You may have read our previous article on 5 Possible Causes of Anxiety. But how do you manage anxiety?
Symptoms of Anxiety
There are several symptoms of anxiety you may experience and should be aware of. A few of these include:
- Sweating and a Rapid heart beat
- Tummy troubles including IBS
- Headaches & Overthinking
- Shortness of breath, rapid heart beating and panic attacks.
- Difficulty sleeping
- Struggling to concentrate.
5 Ways to Manage Anxiety
For some people small lifestyle changes can help beat anxiety. For some of us however its about accepting we have anxiety and being able to manage it! Millions of people all over the world suffer with anxiety so you’re not alone!
So what can you do to help? Well we first recommend visiting your GP and reading up on anxiety at websites such as mind.org,. But below are some self-help tips that you can help you to manage anxiety.
1. Limit Your Social Media Exposure
Feeling pressure to look a certain way is unfortunately a big side effect of social media and often results in comparing ourselves to others and feeling uncomfortable in our own skin. What many people don’t realise is who we follow on social media are a small % of the population. But because we only see these accounts it makes us feel like everyone is like this. Not only that, but many accounts use Photoshop, good lighting and take picture in a certain pose. So they’re not REAL!
A top tip to help you manage anxiety caused by social media is to choose carefully who you follow. Only follow accounts that are inspiring in more ways that just appearance. With that being said, limit how much time you spend on platforms like Instagram. For example, being on Instagram at night just before bed is not healthy and spending hours in the day randomly scrolling is going to damage your mental health. Choose to look on Instagram during your breaks and be aware of how long you’ve been on there. A good way to manage is to look at your mobile battery. You can see what apps are taking up the most %!
2. Accept You’re Not Perfect
That’s right. WHY compare yourself to someone else – you will never be them. People can appear to be perfect on social media but images are only part of the story. So next time you catch yourself comparing yourself to someone else repeat the phrase: sure she looks and is great but I’ll never be her because I am me. And YOU are great in so many ways. List the amazing things about you rather than about other people.
It’s important to accept your flaws. Being perfect is not real and so many of us try so hard to get there. Whether its in the gym with fitness, changing our body or performing at work. No one is perfect. Accepting your flaws can help tackle your anxiety because it reduces the internal pressure. They’re will be days when you won’t reach a new PB. And that’s OKAY! So many girls go to the gym and expect to get stronger, lift heavier and be fitter in every single session. But guys that’s so unrealistic! If you’re having a bad day or have limitations, then try and accept them and yourself for who you are. Because you might not be perfect but you’re pretty goddamn amazing!
3. Become Self Aware & Learn Your Triggers
Record a diary of when you get your anxiety. Panic attacks can be hard to follow as they come on at the WORST and most unexpected times. But for general symptoms of anxiety, by recording a diary you can identify key triggers. For example, did your overeat? Did you not get a good night sleep? Have you spent time with someone negative? By becoming aware of your symptoms and your reactions you can identify some key triggers to avoid to manage your anxiety.
Okay so some people may LOVE this one and other people may think “no way”. BUT have you tried meditation? If no then anything is worth a shot! Meditating does not mean sitting crossed legged and humming or OM’ing. Forget the stereotype. Meditation is simply taking yourself out of a stressful place and being a bit more aware and at peace. You can listen to self-help tracks like HeadSpace which offer a free trial or insight timer. Or you can do your own! Go somewhere quiet with no distractions and sit or lie down and close your eyes. Focus on breathing in and out and even counting 4 seconds in and out. Meditation is just about taking sometime for you to relax your stressed mind! When thoughts come to you, talk back to them and break them down to be rationale.
5. Eat Well, Exercise & Rest
Taking care of your anxiety means taking care of your body. Eating nutritious foods is really important to make sure you get enough vitamins and minerals. For example, anxiety can be caused simply by deficiencies in magnesium and vitamin B. So by eating well you can make sure your feeding a healthy brain!
Exercise is also a great way to blow of steam, tackle stress and lower anxiety. Did you know that pushing yourself in exercise actually has some of the same symptoms as a panic attack! Yet I bet you don’t feel so panicked! But that being said – don’t over do it and be sure to get enough rest. Yep – that means dreaded rest days! 1-2 rest days at LEAST is needed for your body to recover. Don’t forget exercise is classed as a type of stress on the body too! So you need a break. Try and get 8 hours sleep a night. I know that’s a tough one – especially with that insomnia!
Take Home Message
We hope the above tips will help you to manage anxiety and you can be reassured this article has been written by a sufferer of chronic anxiety – so she knows how you feel. For more advice always visit your GP and read around at credible sources such as www.mind.org. The best way to tackle mental health is to empower yourself with knowledge and education. You can rest assured you’re not alone – BUT it’s up to YOU to take control and look after yourself.