Anxiety Maintenance is a Lifestyle

Seriously – six ways to handle anxiety? I doubt that there are just six ways. There are probably six dozen or more different ways for each person on earth!
This list may be totally mundane, but I believe there is truth to consider in each suggestion.

1 Get a good night’s sleep.
It’s always a better day after you have slept on whatever has been bothering you. Besides being rejuvenating in general, a good night of sleep helps with improved memory and releases hormones that regulate growth and appetite. Bonus! You’re able to concentrate and make better decisions when you are well-rested. Listen to neuroscientist Matthew Walker’s talk about the chilling effects of not getting enough sleep. Yikes! Is it possible be scared into sleeping?

2 Find someone or something to love.
Belonging and feeling connected is an innate goal for all humans. Check out the chapter, Close Relationships and the Quality of Life, by David G. Myers. He writes, “Close, supportive committed relationships boost our chances for physical and subjective well-being.”
And of COURSE, there are huge benefits to having pets! They don’t have to be official therapy pets to shower you with unmitigated love and unconditional acceptance.

3 Volunteer – do something for others.
Life can get pretty dark if you focus only on meeting your own achievements, especially if you’ve been through a challenging streak in life and are feeling depressed. Helping and supporting others to be happier or more successful shifts you away from negativity. You not only help them, you get all kinds of good feelings, too. Google “volunteerism” if you need a starting point.

4 Be physically active – move your body.
Get up and get going. Dance. Walk. Run. The Mayo Clinic lists seven reasons why moving your body is so good. But you probably already know them.

5 Laugh.
Did you know that your body can’t tell the difference between fake laughter and real hilarity? I challenge you to watch this informational video, or this one, on laughter yoga without smiling. Seeking out humor will lighten your mood, lessen anxiety, boost your immune system, and decrease your level of stress.

6 Get outside, be in nature.

walk in nature photo

Look out beyond your small world. There is a huge and awesome universe out there. Nature can alter your stress by lowering cortisol (a stress hormone), drop your blood pressure, and lower your heart rate. And you don’t have to walk in a rainforest or prance through a flower-filled meadow to feel the benefits of nature. Observing a dandelion persevering up through the sidewalk crack at the bus stop or appreciating a sunbeam streaming through a window are two easy-to-fill prescriptions for a healing dose of nature. Read more about nature and better mental health in National Geographic’s This is Your Brain on Nature.

This list could go on and on because there really is NO definitive key to handling anxiety. Certainly, what works for others may not work for you. Chances are, if you are able to implement at least one of the six things on this list into your life, you will feel less stressed and more fulfilled.

Seeing a good therapist is another step to moving beyond feeling stuck or getting a hand out of an emotional abyss. Find your way to less stress and a life of fulfillment and purpose. Email me today to set up a free, confidential 30-minute call to see if we are a good fit to work together.

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