The Good News Is There Are Lots of Ways to Reduce Stress and Anxiety
This information is for educational purposes only. For specific medical advice, diagnoses, and treatment, consult a health care professional.
Learn to Focus on the Present Moment
Anxiety by definition is about dreading the future. Learn to stop anxiety in it tracks by simply training your mind to focus on the present moment. This task is easier said than done and requires perseverance.
Be Realistic and Expect Ups and Downs
No matter how optimistic you are or how much you try to do everything 'right' you are going to have bad days. Embrace it. Expect it. Trying too hard not to feel stressed or anxious just creates one more thing for you to stress about.
Surround Yourself with Positive People
Spending too much time around angry and/or negative people is bound to drag you down eventually. Simultaneously, understand that learning not to worry is habit you can pick up from others.
Work on the Things You Can Control
Acknowledge the things you can't control and don't become a victim. Stop thinking about what's happening TO YOU, and start thinking about what you CAN DO to make it better.
Learn to Challenge Your Negative Thoughts
The human mind is programmed to think how things can go wrong. Its helped us to survive, but many of our dreaded fears never come to pass. The result? We waste time worrying about a fictitious future and causing ourselves to feel needlessly uncomfortable in the present moment. Learn to challenge negative thoughts by replacing them with more optimistic statements.
Dozens of clinical reviews have determined that exercise can be equally as effective as psychotherapy or medication in the treatment of depression (Bloomenthal, Smith, and Hoffman, 2013). Exercise releases feel good endorphins that counter feelings of stress and anxiety.
Eating too much junkfood can increase the likelihood of experiencing anxiety and depression symptoms. Healthy diets are associated lower levels of depression. Check out this list of foods from WebMd to learn more.
Our minds and bodies need sleep to reset. Not getting enough rest raises our anxiety levels and causes us to stay in "fight or flight" mode. For adults, about 7-8 hours of sleep each night is recommended for best mental health benefits.
Self-Care looks different for everyone. Doing things we simply enjoy raises our dopamine levels and makes us feel good. Having a self-care routine takes it a step further. By taking consistent care of ourselves, we reinforce the idea that we are important valuable beings. As a result, people who practice self-care often have high self-esteem and self-confidence. Check out Family & Youth's Self-Care page to learn even more.
Several over the counter supplements can be used to help fight anxiety. If we want our bodies to maintain optimal balances of Dopamine, Serotonin, GABA, Glutamate, and other important neurotransmitters, then we need to make sure our bodies have the raw materials necessary to make those neurotransmitters. Supplements that can help fight anxiety include: Kava, omega-3 fatty acids, Vitamin B, and Vitamin D. To learn more, check out:
Talk Therapy, or psychotherapy, is a way to help people with a broad variety of emotional difficulties. Psychotherapy can help eliminate or control troubling symptoms so a person can function better The most popular psychotherapy approaches are Cognitive Behavior Therapy, Client-Centered Therapy, Psychoanalysis, and Solution-Focused Brief Therapy.
Art Therapy is similar to talk therapy. However, as opposed to verbally identifying emotions and internal thought processes, Art Therapy challenges participants to express themselves through various art mediums. Art has the ability to communicate that which cannot be easily verbalized.