Everybody experiences anxiety from time to time in their life. You can’t always just breathe through an anxiety attack either. Anxiety attacks people in different ways. Some have trouble breathing, their heart races, with flushed skin and chest pain. If you have frequent anxiety attacks, try these self-help tips for dealing with anxiety.
Self-Help Tips for Dealing with Anxiety
Exaggerate your biggest fear
Talk to a friend about your biggest fear, whether it be giving a presentation to your class or riding a roller coaster. Make it as dramatic as possible with lots of descriptive words and plenty of your raw emotions. Then when it comes time for you to do that thing that scares you, it won’t be as horrifying because you’ve already ruled out all the possible horrible things that can happen to you. After talking to your friend about this a couple times, your stories and exaggerations will start to become very silly and something you can laugh about together.
In your scary situation, just don’t think about where you are or what you’re doing. Seems easier said than done, but with practice, it’ll almost be like you aren’t even in the situation that causes your anxiety.
Dealing with stress and anxiety both release the same hormone: adrenaline. When you exercise, you are releasing this hormone, making your anxiety levels go down.
Do not consume too much caffeine or alcohol
Both are stimulants and will only make your anxiety worse. Instead, turn to drinks like milk and water. Some general foods that are good to bring down your anxiety levels include nuts, berries, yoghurts, legumes, and dark orange vegetables.
Calm yourself down and simply focus on your breathing; nothing else. Tune out everything going on around you and count each breath you take.
Break down the days into minutes
Instead of stressing yourself out about what you’re going to do in the next three hours, focus on the seconds and minutes you are living in right now. This will help to eliminate some worries and anxiety you may have for a certain part of your day.
Use visual anchors
If you feel yourself getting anxious, find something that brings a sense of calm to you and just focus on it. For example, if you find yourself stuck in traffic, you can look up at the clouds to help you feel calm.
Repeat a mantra
Simply repeating over and over in your head a phrase that brings calmness and peace within yourself. A sample phrase would be, “I am enough” or “I can do this.” Building yourself up is often a technique people use to relieve some of their anxiety.
Write a love letter to yourself
This is just like what you’d do if you were repeating a mantra. Write down on a piece of paper all of the things you love about yourself. Then when you’re having an anxiety attack, read the letter. This, once again, will help relieve some anxiety.
You aren’t alone in this world. Millions of people suffer from anxiety. These tips given may not all work for you and that’s okay. There are other tips out there for you to try, as well as doctors and other professionals to talk to.
Foods That Help with Anxiety and Panic Attacks
At first thought, it may not make sense that some foods actually help to reduce anxiety and panic attacks. But, luckily for those who deal with these conditions, it’s really true. Of course, there’s no way to completely eliminate the problem simply by eating and drinking certain things. However, every little bit helps. Consider adding the following options to your diet, for best results.
Fruits and Veggies
Fruits and vegetables are an excellent source of antioxidants. Antioxidants assist the body in keeping infections at bay. They also have something to do with mood balance and managing blood sugar more efficiently.
If you’re not especially fond of eating fruits and vegetables with your meal, why not try drinking them instead? Smoothies have been popular for years and will no doubt remain a favourite long into the future.
It’s possible to make a smoothie out of almost any kind of fruit and vegetable combination. Get a little bit creative and see what you can come up with. The choice is up to you!
If you aren’t familiar with probiotics, you’re certainly not alone. They are teeny-tiny specks of good bacteria that live in the intestine. One of the most popular, not to mention tasty, sources of probiotics is yoghurt.
In 2011, an Irish research study revealed that when mice were fed yoghurt-related probiotics, they exhibited fewer behavioural traits associated with depression, stress and anxiety. If it helps mice, think what it will do for humans. However, further research is needed.
Fish and Poultry
Fish and poultry are essential to any well-balanced diet. Each of these choices provides a wide variety of nutrients, including vitamin B, zinc and iron. Fattier fish such as salmon and flounder are rich in omega-3 fatty acids or “healthy fats.” Healthy fats promote the positive function of the brain, which is said to alleviate symptoms of depression as well as anxiety.
Avoid Coffee and Caffeinated Drinks
Probably the last piece of advice you want to read is to avoid coffee and other caffeinated drinks as much as possible. However, avoiding these is important when it comes to anxiety-related mental health and warding off panic attacks.
While caffeine typically helps to boost energy levels, it also inhibits levels of serotonin in your brain. When serotonin levels are lower than necessary, you start to feel irritable and depressed, even if you don’t realize it. Caffeine also keeps you awake and makes you go to the restroom more frequently. This often leads to dehydration that, in turn, can also cause depression.
If you can’t live without beverages including coffee, tea and soda, try to go the decaffeinated route to see what happens. It may take some time to get used to the switch. But, in the long run, it’s a much healthier option.
Panic attacks are certainly no fun. These episodes of extreme fear can come to life without a moment’s notice. By adapting your menu using the above tips, you’re taking a more active role at lessening the possibility of anxiety and panic attacks ruining your day.
Let me know if you have any tips that aid dealing with anxiety, we’d love to hear.
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