I would like to share some tips that might help you to reduce anxiety or in other words, some lifestyle changes that I and others have found helpful.
Any kind of movement you can find closer to your heart! Dancing (for example, ballet class for beginners), running (“from zero to hero” club), walking (with a friend or a pet), swimming, yoga, gym classes and so much more. It DOES help!
My running experience is limited as I had a long break since my twenties. But it makes such a difference! I ran this morning for just 30 minutes and still felt the boost. Maybe it’s also a sense of achievement and satisfaction that I am looking after myself?
It might sound like a small change but reducing your caffeine intake can make a difference. I used to work long hours late at night and drinking lots of coffee to “keep my energy levels up.” However, my heart started to race with palpations, and I knew that it was not helping me in a long term, so I reviewed my caffeine intake. Eliminating coffee can also improve your sleep and help many to feel calmer throughout the day.
Breathing exercises, yoga, or mindfulness:
Breathe! Practise makes perfect. Especially when we are doing it regularly while being relatively calm. Managing your breathing can help you to regulate your heart rate when we are under the pressure. Belly or diaphragmatic breathing, box breathing etc. There are also so many apps such as “Calm app” and “Headspace” that can support breathing and mindfulness techniques.
It might be some art classes, AA support group or anxiety blog. No matter the club or group, it is important to feel that you are not alone. We are pretty “social creatures” and many people with social anxiety have shared their thoughts with me professing, “I wish I could be around people more. I am missing out because of fear being judged.” but you are not alone! Joining a group, can help you to meet like-minded individuals and extend your social circle.
Never underestimate a good sleep. I used to work night shifts and argued that it is not as bad as I am pretty awake in the morning, and I can do more! How wrong was that for me! My sleeping patterns changed from 7-8 hours to 4 – 5 hours. It made me feel pretty unwell over time. Night shifts are not for everyone but you need to listen to your body and get enough sleep during the day.
Be mindful of your working style. Do you ever say “No”? Do you find that you might work longer hours then you need to?
How about kindness and compassion? Are you treating yourself well? Sometimes we all need a little reminder to practice self-care!
I enjoy saying some silly jokes or being childish. Yes, it might be annoying sometimes for others but it helps me!
Finally, we all need love, attention, smiles, kindness and jokes in our lives. Let’s create it together! And a kind remember, you are not alone!
by Laura Minus