Smart, Simple Ways to Let Go of Anxiety
By Sandy Schroeder
If anxiety is weighing down your day and sabotaging your nights, you may want to see your doctor and a psychologist for therapy. At the same time, there are many things that you can do to help yourself. Lifehack suggests some things to try:
- Make sure your lifestyle provides for enough rest, exercise and good food
- Treat yourself as well as you do your loved ones
- Stay in touch with your friends, family and neighbors
- Find a creative outlet that intrigues you
- Ease tension with yoga, mindfulness meditation and walks in the park or by the water
- Monitor your anxiety and choose activities that reduce it
What Not to Do
Be careful with things that can send you further into anxiety.
- Avoid drugs and alcohol - They can accelerate your anxiety
- Stop smoking - Nicotine makes anxiety worse
- Limit caffeine - Cut back on cola, coffee, tea, chocolate and energy drinks
- Pace yourself - Fast-moving activities can make you feel more anxious
How Others Can Help You
When friends and family want to help, these things will help.
Become informed – Learning what anxiety really is can make help much more useful.
Volunteer – They can ask what is needed and then follow through with little things that really work.
Encourage – Be comforting and positive about progress, listening and responding with reassurance.
Tag along – People who are anxious are often reluctant to try a new exercise class or go out alone. Be there to go with them and get them moving.
Promote treatment – Recognize the value of therapy and help to find a therapist. Then follow through, providing a ride or anything else that is needed.
Vent a little – If someone close to you is struggling with anxiety, you may be absorbing a lot of the impact. Find ways to offload and let go of the tension.
Things to NOT Do
Sometimes family or friends can be harmful, pushing the anxious person further. So don't do the following.
Don't gloss over things – Never try to act as if everything is fine. Acknowledge the problem exists and talk about it.
Don't make unreasonable requests – People who do not understand what anxiety really is may simply tell the person to “Snap out of it.” If it were that simple, the person would do so.
Don't assign blame – Unthinking friends or family may attribute anxiety to bad choices, and give all sorts of advice.
Don't push too hard – In an effort to move things along, people may pressure the individual to jump back into the game with all sorts of activities.
Anxiety is not an easy nut to crack. If you or someone you love is struggling with it, learn all you can, talk with therapists, and work on gradually solving the problem.
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