We all get anxious from time to time, but anxiety affects different people in different ways. While some of us only feel anxious when we have a looming exam, public speech or job interview, others worry about the smaller aspects of life that occur every day.
While we cannot stamp out these concerns altogether, there are ways to help reduce anxiety and limit the effects it has on our lives:
1. Set weekly goals
Sometimes we feel as though we’re bumbling through life, not achieving anything worth celebrating. The smallest triumph can make a huge difference to the way we feel about ourselves, so make it your mission to set a goal to tick off each week. This can be as easy or as challenging as you like, just make sure it’s doable.
2. Talk it out
A problem shared is a problem halved – and it’s true! Sometimes, even the act of saying something out loud makes it sound a little less terrifying than it did in your own head. Chatting to a friend, family member or work colleague about your worry can really help shed new light on the situation and put it into perspective.
3. Get plenty of sleep
This is something you can control, and it’s really important when dealing with anxiety. Running on limited sleep is never a good idea, but it’s even worse when you have concerns. Make sure you turn off your phone and tablet at least an hour before you go to sleep to help you wind down.
4. Start exercising
Start making regular exercise a habit. Find a way of working it into your weekly routine – it’ll help burn off some of that nervous energy and will also help if you have trouble sleeping.
5. Practice mindfulness
When we worry, we are usually focussing on future events and encounters. Mindfulness is a great way of living in the moment, concentrating on the here and now and observing our current thoughts and feelings. Once you have addressed these concerns as feelings, you can work on banishing them from your mind.
6. Cut down on the caffeine
Caffeine can actually help induce anxiety and trigger panic attacks. There’s no need to cut it out completely, just be mindful of how much tea and coffee you’re drinking each day and substitute a cup or two with a calming herbal tea.