How you perceive anxiety can have a big impact on how it affects you, and there are many different ways to overcome anxiety. Feeling anxious from time to time can be perfectly normal, and many people deal with this all the time without facing any serious consequences. However, if your anxiety starts to get out of control or even cause you significant problems in your life, then it’s best to take action as soon as possible. These ten tips can help you overcome anxiety and manage your symptoms effectively so that they don’t hold you back anymore!
Exercise can be used to overcome anxiety by releasing endorphins into your body. The more exercise you do, and especially if you combine it with meditation, will help reduce your level of stress and thus lower your anxiety over time. The overall effect is that exercise can improve your mood and may even prevent depression or generalized anxiety disorder.
In order to combat general anxiety disorder (GAD), try exercising at least 30 minutes a day, 3-5 times a week. Not only does physical activity release endorphins in your brain—which gives you a sense of well-being—but also releases norepinephrine, which helps relax tense muscles. Plus, exercise strengthens your heart muscle and boosts blood flow throughout your body. The more active you are on a regular basis, the better shape you’ll be in both physically and mentally!
Try New Things
It may sound counterintuitive, but if you’re stuck in a rut and feeling anxious, try your best to go out of your comfort zone. Doing something totally new will get your mind off your worries and it may even help you realize that what was stressing you out wasn’t nearly as big of a deal as you thought.
For example, instead of putting off your next doctor’s appointment because you feel anxious about bad news or side effects, ask yourself: What would happen if I called today? Worst case scenario is they tell me something I don’t want to hear and I need more time to prepare myself—that can be easily done if there are no major complications. And if they say everything looks great and all is well?
If you’re afraid of trying new things in an effort to overcome anxiety, remember that it’s just a feeling. It doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy yourself. Experimenting with new activities and going out of your comfort zone doesn’t have to be scary or overwhelming, and it will help reduce anxiety in the long run. This is something that everyone has to do at some point, whether they feel anxious or not—and sometimes moving past fear might be just what we need for a fresh start. Try setting aside time every week where you dedicate yourself to doing something you wouldn’t usually do, like signing up for a yoga class or attending a concert instead of watching one on TV.
The best way to overcome anxiety is through breathing. Deep breathing slows your heart rate and lowers your blood pressure, which helps reduce stress. Focus on inhaling and exhaling slowly; five seconds of deep breaths should do it.
As you exhale, repeat a mantra (any word or phrase that has meaning for you) over and over in your head: I love myself, I can handle it, or It will be okay. Practice a few times a day until deep breathing becomes second nature.
Sugar can exacerbate anxiety, so it is important to avoid sugar and refined carbs. Instead, you should choose complex carbohydrates like sweet potatoes and brown rice that are high in fiber. Also, focus on lean proteins such as fish and turkey breast. While these tips might seem simplistic, they’re key when you’re trying to overcome anxiety without medication or therapy.
In addition, caffeine and alcohol act as stimulants that can worsen anxiety symptoms. Although caffeine can give us a temporary boost of energy, long-term use leads to a worsening of anxiety symptoms, while alcohol actually makes us more anxious by causing increased heart rate and blood pressure.
In fact, a 2012 study found that women who drank moderate amounts of alcohol had higher levels of anxiety than those who abstained from drinking altogether. If you have anxiety but want to limit your intake of caffeine and alcohol for health reasons, try switching to green tea instead. Green tea contains less caffeine than black tea (which has more caffeine than coffee) while also containing L-theanine—an amino acid that counteracts some of caffeine’s negative effects on sleep quality.
Listen To Music
Listening to music helps some people overcome anxiety by distracting them from their worries. Music has been shown in some studies to help regulate brain activity and reduce stress levels, so put on a song (or two or three) that’s most soothing for you.
Also try something else that involves a little distraction: going for a walk, for example, or even cleaning your house. If none of these tips help, it might be worth talking with a doctor about getting help for generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Your doctor can connect you with local therapists and counselors who can work one-on-one with you through Cognitive Behavioral Therapy.
Hang Out With Friends
Generalized anxiety disorder and other anxiety disorders can have a significant impact on how you interact with people, whether it’s through avoidance or increasing your nervousness around others. The easiest way to overcome these issues is to be around those who love and support you. To overcome anxiety that isn’t too severe, spend more time around friends and family members—those who are most familiar with you and will be able to ease any anxieties that come up.
Plan Ahead And Be Prepared
Plan what you’re going to do when anxiety strikes so that you can stay calm and work through it. Everyone has anxiety about something, but if you have a plan for dealing with it and controlling it, your stress will lessen considerably. For example, if public speaking makes you nervous, practice giving presentations in front of friends or family members.
Ask them for honest feedback about ways you can improve. If group work makes you anxious, put together a checklist of things that need to be done for a project before others can start working on their part. This way you won’t have all of these thoughts floating around in your head making your anxiety worse as people wait on you while they could be getting started on their part.
