Globally, 1 in every 13 people suffers from anxiety. In the United States, 6.8 million adults have been diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder; 6 million are diagnosed with Panic Disorder, and 15 million are diagnosed with Social Anxiety Disorder.
According to the Anxiety and Depression American Association (ADAA), anxiety disorders are the most common of disorders on college campuses. Even if you don’t personally suffer from an anxiety disorder, this list could help a struggling friend.
Here are some ways to get anxiety under control:
1. Meditation is the route to a happy and healthy mind. It goes hand in hand with mindfulness.
The word mindfulness suggests that our minds are focused on the present day, in the now. With the day-to-day hubbub, and the rapid way life is dealt with nowadays, it can be pretty easy to forget to focus on the now.
Our minds try to process the thousands and thousands of pieces of information that come our way. We forget to enjoy a deep breath or a kind smile thrown our way. Our obsessive thoughts on what may happen can pave the way to an overly anxious mind.
Are you able to identify the last time that you sat down, and looked around (without glancing at your phone)?
Meditating is as simple as sitting down for two minutes a day. Focus on your breathing, relax, let go of all the worries.
You’ll soon realize that if you don’t focus on the present, you’ll never live a day of your life.
2. Do yoga.
Much like meditation, yoga is a great way to get in sync with your mind and your body.
Yoga doesn’t afford much in the way of letting you think; you have to concentrate on your body, and holding the poses. It will give you a wonderful sense of well-being, and a connection to your body. You will feel grounded, happy, and calm
Plus, it’s great exercise!
3. Natural help
As always, nature provides a safe way to calm your body down—no need for medication. There are many plants that work naturally with your body, and promote a relaxed state of mind.
Chamomile tea: According to a 2009 study by UPenn, chamomile has a calming effect on anxiety symptoms. Usually, it’s used in capsule form, but tea promotes sleep, relaxation and anxiety and stress relief.
Lavender: Lavender comes in an array of products: essential oils, pill supplements, and tea. It promotes a calm environment and is frequently used in aromatherapy.
L-theanine supplement: This product is an amino acid naturally found in green tea. It promotes relaxation without the drowsiness or negative side effects associated with other calming agents.
Green tea: This tea contains L-theanine, which helps maintain blood pressure steady.
(Be sure to consult your doctor before engaging with any of these supplements!)
4. Eat chocolate (or any comfort food) moderately
Comfort foods are called like this because they tend to offer us some solace when we’re stressed, sad or anxious. Eating too much of a comfort food can sometimes end in self-loathing, but eating an amount that makes you happy is perfectly fine.
At least, according to a study in the journal of Psychological Science, consuming comfort foods can improve your mood. The date from the study suggested that eating food that makes you feel warm and happy inside promotes a sense of well being and less loneliness.
So grab the ice cream!
5. Take a nature walk
According to the American Psychologists’ Association, nature offers a subconscious relief to people. Being in proximity to trees or plants causes people to enjoy their lives more. Nature is a mood booster. It doesn’t just have an effect on the mind, seeing green also helps the body heal.
Even then, studies have proven that just a visual contact with nature is enough for minds to shift into a happy perspective: curbing depression and anxiety.
Frequent contact with nature promotes a healthier mind, body, and overall, a healthier being.
6. Write out how you’re feeling
Sometimes, anxiety comes from pent-up feelings. You wake up and a nervous thought is knocking at your door, then another, and another. Our instinct is to suppress this until suddenly, they overflow. You’re having a breakdown or you stop functioning.
Instead of letting these thoughts and feelings break out when they please, writing down how you feel is a positive way to let them come out—without them causing a negative side-effect.
7. Engage in a creative project
Sometimes, anxiety comes from a restless mind and body. Most people turn to picking their nails, snapping a rubber band against their wrist, chewing their lips or scratching the inside of their palm.
There are proactive ways to deal with this type of behavior:
- If the problem lies in having your hands free, arts and craft is a fun way to go. You don’t have to follow a blue print; you can try to make something useful from wooden sticks and glue.
- For a restless mind, there’s always writing: poetry, short stories or based off a prompt.
- Try to create instead of trying to destroy: write a song, play an instrument, act out the best scene of your favorite book.
Here are some fun arts and crafts to try out:
- Paper Clip Earrings
- Metal Washer Bracelet
- Beeswax Sheet Votive Candle Favors
- Wire Knot Ring
- Leather Handbound Book
8. Listen to music
Music is the ultimate mood-booster. Some people swear by weepy ballads when they’re feeling down, and others need the pep in popular pop songs. It doesn’t matter what genre you listen to, as long as it makes you feel good—and calmer.
Spotify has a great feature where you can pick playlists according to mood!
9. Talk with a friend
At times, the mere thought of talking to someone about how we feel can be pretty scary. Even if you’re terrified, it will most likely help to have someone hear you out. You can ask a friend to just listen, that they don’t have to feel obligated to give you advice or calm you down.
Listening usually does the trick, and you might find some relief in wording out your thoughts and feelings. You may realize that it’s only the anxiety talking and that you’ll be fine!
Push through the fear of speaking. You got this!
10. Read a book
As always, the best solution of all! When in doubt, curl up and read a good book. Grab the coffee, tea, or hot chocolate and slip into bliss.
You should consider reading: It’s Kind Of A Funny Story by Ned Vizzini, The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath and Impulse by Ellen Hopkins.
Now go! Be anxiety free! ❤️
(Chart courtesy of Buzzfeed :)