Anxiety hit me HARD and out of nowhere in my twenties. I never really suffered from it as a child or teenager and then all of a sudden mid twenties it knocked me off my feet. Below are 5 things I identified that contributed big time to my anxiety and how to help.
Disclaimer: I am not a doctor! These are simply my own opinion and experiences. If you have mental health problems and need someone to talk to I encourage you to get professional help.
1. You’re starting your day off with the wrong mindset
This is honestly a really big deal. Ever notice those days where you start your morning off bad and the whole day bad things seem to happen? There are times where I fall asleep with negative thoughts and a sinking feeling in my chest and then wake up the next morning with that same sinking feeling. I decided enough was enough and I needed to take control of the things that were in my power… my mindset. Each morning I take some time to gather myself and do one thing I love (cup of tea on my deck, yoga, etc.) before I start my day. I tell myself how I choose to start my day is how it will happen and that I choose to have a great day. Make a habit of this and I promise it will make a difference!
2. You don’t have a fluffy friend
Okay maybe this one isn’t manageable for everyone but I highly recommend it if you can! It is a well known fact that dogs help reduce stress and anxiety! Ever see a volunteer dog at an airport or hospital? They are there to reduce stress! Anytime I’ve had a bad day spending some time with my dog instantly makes me feel better. Can’t get a pet? Volunteer at your local shelter! It will be sure to heighten your mood.
3. You’re drinking too much caffeine
Okay this might be an unpopular opinion however studies have shown a link between drinking coffee and anxiety! I personally know this is a huge factor for me and have completely cut out coffee. I drink only one cup a month on average now and have switched it out for herbal tea daily. Yes some teas do contain caffeine however the amounts are significantly less! Don’t believe me? Check out this article from www.health.com that details further info and studies.
4. You’re spending too much time indoors
Have you ever noticed how just stepping outside for a couple minutes for a break during your day can heighten your mood? It is SO important to make sure you’re not just spending all of your time inside. Here’s a great article specifically on this topic and how it reduces stress and anxiety: www.heart.org So what are you waiting for? Take a hike!
5. You’re spending too much time in front of a screen
This is a serious problem nowadays. Not only is it horrible for your eye health but also can impact your mental health. It’s so typical nowadays for people to be watching tv all while also on their computer and phone. That’s crazy! I have to admit I am so guilty of this but I’m really putting an effort in to change. I’ve created the 1 device rule. If I am on the computer then my phone needs to be put away and the TV off, no more electronic multitasking!
6. You’re not living life on your own terms
Times when I’ve felt incredibly stressed or full of anxiety I’ve reflected and realized I’m not truly living the life I want. I then took the time to navigate what areas of my life do I have control over and can change? Then I do my best to implement those changes and take action. It is YOUR life and at the end of the day you need to take your happiness into your own hands!
7. You don’t know how to say no
I know this can be an issue with so many people but let me tell you… it’s OKAY to say no. Saying yes to too many things isn’t helpful to anyone. You’ll burn yourself out and will potentially even resent those around you who are making you attend or take part in things you truly don’t want to do. At the end of the day it is up to you to politely decline and not take on too much. It’s important to have down time to take care of yourself!
I hope these tips help someone along the way! I know it has made a huge difference in my life to consciously decide to fight my anxiety daily but first you need to identify the root of the problem. Did I miss anything? Comment below with what helps you manage stress and anxiety!