Lifestyle Tips to Lessen Anxiety
Anxiety seems to be much more prevalent at the moment, due to stuff going on in the world that we really can’t control. However, anxious feelings can stop you from enjoying your life, limit you in your career, stop you sleeping and relaxing and can even cause actual physical symptoms resulting in illness. Prolonged stress, big life changes, health, work or relationship issues and/or past trauma can also contribute to anxiety.
In my work as a hypnotherapist anxiety is one of the main issues I help clients with. I also like to give some guidance and tips to clients so that they can alleviate anxiety on a day-to-day basis. There are some simple lifestyle factors that can make a big difference.
- Be in touch with your friends and family
Connecting with others, especially those that we are comfortable and relaxed with, is a really good idea if you are suffering from anxiety. The temptation is to shut ourselves away from others but, for obvious reasons, this can take us into our negative feelings even more. Whereas spending time with others can take us out of ourselves and help alleviate feelings of anxiety.
- Focus on a goal
Choose one to two areas of your life; health and fitness, career, personal growth or relationships and come up with some goals to strive for. It could be entering yourself into a 10K, having a clear out of clutter or learning something new. It could be to achieve something worthwhile in your career or to improve your personal relationships. Focusing on a goal or two in any area of your life will really help you to take your mind off any anxious feelings and give you something to focus on and plan for.
- Get moving to alleviate anxiety
Exercise is thought to mimic the effects of some of the more powerful anxiety medications! It releases feel-good endorphin hormones and burns up the stress hormone cortisol. A half hour brisk walk or run outside, a swim or a trip to the gym will do wonders for reducing anxiety. Any type of exercise that gets the heart beating faster and the lungs working harder will do, and combining this with some strength work &/or yoga is the best option.
(If you haven’t been exercising recently take it slowly and build up; always consult your GP if you have any doubts about your ability to exercise or have any health problems).
Intrusive thoughts can be a symptom of anxiety and can be really distressing as they can seem to come from nowhere. By scribbling your thoughts and feelings down you can get them out of your head and onto paper (your notes are private and for your eyes only) and you can dispose of them afterwards if you want. The main motive for journaling is to clear your head. It’s also important to realise that these thoughts are common symptoms of anxiety and not to be embarrassed or ashamed if you experience them.