Anxiety can produce a truly generous variety of symptoms, not only of psychological origin, but physical symptoms such as muscular pain, headaches, and fatigue, among others, are frequently reported as well. Therefore I have created an equally generous list of tips that will help you address these omnipresent symptoms:
1) Drink water – Drinking a lot of water and mainly substituting sweet drinks with water will help you with a bunch of bodily processes such as clearing you of waste substances or aiding in blood circulation. Drinking water has proven to help reduce the severity of anxiety attacks, many psychologist/psychiatrist will advise you to do so. Dehydration often results in migraines and dizziness, not something that will ameliorate anxiety symptoms. Avoiding sugary drinks prevents possible complications arising from excess carbohydrate consumption such as mood swings.
2) No alcohol or tobacco – Alcohol is a well-known central nervous system depressant, although you may find a short relief it will make your anxiety worse in the long run. The same goes for tobacco and other recreational drugs. Many might seem helpful at first in ameliorating anxiety, but they usually just cover the symptoms like a blanket and let them stack up for later when they will be too overwhelming to handle.
3) Exercise – Exercising daily will help you achieve a better attitude, improve your health and distract you from all the anxious thoughts going through your head. Exercising proved to be as efficient as adding a secondary anti-depressant in depression treatment. Furthermore aerobic exercise promotes neuronal growth and so compensates for the neurotoxicity induced by chronic depression/anxiety due to increased cortisol levels (hypercortisolemia).
4) Occupy yourself – Don’t think about your anxiety, don’t try to analyze every possible trigger of your anxiety and don’t analyze your thoughts all the time, but rather keep yourself occupied with something you like to do. Even if you don’t feel like doing anything try to be forcible with it. Swing in focus will keep you at a safe distance from anxious thoughts and will help you slip into doing something pleasing and productive, which is essential to any recovery.
5) Rest your mind – Meditation allows you to empty your mind and relax your body. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing, give yourself enough rest, because when your rest your mind rests as well. Not only does meditation meliorate many symptoms common to, albeit not limited to, anxiety such as inhibited focus and alertness but it has even proven to elicit physical changes in the brain by facilitating the thickening of gray matter, a brain region associated with intelligence. Meditation is therefore a must try practice.
6) Supplements – Proteins, Minerals, Vitamins and other substances are essential for brain to function properly as they represent the cellular basis. The chances that your anxiety or at least a portion of it can be traced back to a vitamin or mineral deficiency are quite high. Do not underestimate the power of simple supplements such as B-complex as deficiency of this particular abundant vitamin can cause symptoms of mania, psychosis, fatigue, memory impairment, irritability, depression and personality changes.
7) Herbal remedies – There is a large variety of herbs which have the potential to alleviate nervousness and anxiety to a noticeable extent. The major advantages of this approach is that these forms of medication are considered to be relatively safe (mainly because of their dilute potential) and rarely carry a risk of developing dependence since it is all just plant matter and not a potent alkaloid extract or other concentrated derivative intrinsic to prescription medication. Unpleasant side effects are also quite infrequent making them a well-tolerated treatment. I have experimented with a wide range of herbal remedies and in some cases have found them more efficient than actual prescription medication, especially in the long run.
8) Target your source of anxiety – identify the triggers of your anxiety and then take corrective measures to eliminate or avoid them. If you are, for example, scared of being among crowds of people exposure therapy might prove useful. By challenging your anxious triggers repeatedly the frightening response you associated with them gradually dissipates liberating you from the enslavement of anxiety. Nevertheless, use reason to decide for which triggers you should apply exposure therapy and for which aversion is better suited.
If coffee induces anxiety in you, then just avoid it; the concept of exposure therapy would be counterproductive here as the response is mediated via caffeine’s binding to anxiety-generating receptors.
Now you see that having anxiety should not discourage you from having a positive outlook on life, nor should it take your hopes of fully enjoying day-to-day activities away, because there are a plethora of exit routes, of which I only mentioned a fraction. Surely, there will be ups and downs, as in everyone’s life, and surely anxiety can turn those ups into a rarity, but only if you let it to. By believing in recovery and investing some effort along with that belief you can greatly enhance the quality and possibly quantity, being a side effect of healthy living, of your life.
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