Feelings of anxiety are increasingly common, especially given the highly stressful world that we live in. These feelings can grow over time or strike without warning, but at some point in your lives, it is almost inevitable that we will have to deal with stress and anxiety. They affect each individual differently and the levels of anxiety may also differ from person to person. However, we can manage stress and anxiety – even in instances where it seems that we are not in control.
If stress and anxiety are affecting your life and are making it difficult to meet either professional or personal goals – or complete tasks it is essential that you seek support and, where necessary professional help for bipolar disorder treatment.
Learning more about stress and anxiety can help individuals can help to cope with these conditions. However, at the same time, there are physical and mental exercises that can help you cope when you are feeling anxious or depressed. ADAA’s experts have recommended the following coping strategies.
Some Coping Strategies to try when feeling anxious or stressed:
Schedule some ‘you time’. Often putting the problem in perspective by stepping back. Enjoy some relaxing yoga, listen to your favorite calming music, meditate or schedule a massage or watch some Youtube videos to learn some effective relaxation techniques.
Make sure you are enjoying a balanced diet. Make sure not to skip meals, even if you are not feeling hungry. Healthy, energy-boosting snacks can be a great convenience. Cut down on caffeine and alcohol (that includes ‘energy’ drinks). Both of those substances can elevate levels of anxiety – and lead to panic attacks.
Maintain healthy sleep habits. If you are suffering from stress your body will need time to rest and recuperate.
Daily exercise is important. Exercise has been proven to be a mood booster. Reference the exercise tips below.
Breath properly. Take deep breaths. Slow down your breathing.
Take a moment to count slowly to 10.Repeat and if necessary count to 20. Remember that perfection is probably unattainable. Be proud of your accomplishments and your efforts to continually improve.
No one can control everything – there are certain things you simply cannot change. Realizing this can help you to put your stress into perspective. The situation is probably not as bad as you think.
Try and keep your sense of humor. Laughter really is the best medicine.
Keep positive. Try a new perspective that will help you replace those negative thoughts with a more positive viewpoint.
Get involved in a charitable cause. Volunteer or identify ways that you can contribute to your community. It’ll help you develop a support network, or give you the space to escape everyday sources of stress.
Identify factors that can trigger your stress. It may be work, school, a personal relationship, or something else. Keeping a daily journal can help you identify a pattern indicating triggers of stress and anxiety.
Don’t keep it to yourself. Talk to family and friends about how you are feeling overwhelmed. Make some suggestions about how they can help – and listen to their suggestions. Seeking the help of a third party such as a psychologist or psychiatrist is not a sign of weakness, on the contrary, seeking professional help is a sign of strength and a recognition of the fact that you need help.
Some Fitness Tips to Help Manage Anxiety and Stress
To maximize the benefits of exercise try and fit in at least 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity exercise (medium pace jogging is a good example) every week. You can substitute this with 1.5 hours of high-intensity exercise (fast jogging or swimming) or combine the two to fit your lifestyle and needs.
5 x 30: A great rule of thumb. Walk, jog, cycle (even dance) five times a week for 30-minute periods.
Set achievable daily goals and aim for consistency rather than intensity or the perfect workout. It is far better to walk every day for between 15 and 20 minutes than to wait for the weekend and undertake a three-hour power walk. Research backs up the idea that consistency is the key to a healthier life – both mentally and physically.
Identify exercises that you enjoy. For extroverts that can mean exercising in groups (such as a spinning session), while introverts enjoy exercising in their own company.
Put together a favorite playlist on your iPod or other media players. This does not have to be music, audiobooks are also a great choice, as are podcasts. For many people exercising can be much more fun when they are distracted by an audio track that they enjoy.
If you do want company, then identify an ‘Exercise Buddy’. They can provide much-needed support and motivation. If you are committed to your own success and that of a friend, colleague, or partner you will be extra motivated to be part of their success.
Patience is key when starting an exercise program. If you have been sedentary for a while it may take between four to eight weeks before you feel coordinated and fit enough to really begin to enjoy the exercise experience.