Natural Ways To Reduce Anxiety
Natural Ways To Reduce Anxiety
Normal, everyday life is busy. It’s full of to-do lists, commitments, work, childcare, finding time to exercise, relax and do the things we enjoy. At the moment, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic is adding to the pressures of daily life, with fear and worry of the unknown dominating many of our thoughts.
So it’s little wonder that so many of us are feeling overwhelmed and anxious. Anxiety is a pretty normal state - on a temporary basis. We might feel fearful and worried about an upcoming work deadline or a social event (even if it is on Zoom – we can feel just as anxious joining in from our sofas as we can having to go to an actual venue).
But when this fear and worry becomes our norm, and we experience it every day, either mildly or to a more severe extent, anxiety can affect the way we live our lives and the choices we make. We might begin to avoid social situations and our productivity might begin to decline. We may also rely on our ‘crutches’ and make poor choices in terms of eating, drinking and avoiding exercise.
If your anxiety is affecting your quality of life, it can help to speak to your GP or another medical professional. They may be able to refer you for talking therapy such as cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or they may discuss medications with you.
But there are things you can do yourself that can help you manage your anxiety. Here’s our tips on reducing anxiety naturally:
- Reduce your reliance on caffeine and alcohol – caffeine is a stimulant that increases your heart rate and can disrupt your sleep if you drink it past around lunchtime, and these factors can make anxiety worse. Alcohol is a depressant with a mildly stimulating effect. A glass or two at weekends may help to relax you, but drinking excessive amounts of alcohol increases levels of the stress hormone cortisol, and can lead to alcohol-induced anxiety.
- If you smoke, taking steps to quit can be as effective as taking an antidepressant, helping to make you feel calmer and less anxious.
- Fight the urge to avoid exercise – exercise releases feel good chemicals such as serotonin that make us feel happy and alive, not just straight after exercise but in the hours that follow too. Serotonin helps to reduce feelings of anxiety and is the reason we feel such a high after we’ve worked out – so make a point to do your next OYG workout today!
- Good quality sleep is so important, but when we’re awake at night with racing thoughts, our anxiety is made to feel worse. Follow our tips for the perfect bedtime routine to help you get the perfect night’s sleep.
- Eating well isn’t just good for our physical health, it helps us feel better emotionally too. Snacking on sugary or overly processed foods can cause sugar highs and lows and mood swings, which will only serve to make anxiety feel worse. Take control by making positive food choices and reap the rewards of feeling emotionally positive.
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