoy better emotional wellness. The following are some strategies you should try to help overcome it.
1. Anticipate anxiety.
Someone once told me, "Don't avoid your anxiety; anticipate it." Let me explain this better through an example - If you have social anxiety and going into a grocery store is anxiety-provoking for you, then the trick is to tell yourself, "I bet you I'm going to feel a little anxious", "I know that those feelings are coming."
By calling yourself out on the anxious feelings, you anticipate them even before the event takes place. I've mentioned before that the most fertile ground for anxiety is darkness, so when you anticipate anxiety, it sheds light on it.
When you avoid these feelings of anxiety or pretend that they're not there, it means that it's going to be even worse. So, the next time you get a negative thought, take a moment and say, "Yes, I knew my brain was going to do that." An even better exercise is to tell yourself, "I've been here before, and I know I'm going to feel this," even before you enter into an anxiety triggering situation. Since you know you will feel anxious and start anticipating it, it doesn't feel that bad.
2. Do physical exercise.
Exercise helps improve your concentration, sleep and lowers stress levels. When I say exercise, I don't mean a long and strenuous workout. Just start off with a daily 5-10 minutes walk. Walking even for a few minutes is known to help improve your mood.
When you are on these walks, try to connect with nature. Make use of your five senses - smell the flowers or listen to the chirping of birds. According to a study, nature helps to naturally boost your mood and puts you in a more relaxed state.
3. Get proper nutrition.
Research shows that people who consume more saturated fats and added sugars have higher anxiety levels than those who consume fewer fats and less sugar.
Eating fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and high-fibre foods and limiting the intake of processed foods are connected with improving mood and help make it easier to manage anxiety. Caffeine is also known to increase anxiety levels, so make sure to consume it in moderate amounts.
4. Ensure you sleep well.
Make sure to pay attention to your sleep as it is vital to get enough rest. Doctors recommend getting at least 8 hours of sleep every night. If you have a hard time falling asleep, try these simple tips:
Avoid using your phone before bedtime.
Create and stick to a sleep schedule.
Ensure your bed is comfortable.
Keep your room's temperature on the cool side.
5. Schedule your worry time.
This may seem like an absurd suggestion, but trust me, it works. Pick a time frame of 20-30 minutes to think about your anxious feelings on purpose. Use this time to figure out what's bothering you and what you can do about it.
Schedule your "worry session" for the same time every day. Instead of thinking about the "what-ifs", focus on what makes you feel anxious. However, avoid dwelling on these thoughts outside the fixed time.
I hope you find these tips helpful in overcoming anxiety. However, if these feelings are causing distress and disruptions in your normal functioning, it is important to get help. If you are facing any struggles or looking for assistance to understand your problems better, feel free to ask me your questions here - https://bit.ly/3uFL7Yf.