If you suffer from anxiety, then you aren’t alone. Up to a third of all Brits will suffer from an anxiety disorder or panic attacks at some point in their life. It’s a horrible experience and something that can be really hard to come through the other side of.
One of the ways that we can try and manage the condition is by taking better care of ourselves through our lifestyle. Becoming healthier and more active is proven to help ward off anxiety and depression while cutting out caffeine and alcohol can also have a positive effect.
Here are five lifestyle changes that can help with anxiety.
Taking regular exercise can help in the battle with anxiety. Scientifically, it stimulates the body to produce serotonin and endorphins which are chemicals which help in the battle against depression. There are also numerous other benefits to exercise aside from what it does to your brain. By getting fit and healthier, you can help to boost your self-esteem, increase your confidence and enhance social connections and relationships through making new friends. Activities which are particularly helpful for anxiety are those which involve “mindful movement” such as yoga and chi kung.
As one of the most metabolically active parts of your body, your brain needs a steady supply of healthy nutrients to function correctly. If you’re not feeding it with enough through a poor diet, then you can affect the brain’s ability to produce neurotransmitters which can lead to feelings of depression or anxiety. A healthy diet consisting of fresh whole foods and lots of water will give you’re the nutrients you need. Cut out sugary or sweetened food and drinks and consider going decaf – studies have shown that long-term caffeine use can cause depression and anxiety.
Cut out alcohol
You might think that drinking is a mood enhancer, but alcohol is actually a depressant which can lead to feelings of worthlessness and anxiety. Stopping drinking can give a huge boost to your mental health. To get started on the road to sobriety, you can compare here the benefits of agonist and antagonist therapy for overcoming addiction.
Getting enough good quality sleep plays a vital role in keeping our spirits high and our mood in check. If you aren’t getting at least seven hours per night, then you will be much more likely to suffer from depression and anxiety. Sleep deprived people have a stronger tendency to see things negatively which can lead to unnecessary panic and worry.
Being around other people and having a strong support network can help reduce isolation and loneliness and in turn, help fight off depression and anxiety. By having friends we can discuss our worries with, we’re opening ourselves up to an outside view that can see issues through a different light and as such, help find the positives. One brilliant way of meeting new people and helping fight anxiety is by volunteering. Not only will it expose you to social support, but you’ll also get the feelgood glow of helping others less fortunate than yourself, which may help you see things from a different perspective in terms of managing the anxiety in your life.