10 Tips on How to Deal with Anxiety - MP Edition 011
Just like with feminine hygiene, mental well-being is one of those taboo topics that women have been afraid to talk about. But that’s changing, and we want to help remove the stigma around talking about it. Our second post in our mental health series is about how to deal with anxiety.
Anxiety is an increasingly widespread issue. It’s not black and white but rather manifests itself differently in everybody. It can range from everyday anxiety (we’ve all experienced Sunday scaries, amirite?) to anxiety disorders like full-blown panic attacks and depression.
Anxiety is a constant sense of unease, worry, fear, urgency, and general discomfort. You often feel nervous, restless, tense, or even feel like danger or doom is coming. Your mind becomes fixated on certain things and it’s hard to let go. Sometimes anxiety sufferers end up avoid things or situations that they know will trigger anxiety entirely. Anxiety disorders can often be debilitating.
Other anxiety symptoms include:
Increased heart rate
Feeling weak or tired
Gastrointestinal (GI) problems
If any of these symptoms sound familiar, you’re not alone. Around 4% of the population have an anxiety disorder. Just as anxiety will vary for everyone, each person will also have different coping techniques that work for them. If you have anxiety, we’ve rounded up a few tips on how to deal with anxiety that have proven to be useful for you to try.
Tips on how to deal with anxiety:
1. Sweat it Out
When you exercise, you release those feel-good hormones, serotonin & endorphins, which will help break the cycle of anxious thoughts.
2. Write it Down
It can be extremely cathartic to get your thoughts down on paper (or screen). It can be equally as helpful to chronicle what’s happening to better understand. Take note of what triggers your anxiety. It’s helpful to know what your triggers so you’re prepared to respond effectively. You can even use an app like What’s up that helps you track progress and develop coping strategies.
Don’t let the needles freak you out. Acupuncture is painful and can produce some really effective results. Acupuncture stimulates points in your body to correct imbalances, and anxiety is thought to be the result of imbalances in the heart and kidney.
5. Music and Aromatherapy
Scent and sound have a powerful effect on both our bodies and minds. Certain essential oils can help relax the mind and even help you sleep. Music can also equally relax you - hearing something familiar or soothing helps puts your mind in a calmer state.
In today’s society, our constant connection to social media has led to this skewed perception of reality where everything seems perfect online and results in an increased pressure to do well. Try scheduling tech-free times during your day for a bit of good ol’ digital detox.
7. Try Adaptogens and CBDs
Eating well and drinking water are a given - when you nourish your body, your mind feels better too. But beyond that, people have been using adaptogens to give themselves a little boost. Adaptogens are natural herbs that help the body adapt to environmental, emotional, and physical stressors. There are many different types of adaptogens, each with different functions such as reducing stress, promoting productivity, and inducing a sense of calm. Many companies like Moon Juice, Four Sigmatic, and Wylde One all offer ready to consume adaptogenic products that are easy to incorporate into your daily routine.
Similarly, you can try incorporating CBD into your routine as well. CBD has been super trendy lately but that doesn’t make it any less effective. Hemp-based, CBD doesn’t get you high (that’s THC), and studies have shown that it’s been effective in reducing anxiety. Try it in oil form or even yummy gummies like Not Pot that you can take daily.
8. Get a Massage
Massages loosen your muscles and help melt stress away and rebalance your body. If you can’t get a massage, try loosening up yourself. When you’re anxious, tension builds quickly. Take a moment to relax your shoulders and jaw and release tension from your body. A physical release can help lead to a mental one.
9. Distract Yourself
Anxiety means that you’re fixated on a topic. As a coping mechanism, try to distract yourself from what is causing your anxiety. This can be spending time with loved ones, reading a book, watching a movie. Or you can even try apps like Dots, a simple but effective game that provides a distraction until your anxiety subsides.
10. Try Sleep Aids
One of the more common side effects of anxiety is trouble sleeping. Anxiety can make it hard to turn off your brain when you’re trying to get some zzz’s. Try a sleep spray, lavender essential oil, or even an app like Pzizz which customizes soothing sounds designed to help you sleep. You can also try a weighted blanket, which has been known to help reduce anxiety and help you snooze. There’s even sleep robots these days that you can use to help you get to sleep.
Know when to seek professional help
These coping techniques can be effective in dealing with anxiety but if you’re ever in doubt you should always consult your doctor to see what they recommend. According to Mayo Clinic, you should also see your doctor if:
You feel like you're worrying too much and it's interfering with your work, relationships or other parts of your life
Your fear, worry or anxiety is upsetting to you and difficult to control
You feel depressed, have trouble with alcohol or drug use, or have other mental health concerns along with anxiety
You think your anxiety could be linked to a physical health problem
You have suicidal thoughts or behaviors — if this is the case, seek emergency treatment immediately
And talking to a professional like a counselor or a therapist can also help a lot, especially if it’s someone outside of your inner circle. A therapist will assess your anxiety and recommend a treatment plan catered to you.
These tips are just suggestions to help you strengthen both your mind and body but at the end of the day, it comes down to tailoring your anxiety-coping strategies to what works for you. Dealing with anxiety is different for everyone.