When you experience anxiety, try practicing gratitude. It’s one of those deceptively simple ideas that has real power in your life. Research shows that people who practice gratitude have a greater sense of calm, contentment, and optimism than those who don’t, says psychologist Robert Emmons, PhD., author of Thanks! How Practicing Gratitude Can Make You Happier (Hudson Street Press). Gratitude is also tied to good physical health.
Focus On What You Can Control Instead Of What You Can’t
Sure, there are some things you can’t control (like a delayed flight) but there are also things you can. Stay focused on what you have control over—your attitude and your thoughts—instead of dwelling on external factors out of your control. Realize that when something bad happens, it doesn’t mean there’s nothing good in your life.
One way to think about it is: someone may love chocolate cake more than you do but that doesn’t mean there isn’t chocolate cake in your life. In fact, if he/she eats all of yours, then guess what? There’s chocolate cake for YOU! Take time every day to reflect on all that is good in your life and give yourself credit for each blessing.
Consider CBD Oil
CBD (or cannabidiol) is a cannabinoid, or chemical compound, found in cannabis plants. CBD has been widely used for anxiety relief and contains little to no THC (the psychoactive component of cannabis). It may also have neuroprotective properties, meaning it can slow or stop neurodegenerative diseases.
Research is still ongoing, but evidence of CBD’s efficacy for anxiety relief and neuroprotection continues to grow. Studies suggest that a combination of CBD and THC can produce even more powerful effects for chronic pain relief and may be preferable for some patients; however, high doses of THC can potentially cause severe anxiety.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you’re experiencing anxiety and want to overcome it, it’s helpful to get a few of your questions answered.
Are Anxiety And Panic Attacks The Same?
Anxiety and panic attacks have a lot of similarities, but they’re not the same thing. Both involve anxiety or fear that’s so intense it causes physical symptoms. Both anxiety and panic can have a range of symptoms including unpleasant thoughts, feelings, and behaviors.
People with either type of disorder may experience some of the same symptoms, such as a pounding heart, trembling, sweating, or feeling short of breath. But the difference between the two is that anxiety is ongoing and occurs in response to a specific situation, whereas panic attacks usually come out of the blue and may not be connected to an identifiable cause.
Anxiety attacks are often related to a specific trigger — such as stress from work or school, social anxiety, or phobias — whereas panic attacks can happen unexpectedly.
Panic attacks typically include some of the same symptoms as anxiety attacks but often in more extreme forms. Panic disorder involves repeated episodes of sudden feelings of intense anxiety and fear or terror that reach a peak within minutes (panic attacks).
You may have feelings of impending doom, shortness of breath, chest pain, or a rapid, fluttering, or pounding heart (heart palpitations). These panic attacks may lead to worrying about them happening again or avoiding situations in which they’ve occurred.
Are Anxiety Attacks Dangerous?
The majority of anxiety attacks are not dangerous. Just because the symptoms can seem scary, it does not mean that you are having a heart attack or any other serious condition. Many people have mild symptoms.
Can Anxiety Make You Feel Sick?
It’s not unusual to feel sick to your stomach before giving a public speech or going on a job interview. Physical symptoms associated with anxiety, such as an upset stomach, are common and can be quite uncomfortable.
The good news is that these feelings are usually temporary and not serious. In particular, you don’t need to worry about your anxiety causing permanent damage or harming your health in the long term.
Anxiety is sometimes a difficult condition to treat because so many different factors are involved. Many people feel anxious because of difficult or stressful situations in their lives, such as the loss of a loved one, divorce, or job loss. On the other hand, some people may feel anxious for no obvious reason at all.
There are also certain personality traits that tend to go along with anxiety disorders. People who struggle with anxiety often have a hard time dealing with uncertainty and fear that bad things will happen to them. They also tend to hold themselves to very high standards and have a low tolerance for failure or perceived imperfection.
Research suggests that anxiety can cause nausea due to abnormal activity in the brain and gut, which creates stress hormones that make you feel physically ill.
Are Anxiety Meds Worth It?
The good news is there are medications available to help you manage anxiety. But are anxiety meds worth it?
Experts agree that medication alone will not fix your anxiety. There are lifestyle changes you can make to help manage it better — including exercise therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and mindfulness exercises. Medications can help treat the symptoms of an anxiety disorder, but they are not intended for long-term use.
Medications for treating anxiety may come with side effects such as drowsiness and insomnia. They also have the potential for dependency problems if taken for longer than recommended.
If you’re wanting to overcome anxiety without medication, you might want to consider Exerpy. Exerpy refers to exercise therapy for mental health and is a completely natural way of overcoming anxiety through means of exercise.
Exerpy offers a free trial that lasts a full week, so you can see if it works for you and go from there.