Everyone has their own way of dealing with the daily stresses and strains of life. Anxiety can lead to panic, and can also contribute to depressed mood and a deteriorated sense of well-being if left unaddressed. There are some practical, simple strategies to cope with anxiety every day, so that these experiences don’t exacerbate and cause serious illness or malady.
Here are ten tactics and coping strategies to help in the battle against anxiety:
- Prevent it altogether.
It may not always be possible to avoid stress, but there are some means of prevention that can help keep small stressors from getting out of control. Adopting a healthy diet, getting at least twenty minutes of exercise a day, and maintaining good sleep hygiene can be a practical plan of prevention that works.
- Have a bowl of oatmeal.
Few will dispute the compelling evidence of the link between nutrition and mood; in fact, there are many foods that you can eat that will impact anxiety and fight depression. A great habit to adopt is to eat a bowl of oatmeal every day. The digestion of oatmeal induces a calm, mellow state, which could also reduce tensions and anxiety. Furthermore, the fiber content will help things keep moving which also impacts overall health and wellness.
- Use positive affirmations.
Every day should begin with some positive “I” statements. Reinforce your value by reminding yourself that you are “a good person”, “a kind father”, or “a smart businessman”. Re-framing negative thoughts and self-talk into positive affirmations can be calming and grounding. Catch yourself when thinking negatively or being self-deprecating and alter the statement until it becomes second nature to do so.
- Try being mindful.
Mindfulness regards living in the moment and not worrying about the past or what has not yet occurred. This allows you to appreciate simple pleasures in daily living, without the constant worry, fear, or dread that can accompany dwelling on the past or trying to predict the future. This takes practice, but with gentle reminders, you can stay in the moment and be mindful of the things around you. This can give a fresh, new perspective on life.
- What else is going on?
Nagging feelings of anxiety could be symptomatic of another underlying medical condition. If you are suddenly experiencing unexplained anxiety, you should see your primary care physician to rule this out. Sometimes, physical pain can manifest in a tense, agitated mood. The best way to know for sure is to visit your provider.
- Smell something.
Aromatherapy can give immediate relief in times of stress, simply and inexpensively. Scents of eucalyptus and mint can brighten mood and combat fatigue, while scents of cinnamon and apple can improve mood. Try calming down with the scent of vanilla or lavender. Find something to smell that makes you happy, and invest in essential oils or cooking extracts to keep them on hand.
- Touch is a powerful thing.
Human touch can be comforting and help to calm when feeling stressed or anxious. Acupressure and massage are great options that can also help with chronic pain or medical conditions in many individuals. Talk with your doctor to determine the most pragmatic route to take.
- Turn on some tunes.
Music can lift mood and relief tension, and may also provide a comforting white-noise for many. Try some sound therapy by listening to favorite music for a few minutes a day, or invest in a sound-machine to replicate the sounds in nature, if that is preferred.
- Find a friend.
Leaning on someone else, or at least having an ear to listen when times get tough, is a powerful precaution against anxiety. Don’t go it alone; call a friend and get-together.
- Adopt a pet.
Pets are very calming and they can go a long way toward improving mood in many people. Petting a dog or cat can be cathartic and can provide solace and companionship during times of trouble. Snuggling up to a pet can be an instant mood-lifter!
Don’t let the daily aggravations of life wreak havoc on your overall health and wellness. Try these practical approaches to coping with the varied situations and stressors that come your way. You may feel rejuvenated by the ability to let small things go, rather than allow them to erode on your mood, health, and spirit.