Anxiety disorders are one of the most common mental illnesses in North America, and many people struggle with anxiousness at some point in their lifetime. Even though it is very common, it still goes untreated or unmanaged in many individuals.
There are many ways to manage anxiety, and depending on the severity of the illness and frequency of treatment, not all treatment options come at a cost. From medication, to lifestyle changes, to therapy, to alternative treatments, anxiety treatments range greatly in cost and effectiveness. Some treatment options may work great for some, while not causing any difference to others.
By learning many different ways to manage anxiety and its symptoms, you are equipping yourself with different “tools” for your tool belt that you can turn to when needed. If you are looking for ways to manage anxiety on a day to day basis, but don’t have access to counselling in Victoria BC, here are some options for you:
It may seem cliche, but regular and consistent exercise really is a great way to combat anxiety. Not only does it allow you to channel anxious energy into physical activity, but it also releases positive chemicals within your brain that help you feel grounded and happy. Even something as simple as a 10 minute walk can make all the difference!
If you’ve never tried journaling, you might be surprised at how quickly it can clear your mind. The swirling, unfocused thoughts that often come with anxiety can quickly become overwhelming, but journaling is a tool that you can use to ease those thoughts. There are many different journaling techniques that you can use: daily prompts, writing about how you are feeling, or even just writing a “brain dump” of anything that comes to your mind. Writing down your experiences, thoughts, and fears helps you to release them from your mind and let them go, which can help ease anxiousness and bring you some peace.
Conscious breath is a powerful tool when it comes to anxiety as it can be grounding and calm the physical symptoms of anxiety (racing heart, shallow breathing, etc.). There are different breathing techniques that you can use, but one of the most simple breathwork practices is the 4x4x4 or “box” breath. This involves breathing in deep for 4 counts, holding for 4 counts, and then exhaling for 4 counts. Try setting a timer for 3 minutes and focusing on this breathwork, then notice how your energy changes!
What we eat has such a huge impact on how we feel, including our energy levels and emotions. This means that eating processed foods and high sugar foods can cause your mood to plummet or be unstable throughout the day. Instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, vitamins, and nuts. While it is no small feat to make huge changes to the way you eat, try to make a few small changes gradually and see if you notice any changes.
Emotional Freedom Technique, or tapping, is a combination of cognitive therapies and acupressure. It mainly works by tapping on specific spots on the face and body that are supposed paths through which “life energy” is believed to flow. These specific pathways of energy or meridians help balance energy flow to maintain your health.
Many studies have praised the positive effects of EFT on anxiety symptoms and related vitals such as blood pressure and resting heart rate. While you may need to pay for a professional to perform EFT, it is easily accessible as a no-cost home treatment option with a little bit of research and practice.
Yoga and Mediation
Did you know there are many different kinds of yoga and mediation? These two activities have been proven time and again to be beneficial for not just physical health, but a wide variety of mental health struggles as well. Yoga can be a gentle stretch, or a faster paced cardio workout, but whichever one you choose will likely show you benefits in your day to day. The key to yoga and meditation is that it brings the attention inward and encourages a connection to the self. This can help with grounding and calming the mind, and keeping anxiety at bay.
Building a sense of spirituality is an important part of life for many people, but others have never even considered it. A spiritual practice looks different for everyone, but it often includes creating a meaningful connection with something larger with yourself (a higher power, nature, the beyond, etc.).
Spirituality is often connected to feelings of awe, peace, contentment, or calm, and these feelings can help reduce the effects of anxiety. It is up to you how you cultivate spirituality; it can be done through any of the above activities, or through many others such as reading, singing, art, or prayer.
If you struggle with anxiety, there is no need to “tough it out” or grind through the bad days. Any of the above 7 options are simple things that you can do in your day to day that could have a big impact on how you are feeling. Try them and let us know how it goes!
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