We all have a mental list of tasks we need to finish before the end of the day. As our day drags on, we continually add to the list. For some of us, this process subconsciously creates the perception that our life is nothing more than a never-ending list of unfinished items. This perception creates stress in your body and induces anxiety. 28 million Americans are diagnosed with anxiety disorders each year. However, not all stress is necessarily “bad.”
“Every day the stress will keep coming, the challenges will keep coming,” says Dr. Avdhoot Shivanand of AVS Mindfulness. “Either you will face the challenges as positive stress or negative stress. If stress is negative, it will manifest into a self-limiting belief. If stress is healthy, positive, then it becomes a driving force which will lead you to success.”
People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. If anxiety is interfering with your day-to-day life, then you should consider adjusting your habits and thought patterns in addition to speaking to a medical professional.
5 Simple Ways to Manage Your Anxiety
1. Slow Down
When you’re driving 120 miles per hour, it’s difficult to see where you’re going. Take a moment to pause, slow down, and collect yourself. Slowing down makes it easier for you to prioritize. Break down big projects into smaller projects, steps, milestones, and set realistic deadlines. Take time to educate yourself on how to set goals and manage stress in the workplace.
2. Practice Self-Love
Go easy on yourself. We are all human. We all make mistakes. In order to get into the habit of “self love” you need to end the cycle of negative self-talk. Negative self-talk is the little voice in your head, often your own, that tells that you’re not good enough, that you’re a failure, that you can’t succeed. When you catch yourself in these moments, replace the negative thoughts with positive ones, “I can do this. I will succeed. I will try again.” Positive thinking will go a long way to effect change in your life.
3. Make Happy Memories
We all need to take a break. Remember to set aside time for hobbies like reading, sports leagues, or yoga classes. Check out exhibits at local museums, go to concerts, see a movie, and get out with friends. Getting outside of the environment that is causing your stress can provide great anxiety relief.
4. Exercise and Eat Well
Exercising regularly will give your body a consistent endorphin boost, which is great for managing chronic anxiety and depression. Eating foods low in cholesterol and high in vegetables, fruit, and whole grains will help control your glucose and therefore control your moods. Your body needs good fuel to generate the energy it needs to regulate stress appropriately.
Taking just 3-minutes to meditate a few times each day will lower your blood pressure and regulate your response to stress, effectively reducing anxiety. This effect is called “emotion regulation.” Through meditation you will see emotions for what they are — temporary — and will be able to be in control of your body’s reactions. Knowing that you are in control of your body and your response to stress will create the positive mindset necessary for combating anxiety.
Visit avsmindfulness.com to learn how more about how instructional mindfulness meditation can benefit your health. Keep an eye out for our app, slated for release in 2018.