1. Make time for friends
In times of high anxiety and stress there is often a strong desire in many individuals to isolate themselves. While a lot of research still needs to be done in this area, studies tell us the act of socializing can change our brain chemistry to one that is more conducive to a healthier stress response
2. Look at your lifestyle habits that could be triggering your anxiety
Recent studies link many lifestyle habits with increasing risk of anxiety. For example smoking and excessive alcohol use can actually increase your risk of anxiety. In fact, in study published in British Journal of Psychiatry, January 2013 issue, they found that people who successfully quit smoking experienced a significant drop in their anxiety level. Studies also show that alcohol use can prolong the effects of stress and commonly disrupts sleep therefore contributing to insomnia.
3. Address any sleeping issues you may have
Lack of sleep can make us more susceptible to anxiety. Researchers at the University of California, Berkley sleep laboratory found that individuals who were sleep deprived had much higher levels of anticipatory reactions. Most anxiety sufferers are always expecting or anticipating something “bad” to happen. Now, imagine that anticipation being heightened. Lack of sleep also increases inflammation, decreases focus and increases fatigue, all of which can potentially exacerbate anxiety.
4. Set aside time for relaxation daily
We must all allow time to decompress, rejuvenate and refresh. Think of the relaxation response as the body being a state of deep rest without being asleep. Prayer, meditation, deep breathing exercises and yoga have all been shown to be capable of inducing this response in the body. We have multiple studies showing that inducing relaxation response can help to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and stress. What is amazing to note is that a recent study shows that it changes the way your genes are expressed.
5. Pay attention to your nutrition
Body: Recent studies show a clear link between moods and foods. Junk foods and sodas have been linked to increased mood disorders and behavioral issues all of which can be anxiety provoking. These studies are even hinting at the fact that propensity for mood disorders maybe begin in utero if maternal nutrition is not up to par.
6. Get help if you need it.
Reaching out for help is not a sign of weakness but rather a sign of strength. If your anxiety is out of control and interfering with your life, causing you to withdraw from your family and friends and affecting your health, it is time to get help