Anxiety is a natural human emotion. It is a physical response that increases blood flow in preparation for unfamiliar situations, such as speaking in public, completing critical tasks, job interviews, etc. This anxiety usually helps to spur us into action, such as preparations or rehearsals.
However, when anxiety becomes overwhelming, it can affect our quality of life. Some indicators include reduced performance at work, strained relationships, avoidance of activities that were previously enjoyed, and constantly feeling on edge.
Look out for frequent reoccurrences of some of these tell-tale physical symptoms if you suspect that anxiety might have become a disorder.
Should you require help, it is advisable to seek professional guidance from a doctor or a mental wellness expert. Early anxiety disorder treatment often leads to better outcomes.
There are also helpful lifestyle adjustments and habits you can adopt to manage anxiety effectively.
Lifestyle adjustments to manage anxiety effectively
1. Reduce caffeine
Many of us rely on caffeine to get us through the day due to its stimulating properties. While caffeine does not directly cause anxiety, it can cause symptoms similar to anxiety disorder and may also aggravate it.
To better understand the triggers of your anxiety better, we recommend gradually cutting down your caffeine intake so that when symptoms such as heart palpitations set in, you can attribute it to a trigger and not the caffeine. This means reducing your intake of coffee, cola and energy drinks.
As caffeine also affects your sleep quality, reducing your caffeine intake will give you a more restful sleep at night and prepare you mentally for the next day’s challenges.
Which brings us to the next point…
2. Prioritise sleep
It’s a catch-22. If you can’t get sleep, your mood gets affected the next day. And when you get a bad day, you can’t sleep. A good night’s rest goes a long way for your health. While breaking out of this spiral of sleeplessness is not easy, there are steps that you can take if you choose to make sleep a priority.
- Set a time to wake up and go to bed every day, including weekends. Sleeping in during the weekends disrupts your body’s natural rhythm. This makes waking up on a Monday extra hard!
- Consider a 30-minute winding down routine before you go to bed. This routine can include dimming the lights around the house and listening to relaxing music. Be sure to put your phones away and avoid any kind of screen activity, regardless of any blue light filters that you have activated.
3. Compile lists to make daunting days more manageable
Anxiety can set in when we feel overwhelmed with numerous tasks to do, and we feel that things are spinning out of control.
Listing down the things that need to be done is a powerful technique you can use to regain control. Doing so allows you to clearly see which items are more important or urgent so that you can prioritise tackle them in order. It also allows you to group similar items that can be cleared together, such as errands. This increases your efficiency and frees up more time.
It is inevitable that we sometimes face challenges and setbacks in life that can affect our mood and mental well-being.
Don’t feel embarrassed to seek treatment if your condition doesn’t improve and you need counselling services to manage your anxiety. Speak to a doctor confidentially on the DA app.