However, while there is no magical overnight cure, there are a number of day-to-day changes that you can make to make coping with anxiety easier.
These positive changes can be a springboard for gradual and sustainable improvement. A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step — all you need to begin with is enough momentum to take that step and proceed to the next.
In this post, we’ll be looking at how to make manageable adjustments to your life to make living with anxiety easier; read on to find out more.
Not only is regular exercise great for your physical health, but it’s also proven to have a positive impact on your mental health too. Exercise is a really effective way of managing your anxiety.
Doing any type of activity — whether it’s jogging, yoga or swimming — will release chemicals in the brain that make you feel happy and energised. These chemicals help to alleviate the feelings associated with anxiety and depression.
Regular exercise can also help to improve your sleep and will tackle anxiety-related symptoms like insomnia.
Try to get into a routine of regular exercise — even if it’s just something like taking a walk every couple of days (or however frequently it maybe). That’s when it becomes something you can rely on — something you can do almost on autopilot. Once you reach that point, sticking to your walking habit will probably be easy. But it’s hard to get there — which brings us onto our next point…
We often think that getting started is the worst part of doing something new, but that isn’t always the case: sometimes, it’s carrying on that’s tough.
To make adapting to your changes as easy as possible, start slowly and work up.
Aim for consistency and repetition with things like exercise. Instead of committing to a 40-minute walk every day and giving up once you miss one, aim to do three 10-minute walks every week. Don’t feel disheartened or disappointed if you don’t manage to get out.
Reach the point at which you’re walking without needing to think about it, and you’ll have successfully ‘rewired’ your brain and the exercise will be benefiting you.
Lengthen the walks, or add more. Take on only as much challenge as you can handle, and you’ll have a better chance of succeeding.
Knowing your type of anxiety disorder, your symptoms and your behavioural patterns will help you to understand and manage your anxiety better.
Do you overeat? Undereat? Stay indoors for days at a time? If you maintain any kind of bad habit that know is bad for you but you find yourself struggling to resist, then one of the best things you can do is learn what events and feelings lead you to disaster.
Maybe you eat when you feel stressed, for example, or stay in because you’re scared of social contact.
The point is that if you can recognise bad habits or triggers, you can make them less likely to happen, or even get rid of them entirely. Remove yourself from stressful situations or learn some coping techniques such as breathing exercises or meditation to help you come down from panic attacks.
Find healthy ways to alleviate stress, and maybe you won’t feel the urge to eat, making it possible to stave off bingeing long enough for healthy eating habits to become normal for you.
So the next time you’re on the verge of doing something you’ll regret afterwards, think carefully about what’s driving that compulsion. You might not be able to do anything about it immediately, but you might be able to make small changes to your life that add up in the end.
Doing difficult things alone is hard — especially coping with mental health issues like anxiety. Anxiety disorders can make you feel isolated and alone. Talking to someone and articulating your feelings will really help you to manage your symptoms and work through your feelings.
Whether it’s with a friend, colleague, or family member (someone you get on well with, at least), a therapist or a support group, talking will help.
Talking means you’ll be less likely to get upset and frustrated with yourself, and more likely to continue making good decisions and progress.
It also gives you the chance to share coping techniques and learn from each other — there’s a pretty good chance that someone close to you is also living with anxiety. You can support each other — you can be their crutch, and they can be yours. When you’re struggling, you’ll be able to vent to them about it, knowing that they’ll understand what you’re going through.
Living with anxiety can be hard, but it’s never too late to make positive changes that will benefit your mental and physical health.
Don’t get discouraged from trying to make manageable changes. Even if you can only make small ones, it’s better than nothing, and you can build up to something big over time.