Apr 6, 2012

4 Great Ways to Reduce Anxiety Today - guest post by Stephen

 Hi Ocean Dreamers! 

Did you know that May is Mental Awareness month
As we gear up for May here is an April post for you!
Even though mental health is a touchy subject, I definitely
think it should be discussed more often so people can become
more aware that they can get through it. I don't mind telling you
that I have suffered from anxiety for most of my entire life.
What could have been a paralyzing illness for me has become 
something that I've learned to manage. Ive also learned to not be ashamed
that I suffer from anxiety because everyone has some sort of struggle
in life. If you are a on-going anxiety sufferer or have occasional anxiety,
this a great guest post with a lot of wonderful tips on how to reduce
your anxiety before it gets a grip on you!

 *******************************

4 Great Ways to Reduce Anxiety Today

What do Barbra Streisand, Cher, Oprah Winfrey and Roseanne Barr all have
in common? Apart from being fabulously rich and famous that is. The answer
is, they have all suffered from an anxiety disorder at one stage or
another in their lives. It’s hard to imagine these successful and
seemingly confident women being afflicted with intense fears and panic
attacks, right?

They are far from alone. It’s been estimated that around 18% of the
American adult population suffers from anxiety. That’s 40 million people
and it’s no wonder that anxiety disorders have been deemed the most common mental illness in the US. Thankfully, many of these people have a “mild” form of anxiety which of course can be thoroughly unpleasant but doesn’t usually affect day-to-day activities such as going to work and visiting
friends.

Are you an anxiety sufferer? Do you wish you could find a little more
peace and relaxation in your life? Are you tired and frustrated over the
fear, dread and sweating that can occur in your mind and body, at the drop
of a hat, over the most silly and nonsensical things? If so, try out the
following 4 suggestions over the next couple of weeks and see if you
notice a difference.

1. Exercise

You’ve probably had this advice given to you many times before and read it
in relaxation books you might have browsed on bookshop shelves. That’s
because exercise really does help in alleviating anxiety. So, if you’re a
couch potato with a tendency to fear the worst, then it’s time to go
jogging or head to the gym. Find an exercise regime that will compliment
your level of fitness and keep to it. You can even find smartphone apps to
measure your progress.

Believe it or not but recent scientific studies by various American
universities and researchers have found that regular exercise actually
alters cells, pathways and structures in the brain, making the human brain
more resistant to stress. It’s also good for reducing the symptoms of
depression too.

2. Drink Less Coffee

“Noooo!” I can hear you all scream. “Anything but that!”

Unfortunately, if you genuinely want to reduce your anxiety levels, then a
reduction in the amount of caffeine you consume on a daily basis must be
taken. Coffee is a $60 billion global industry and whichever city you
visit there is going to be a coffee shop within walking distance. No
wonder the rates of anxiety are so high!

Caffeine, as we all know, is a stimulant and interferes with a
tranquilizing neurotransmitter chemical in the brain called adenosine.
This is the chemical which turns down our anxiety levels and is widely
referred to as our body's version of a tranquiliser. As well as this,
caffeine also leads to the secretion of added stress hormones like
adrenaline which exacerbate anxiety, stress, worry, depression and
insomnia.

Try to gradually reduce the number of times you reach for the coffee cup
each day. Have one less cup of coffee, per day, each week until you notice
a difference in your general mind-set. Remember too that soft drinks such
as Coca-Cola and Red Bull are caffeinated.

3. Laugh More
It’s free, it can be done in your own home, it doesn’t need special
equipment, and best of all, it is a major health benefit. Laughter can
change moods instantly and can quickly transform the ambiance of a room
from one which is nervous or sad to one full of happiness, joy, confidence
and relaxation. It is impossible to overstate how much laughter can help
someone with an anxiety disorder.

That’s because laughter triggers the release of endorphins which are the
body’s natural ‘happy pill’ chemicals. Endorphins promote an overall sense
of well-being in the brain. Laughter also relieves the symptoms of
physical anxiety such as tense muscles and leaves them relaxed up to a
period of 45 minutes after the laughter has stopped. It’s even been said
that one minute of laughter is the equivalent to ten minutes of gentle
exercise. How cool is that!

Seek out comedians or comedies on television that you have in the past
enjoyed. Alternatively, look up comedy clips on Youtube and let yourself
laugh out loud at the jokes and funny scenarios. Arrange your daily
schedule so you have at least half an hour a day, or an hour, in which you
watch nothing else but comedies. Laugh, laugh, smile, and then laugh some
more.

4. Correct Breathing

It’s amazing how many people do not breathe properly. Something we take
for granted might actually be having a negative influence on the health of
our mind and body. Our entire nervous system and internal organs are all
driven by our breathing patterns and so it is important to make sure you
are breathing well.

With a simple change to our breathing patterns, we can influence millions
of biochemical reactions in our body and thereby produce more relaxing
natural chemicals such as endorphins and fewer anxiety-producing ones like
adrenaline and higher blood acidity.

Find a highly recommended book or course on breathing and follow the
guidelines set out within. You’ll be pleasantly surprised how a simple
change in breath length or depth will transform your emotional state of
being. Businesses have even taken advantage of this fact by opening Oxygen
Cafes where customers can order a canister of scented oxygen to inhale.

Beat Anxiety

Anxiety doesn’t have to be a life sentence. We all assume that genetics
and life events have coordinated together to render our lives a permanent
daily struggle of fear, dread and panic, and this might well be true.
However, it’s perfectly possible with the right strategies and techniques,
such as the 4 mentioned above, to significantly reduce the symptoms and
even in time to relegate the anxiety to a mere memory.

The key is to never give up.

Stephen Joseph is the owner of Outsmart Anxiety, a website
focusing on various anxiety disorders and the multitude of ways to
overcome them.


1 comment :

  1. Great post, I think everyone should implement these tips into their lives.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for the comment love! Candy sends you and puppy hello (aka barky bark)!