Overcoming Anxiety through Implementing Lifestyle Changes

Overcoming

Anxiety is easier

 with these

lifestyle changes


Talking about overcoming anxiety can be triggering to some people.  It's likely that if you have anxiety, you may be struggling with feeling that you don't have control over your symptoms and how you feel.

Disempowering thoughts may plaque you, and you feel overtaken by them. Your mind goes to the worst-case scenarios, which perpetuate anxious feelings. Challenging your thoughts can be a proper remedy for overcoming anxiety at any given moment when you are triggered.

 


How to make a lasting impact that will help you combat anxiety

Making a few lifestyle changes can help you reduce incidences of anxiety. Some of these suggestions may work for you and some of them may not. Don't stress out about it. You can implement those that resonate with you for a significant impact on how you feel.


Create a routine


Creating a flexible routine will help you significantly. Feeling anxious is sometimes linked to the unknown. When you know in advance how your day will go, it can create a sense of safety.

For instance, think of your morning routine. How much smoother it would go if you had simple steps that will get you through the morning. Creating a morning routine can significantly reduce stress during the day.

It's not uncommon that we are too tired the night before to prepare for the morning.  When your alarm goes off, you may be scattered and trying to figure everything at that moment. You don't know what to wear, and you are figuring it out at the last moment.

It's quite likely that you will get lost in time while figuring out which outfit combinations inspire you this morning. Once you realize you are late, your anxiety naturally goes up. Your nervous system is already agitated, and now you are more vulnerable to triggers for the rest of the day

Your morning could go much smoother, and your nervous system could be calmer if you had a routine starting a night before. To make even a more significant impact, you can add some of the other life changes to your routine if your goal is overcoming anxiety.


Do some physical activity, such as cardio, yoga, etc.

Physical activity produces "good feeling chemicals" in our bodies. There is a lot of research on how endorphins can help reduce anxiety, depression, and pain. So, if you put yourself in the situation to experience all these good feelings, your anxiety will naturally have a less of a chance to take over.

It would be ideal if you could take some time in your morning routine and do some of these activities. You don't need to do a full workout if your morning is busy. Even ten minutes can make a big difference in your mood. You don't have a gym membership, or you don't have time to get there?

No worries. You can use a mini trampoline, jump rope, do jumping jacks, or anything that works for your condition and what your doctor approves. You can also do yoga or some muscle building exercises. All of these are beneficial for your mental health.

If mornings are too scrunched, you can do your workout upon return home or during the lunchtime. Follow your body and respect how it feels. Sometimes you may feel like taking a stroll down the street, and sometimes you feel up to something more vigorous. What matters is that you enjoy it. In addition to these benefits, doing physical activities helps you change a bad posture that may contribute to causing anxiety.

Physical Activity Overcoming Anxiety Dalila Jusic-LaBerge, LMFT

Go out in sun

Besides helping us with our general health, being in the sun benefits our mental health too. It helps increase serotonin. This hormone helps us feel calm, focused, and it helps us be in a better mood. You need to be aware of how much exposure to the sun is right for you and your skin. Keep in mind seasonal differences in strength of the sun.

For instance, in winter months, you can enjoy it more during the day, and in summer, morning sun is more beneficial.

Spend some time outdoors and in the nature to increase your chances of overcoming anxiety

Being in nature is very calming. Studies show that forest bathing is beneficial to helping our overall health and improving the mood. Forest bathing refers to going out in woods and immersing all your senses in nature. It's not difficult to understand why this is beneficial for overcoming anxiety.

Even if you don't like woods, you can find a little piece of nature in your yard or a local park. Listen to birds or tiny insects' buzzing. Observe the contrasting colors of the sky, grass, clouds, etc. Smell the ground after rain, freshly cut grass, salty ocean air, etc.

Immersing your senses in whatever is around is what I call "organic mindfulness." You basically just let your senses take you at the moment and place where you are. You will be surprised how many things you will notice around that you couldn't if you let your anxious thoughts torment you. It may take some effort and a deliberate intent to focus on your senses.

