Mental disorders such as anxiety can ruin the quality of life. They affect your productivity and they also contribute to a number of health problems. Fortunately, there are ways on how to cope with anxiety when it’s at its worst. But these tips have to be practical, so that you’ll be able to use them even when you’re experiencing anxiety attacks or panic attacks.
1) Don’t skip meals
When you’re feeling anxious, eating can be the last thing on your mind. And while skipping meals may seem like a good way to deal with anxiety when it’s at its worst, we have some bad news: It’s actually not a good idea.
The truth is that skipping meals can actually make anxiety worse. When you skip meals, your body doesn’t get the glucose it needs to function properly. As a result, you might feel even more tired than normal, which will make it harder for you to concentrate and focus on the task at hand.
In addition, skipping meals can lead to adrenal fatigue, which is characterized by feeling tired all of the time and having trouble sleeping. This lack of sleep makes it even harder for you to cope with your anxiety in a productive way.
The best thing for your health and mental well-being during times of high anxiety is to eat regular meals throughout the day—even if those meals are small ones!
2) Exercise regularly
When we’re stressed, our brains release cortisol, which helps us cope with stressful situations by making us more alert. But when we have too much cortisol in our system for too long, it can start to affect our moods and make us feel depressed or anxious.
And that’s where exercise comes in: When we exercise regularly, our bodies produce less cortisol in response to stressors. So even though those same stressors may still be affecting us physiologically, they don’t affect us as much psychologically because of exercise!
Exercise also helps improve your mood by releasing endorphins—those feel-good chemicals that make you feel energized after working out—and helping your body increase serotonin production (which helps you sleep better).
3) Use relaxation techniques
When you’re dealing with anxiety, it can feel like there’s no way out. You might feel like there’s nothing you can do to make yourself feel better, and that the anxiety is going to keep coming back over and over again.
But there are some things you can do to help yourself cope with your anxiety when it gets really bad. One of those things is using relaxation techniques to help bring down your stress levels and give your body a chance to recover from the rush of adrenaline that comes with anxiety.
Relaxation techniques are simple things you can do to help yourself relax when you’re feeling anxious or stressed out. They can be as easy as taking a few deep breaths or closing your eyes for a few minutes, but they’re also great tools for calming down during moments when your mind is racing with thoughts about the future, what might happen if things don’t go well, or if there’s something else causing you stress right now.
4) Limit caffeine intake
For many people, caffeine is a daily ritual. It’s the first thing they reach for when they wake up, or the last thing they have before bed. Some people drink it with their afternoon coffee break, while others can’t start their day without a cup of tea or coffee.
But too much caffeine can cause problems. For example, too much caffeine can make you jittery and anxious. If you’re dealing with anxiety on a daily basis, limiting your intake of caffeine may help you cope more effectively with your symptoms.
Caffeine has been shown to raise levels of adrenaline in the body, which can trigger anxiety attacks in some people. Caffeine also causes the release of dopamine in the brain, which can make you feel happy temporarily but cause depression later on — a feeling that many people experience when they drink too much caffeine over time.
If you’ve been drinking large amounts of coffee or other caffeinated beverages for years, it may take some time for your body to adjust after cutting down on these drinks. You might experience withdrawal symptoms such as headaches or fatigue as well as emotional symptoms like irritability and anxiety.
5) Take time for yourself each day
Our days are filled with constant demands on our time, and we’re often expected to be ready, willing, and able to help out at a moment’s notice. Taking care of others can be rewarding and fulfilling—but when you’re in the thick of an anxiety attack, it can feel impossible to come up with any kind of plan for how you’ll keep yourself safe and healthy. That’s why it’s so important to make sure your needs are accounted for in your daily routine!
It doesn’t have to be complicated: just take some time each day to do something that makes you feel good. Maybe that means reading a book on the couch while sipping tea or taking an hour-long bath with candles lit around the tub (and maybe some wine). Maybe it means going for a run or doing yoga in your living room before heading out for work in the morning. Whatever feels right for you is exactly what you should do!
And don’t worry about feeling guilty about taking time for yourself—it’s not selfish! It’s actually really important that we take care of ourselves when we’re struggling with anxiety because otherwise we won’t have any energy left over for doing other things.
6) Get enough sleep each night
The body and mind need time to rest, recoup and repair. Without adequate sleep, your body will not be able to function properly. If you’re not getting enough sleep, your mood will suffer and so will your ability to cope with stress and anxiety.
It’s important to keep in mind that there is no “magic number” when it comes to the amount of sleep we need per night: while some people may do well on 5 hours of sleep per night, others may need 9 or more hours of sleep in order to feel rested and refreshed in the morning. The key is finding out what works best for YOU!
7) Learn how to cope with stressors at work or home
When you’re dealing with anxiety, it can be hard to know what to do—especially when it comes to your job. Learning how to cope with stressors at work or home is a great way to manage your anxiety when it’s at its worst.
The first step is to identify the things in your life that cause stress. Is it your commute? Your boss? Your coworkers? Once you figure out what’s causing you the most stress, think about ways you can eliminate it from your life. For example, if you hate taking public transportation and driving is too expensive for your budget, consider switching jobs or looking for another one that offers a shuttle service.
When we’re overwhelmed by stressors, our bodies release high levels of cortisol—a hormone that makes us feel anxious and wired. Reducing those levels will help keep our minds clearer so we can focus on finding other ways to cope with anxiety when it strikes again later down the road!
8) Write on a journal
When you’re feeling anxious, chances are your mind is racing, and your thoughts are all over the place. It’s hard to focus on anything in particular, especially if you’ve been dealing with anxiety for a while. But writing down your thoughts can help you get some clarity in your life.
You can also use writing as an outlet for releasing emotions that may be causing you stress. By writing down how you feel, you’ll be able to see what’s really bothering you and how to deal with it. You can then take steps towards solving whatever issue is causing your anxiety so that it doesn’t continue to bother you throughout the day or week ahead!
9) Listen to music
If you’ve ever had an anxiety attack, you know how scary it can be. Sometimes the best thing to do is to distract yourself with something that will calm you down.
Listening to music can help you relax and calm your nerves during a panic attack. It’s proven that listening to music can help reduce anxiety levels, as well as depression and stress. In fact, studies have shown that patients who listened to classical music every night for two weeks reported feeling less stressed and more relaxed overall compared to those who didn’t listen to any music at all during this same time period.
If you’re having an anxiety attack, try playing some calming music on your phone or computer while breathing deeply in through your nose and out through your mouth until the symptoms subside completely (or at least until they’re manageable enough for you).
10) Talk about your fears with someone whom you trust
When we talk about our feelings, we begin to feel less alone, and therefore less anxious. Talking helps us to put our worries into words, and this can be very therapeutic. It’s not just about talking about our fears—it’s also about expressing them in a supportive environment where we’re not being judged or criticized.
The more we talk about our fears, the more they lose their power over us. We begin to realize that they are just thoughts in our minds—not reality at all! By sharing them with others, we can start to see them for what they really are: simply thoughts that don’t have any power over us unless we let them.
Armed with your new tools, you will be able to better cope with anxiety when at its worst. You will soon find that you enjoy life again. Keep the list of techniques close. Learn to recognize the early signs of anxiety and then use the techniques in this article to keep them from escalating into a panic attack.
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