Globally around 1 in 13 people suffer from some form of anxiety however it was estimated that in 2017 that level reached as high as 1 in 6 New Zealanders. Sometimes we have to accept that we are going to experience anxiety and we can't change that, so we need to be proactive in changing what we can.
7 Tips to Blast Your Anxiety
1. Ditch the social Media
If you feel like you’re in need of a rest, scrolling through Facebook, Instagram or Twitter may not be the break you need. Whether you’re fretting about why you don’t have that perfectly toned body, angelic kids or on that amazing holiday your friends seem to have. Or perhaps you can’t cope with the disasters unfolding around the world. Social Media can do more harm than good when it comes to anxiety. Making half a dozen real life connections can be far more beneficial than constantly checking for notifications from people you’ve not seen in years.
2. Remember to breathe
Taking a few refreshing breaths can doing wonders for anxiety – but only if you remember to do it. As a simple tip, set a reminder on your phone at certain times during the day. When the alarm goes off, stop and breathing in through your nose for a 4-count and holding the breath for a count of 7. Let the breath out slowly from the mouth for a count of 8. Do this at least twice a day – because you can’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time.
3. Form a healthy routine
This can be an easy one for you. Anxiety feeds on things such as junk food, poor sleep, drugs, alcohol and lethargy. We know that you feel better when you take care of yourself but these can often be the first things to slip during periods of anxiety. Instead of worrying about how you haven’t been to the gym in 2 months or that your sleep is going to be erratic tonight, choose one habit to focus on maintaining for a week and write your goal down. Now this could be no TV after 10pm or going for a 20-minute walk after work, but as these habits become more ingrained you can add more to the list.
4. Meditate not medicate
It’s shown that even 5 minutes of mindfulness a day can go a long way. Leading busy lives, we often forget to just take time out to just stop. Download a meditation app and set it to remind you to do a mini-meditation each day. It’s proven to lower your blood pressure, help you to relax and make you happy. Want a little bit of extra help? Hypnosis can be like a guided meditation with a goal.
Exercise can hit anxiety from all angles. Not only does it help to clear the mind, but it also releases endorphins, the feel good hormones and can help you to get an amazing nights sleep. Researchers have found that people who exercise regularly were 25% less likely to develop an anxiety disorder within 5 years.
6. Face Your Fears
What ever is causing you anxiety, take your head out of the sand and tackle it head on. Financial stress is a common one for a lot of people. So sit down, get the bills out and see where you can trim the fat. Review your insurance or swap Sky for Netflix. Or perhaps you’re worried about bumping in to an ex from a particularly bad break up. It’s probably going to happen at some point. So own the situation, rehearse it through in your mind so that when it does happen you’re confident and prepared.