Breathing and Other Stuffs: A Small Personal Guide to Reducing Anxiety

I’m a worrier and an over-thinker. No, seriously. I’m the kind of person who will bruise her own arms while sleeping if there’s something on my mind. I sometimes clench my jaw so tight that my face or head hurt for days. Anxiety is no fun and having to deal with it teaches you a trick or two to keep you from spiraling into bad moods and dark places.

Professional help is important. I can’t stress that enough. There are manageable versions of anxiety that can be kept in check with things as simple as drinking less, reducing your caffeine intake or eating better. However, the best thing you can do is find a therapist who can, without a doubt, tell you what the healthiest route is.

If you’re feeling so anxious getting in the way of your life and your will to get out and do things? Talk to someone.

Learning to Breathe

For me, a lot of it comes down to keeping myself busy and, yeah, taking better care of myself in ways I probably wouldn’t have thought about when I was younger. I’m a beer drinker, a coffee enthusiast, a social smoker and a terrible sleeper; these are all things that work against me. I’m stubborn though, so I try to find ways to make up for those ultimately unkind vices.

So, again, if it’s getting in the way of life you should talk to someone. Not one of us is the same and what works for me could seem completely ridiculous for someone else, but it could also help. I’ve lost count of how much wisdom I’ve found in the random blog post someone decided to write “just in case”. So. Just in case. Breathe. And keep reading.

Work Out Kills Anxiety

I feel like I’m the last person who should be telling anyone to work out because I’m the kind of person who has to talk herself into making it to the gym and completely fails at it often enough. Still, this one is pretty obvious. In fact, some studies suggest that regular exercise can work as a treatment for some cases of anxiety and depression. Run, walk, join a team, sign up for some cardio; it’ll improve your physical and mental health.

Find Something to Read

Reading is magic. Getting caught up in a truly fantastic book can make you forget about things and sometimes, when everything feels overwhelming, that’s exactly what I need. It also reduces stress and lowers your heart-rate. I go for comic books when I’m feeling anxious because I find it really easy to get lost in them, so go for whatever you love most. Something you know you’ll get wrapped up in effortlessly.

Talk to Friends About How You Feel

I know I already stressed the importance of getting help, but that’s not what I mean here. While spending time with ourselves is something I think we should all learn how to do, there’s another side to that coin. Sometimes, what we really need, is to get away from ourselves. From the overthinking and time spent in our own heads. Good friends come really handy and chances are they won’t be completely against catching a movie or hanging out to get your mind off of things.

The Magic in Music

Music saves lives, ladies. Whether it’s escaping off to a live show with friends for optimal results (nothing compares), going dancing or just choosing the right album and letting it work its magic. I know people who absolutely need it to be something instrumental but for me, it depends. Billie Holiday, Fleetwood Mac, Bob Dylan, Damien Rice, Explosions in the Sky – they can all do the trick at different times. I’ve got a handful of soothing playlists designed for moments like this and sometimes, that’s all it takes.

Other natural remedies…

There are breathing exercises you can find online, but you can also sign up for a yoga class or try meditation. Other recommendations includewatching what you eat, adding probiotics and fermented foods to your diet, drinking less coffee and alcohol, and giving up cigarettes if you smoke them.

Do you suffer from anxiety? What are some of your secret natural remedies to deal with it?

SIphotography/iStock

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