Anxiety: it’s one of the most common health problems in the U.S. As it stands today, nearly 40 million people suffer from some form of anxiety.
Many of those people are women, as anxiety is twice as likely to affect females as it is males.
For many people suffering from anxiety or any of its related symptoms, figuring out a course of treatment can be difficult.
While anti-anxiety medications are readily available, not everyone wants to go that route. Luckily, there are steps you can take to manage anxiety both at home and at work.
The symptoms of anxiety are diverse, and can change drastically from person to person.
For some people, anxiety manifests as a feeling of dread or concern. For others, it’s a deeply physical experience, accompanied by chest pain, a rapid heartbeat, trouble breathing, and an overwhelming sense of fear.
While some people recognize their symptoms as anxiety immediately, others require some time to recognize them and learn to regard them as anxiety.
While it’s true that anxiety is very common, nobody wants to deal with it!
Left unmanaged, anxiety can interrupt your life, affect your relationships, and make it more difficult to live the glamorous and happy life you’ve imagined.
Luckily, these five tips can help you get a grip on your daily anxiety:
If you’ve never tried meditation as a method to manage your anxiety, now is the time.
Multiple studies have shown that meditation is one of the most effective ways to treat anxiety. What’s more, the effects of meditation on the brain last for years at a time, making it one of the longest-lasting and most effective anxiety treatment methods.
To incorporate meditation into your daily life, use an app like Headspace, which offers short, guided meditations to resolve worry and stress.
Having an anxious moment?
Try one of the app’s “SOS” meditations for particularly stressful situations.
Sleep and anxiety go hand-in-hand. If your anxiety has been flaring lately, turn an eye to your sleep habits.
If you’re under-rested, that’s likely a large factor. Shoot for between 7-9 hours of sleep every night. Not only does good sleep allow the brain and body to recharge, but it also helps you feel rested and more equipped to deal with the situations that inflame your anxiety.
If you experience anxiety frequently at work, bringing a favorite book can be a smart way to treat it. Reading grounds us in the present moment, and is a smart way to cope with anxious feelings and scary thoughts.
If you’re reading a self-help book you like, bring it to work with you.
You can also pack your favorite anthology of poems or a beloved novel.
Next time you feel anxious, open it up and read a few paragraphs. This will help ground you in the moment and bring you back to a calm and peaceful place.
Anxiety is deeply related to your brain’s “fight or flight” response.
When you’re anxious, you feel panicky and scared. Luckily, there’s a way to short-circuit that on the biological level.
Next time you feel anxiety setting in, take 20 deep breaths.
There’s a simple reason for this: your body can’t remain in “fight or flight” mode for very long when you’re breathing deeply.
For all its complexity, the brain is still a primal object, and it knows that bodies in immediate danger don’t enjoy long, leisurely breaths. As such, deep breathing can calm the brain’s response and help you get a grip on your anxious feelings.
While anxiety can be a painful condition, it doesn’t have to rule your daily life.
By practicing these four tactics both at home and at work, you can regain your footing and keep being the happy, strong woman you’ve always been!