Anxiety: a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.
In just the United States alone, over 40 million people have been affected by anxiety according to Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA). Would it make your jaw drop even more if I told you 10 million of these individuals were teenagers? 1 in 6 individuals experience anxiety and have it affect their lives. An average person spends typically 55 minutes a day worrying, but a person with general anxiety disorder (GAD) spends over 300 minutes a day worrying.
In fact, there are many types of anxiety disorder. To name a few:
General anxiety disorder (GAD)
Social anxiety disorder
Major depressive disorder
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
Separation anxiety disorder
It’s not always easy finding a cure for our heart-racing thoughts. Sometimes trying to find a way to relieve anxiety and stress causes us even more worrying. I have experienced anxiety from the beginning of high school up to my college years and have always looked for ways to relieve it. I know everyone is different with dealing with anxiety and stress, but listed below are some ways that have worked for me and others.
Exercise: Not only does it improve your physical well-being, but your mental well-being! According to ADAA, studies show that exercising reduces fatigue, improves our concentration and alertness, and strengthens our cognitive function. Exercise has been shown to decrease tension, elevate mood, improve sleep, and help self-esteem.
Writing it out: Taking thoughts from your head and placing them on paper helps to clear the mind. This helps by bringing your awareness to problems, fears, and concerns. As well as awareness, it will help you realize what are triggers and learning ways to control them.
Spending time with family and friends: Who you consider family and friends should be your biggest support system in life. They are the ones who will always be there for you through thick and thin. Put trust in them and ask for advice for what you are dealing with. Chances are, they have experienced close to or the same concerns and fears you are dealing with.
Take a bath: While scalding baths are not great for your skin, the warm/hot water does wonders in releasing built up tension in your body. Baths are also great to go to sleep faster. A bath with increase your body’s temperature and after hopping out your body will begin to cool releasing melatonin. Ever heard of aromatherapy? Give essential oils and bath bombs a try! These calm-smelling items have been known to reduce stress and regulate your mood.
Deep breaths: Give some Youtube breathing exercises a try! When slowing down your breaths, your body relaxes back into a calm state. When anxiety and stress affect your body, your heart rate will normally spike, with deep breaths, this will slowly lower your heart rate back down to its normal regulated BPM.
Clean your room: When you take the time to declutter your car, room, cabinet, or closet a good amount of stress goes away. This is a psychological trick that produces serotonin in your brain. When your surroundings are decluttered and clean, then your mind potentially “declutters” your thoughts. Who knows, maybe you’ll find some old mementos that bring back a happy nostalgic feeling.
Say bye to sugary foods: sugar is an adrenal stimulant and can cause a spike in heart rate, inducing anxiety and panic attacks. Foods that are good at reducing stress and anxiety are nuts, fish, eggs, dark chocolate, yogurt, and pumpkin seeds.
Disclaimer: Any statistics found in this article were found by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Listed below will be links to websites that contain more information found in this article and more.