Practice mindfulness and gratitude


overcoming anxiety Dalila Jusic-LaBerge, LMFT

Mindfulness and gratitude go together in my eyes. Spending time outdoors is an excellent example of combining mindfulness and appreciation. Once you pay attention to this world around, it's hard not to appreciate the gorgeous creations in nature.

There are more aspects of life to appreciate that are not natural creations. Many human-made creations are stunning. Think of beautiful art pieces, buildings, cars, etc. Then, of course, you can expand this to your personal life. What do you appreciate about your life?

Your abilities? Your connections? Is it your family or career that you enjoy. There is probably a couple of aspects of your personal life that make you happy. Appreciating this can help you gain perspective and realize that these things that bring you down are not so big.

From this appreciation, you can develop an attitude of gratitude. Gratitude is one of the most important human attributes in the quest for happiness.  Cultivating gratitude can help you combat anxiety. If you fill your mind with these powerful positive thoughts, the thoughts that cause anxiety simply lose power. It's really up to you what you want your focus to be.

Nurture relationships for happiness and better health

Research shows that social support is essential for maintaining good mental and physical health. People who have support are found to be much more resilient to stress. It's not hard to imagine how having support can help you feel better in general, and how seeking assistance is helpful when you are going through rough times.

Thus, it's not hard to assume that social support may have preventative and healing effects.  When you have support, it's more likely that you will do all the other activities that will help you keep anxiety at bay. Remember, going out in nature, working out, etc.

Similarly, when you are having a hard time, if you have friends who know you well, they will have your back. When you feel like all the world is against you, having a person who sees you for who you are, is invaluable. You can have such support only if you nurture your relationship with them.

Remember what matters and don't compare yourself to others

What are your values? Do you live up to your values? Or, do you compare yourself to others? Do you feel that you don't measure up because you are not a CEO of a fortune 500 company and you are already twenty-nine? Ok, you probably don't expect this, but you get the point.

First, do you even care to be a CEO of a company that does something boring that you don't find interesting? Maybe you would love to be a chef, but you follow the dreams of your parents in the pursuit of a law career.

Women are raised to be in tune with others, so we often neglect our own emotions and wishes. This kind of upbringing leads us to feel inadequate. What truly matters to you? What makes you happy?

Asking yourself these questions can help you get in touch with yourself and your true emotions and desires. And, when you compare yourself to those "amazing people" remember that they may not be happy.

All that you see is a glimpse of what they allow you, their best face on social media or in person. Comparing yourself to this will naturally make you feel unaccomplished. When you feel like this, it's natural that your anxiety symptoms will have more power.

Oh, and don't forget to avoid worrying about what others think of you. You will never satisfy everyone. There will be critics of many things that you do. But, you don't need to focus on them.

overcoming anxiety Dalila Jusic-LaBerge, LMFT Be Here and Now Counseling
Lifestyle changes to combat anxiety


Work of volunteer for a cause you care about


Getting engaged in this ways is very helpful because it allows you to involve your mind with something outside yourself. Overcoming anxiety becomes easier when you concern yourself with broader issues affecting other people.

Besides, it's very empowering to be able to help others and to feel that you can contribute to a cause that's important to you. It gives you perspective on your own life and enables you to appreciate more of what you have.

Keep a journal

Journaling is a powerful way of processing your emotions through your inner wisdom. When you put things on paper, you slow down your mind, and you gain a different perspective. It allows you to process your emotions through logical part of the brain. Doing this disables the thoughts that bring you down and cause anxiety.

Which of these practices do you use? What do you think you can add to your routine? Leave a comment below. 

Is therapy right for you to help you with overcoming anxiety?

If anxiety is making it too hard to do some of these activities, you may benefit from anxiety counseling. I offer secure video sessions. My clients love it. See how anxiety therapy can help you.


About the Author

I'm dedicated to guiding women from feeling confused and frustrated to feeling competent and joyful when it comes to matters of love and romance.

  • Naz Mo says:

    Another great article full of helpful tips on how to manage your anxiety!

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