Not being able to sleep, a racing heart and that sinking feeling in the pit of you stomach are all symptoms of anxiety. Introducing a few easy habits every day will go a long way to reducing these feelings and should help you feel calmer and more relaxed.
1) Get enough rest – broken sleep can affect us, both physically and mentally. Ensuring you get the recommended 7-8 hours sleep a night should help lower those anxiety levels.
2) Smile – even when you don’t feel like it. Research suggests that laughing can reduce symptoms of anxiety and depression, so if work is getting you down, take a laughter break with some funny youtube clips.
3) Be grateful – studies have found that expressing gratitude in the form of a journal can help to reduce anxiety. Every day note down something you’re grateful for – even if it is just that the sun is shining for a change.
4) Eat healthily – when we are anxious our bodies are all over the place and you may find yourself craving comfort food. Try to resist this urge and stick to a healthy diet. By eating nutritionally rich foods you will be getting essential vitamins and minerals – including vitamin B, which is linked to good mental-health.
5) Breathe – especially useful as a tool to gauge anxiety before a panic attack, learning to control your breath can do wonders for your anxiety levels. Slow, deep breaths will tell your brain that it is OK to relax.
6) Meditate – we all know that meditation is a helpful de-stressor, but studies have revealed that meditating can also increase the amount of grey matter in the brain – essentially re-wiring the body to stress less.
7) Be quiet – take some time out to completely disconnect from the world. Turn your phone off, step away from the computer, turn off the TV and just enjoy the sound of silence. According to research, too much noise can raise stress levels, so take a time-out for a few minutes every day.
8) Try aromatherapy – smelling calming oils such as chamomile and anise will help to reduce tension and increase mental clarity.
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