Nearly everyone experiences some form of anxiety, and most of us go through it at least once a day. Anxiety is an unpleasant state of inner turmoil, and can result in nervous behaviour. It can lead to anxiety attacks & social anxiety but just because you experience this it doesn’t necessary mean you have an anxiety disorder. Considering the amount of pressure people of all ages are under, I think its normal to sometimes be anxious in this crazy world we live in.
There’s civil unrest in Syria, Central African Republic and Venezuela. Fist fighting in the Ukrainian houses of Parliament. Pot holes all over our roads, which makes driving dangerous, we’re running out of Tigers, Killer Whales and Koala Bears, the government apparently puts poison in the water system without telling us and the price of doughnuts goes up each month.
I don’t know whether to vote Tory, Labour or Lib Dem because they all say the same thing and it seems Russell Brand makes more sense than all of them. But he’s not running for Parliament so I can’t vote for him. Climate change isn’t going to make the country any hotter, I won’t be able to afford a house in London until I’m 47 and each time I look for my car keys they’re never in the place I’ve left them, so either my short term memory is fading or someone in this house has been playing cruel tricks on me for the past six years.
It is my right to be anxious. It is my right to not feel at ease all the time. The news makes me never want to get on a plane again just in case it goes missing forever, I think old people don’t like me because I’m younger, young people don’t like me because I’m older, people my own age don’t like me because I hate them and I’ve just realised my cats only like me because I give them food.
This world makes no sense to me, and it seems to make so much sense to everyone else. Everyone’s got a plan, goals, creating responsibilities and opportunities. I constantly feel pressured to be like everyone else but the more I try, the harder it gets, so I don’t bother.
Blaming the world for my anxiety isn’t going to get me anywhere, but it does make me feel better. We’ve got lots of potential scapegoats in this world , but I recently decided to take responsibility for my own feelings . I thought to myself, as I was using a cotton bud to clean my ears this morning (I find it so relaxing), I thought that there must be ways we can all try to reduce our anxiety levels. Things anyone can do. So after some thorough ear cleaning, and some thorough thought, I devised a list. A definitive, absolute, completely complete list of suggestions, 12 things anxiety sufferers can do to help diminish the panicky feelings that sometimes sweep across our souls.
1. Sleep more – Sleeping is so fun that it makes waking up like the devils arse and alarms are the devils minions disguised as phones and clocks. Getting 8 hours a night will do the trick, and make it consistent. Undisturbed sleep has physical and mental benefits, and is guaranteed, most of the time to reduce your levels of anxiety when you eventually wake up.
2. De-clutter the brain – Easier for some than others. We only use 8% of our brains apparently so de-clutterisation shouldn’t be a big deal. Remember this mathematical equation.
PHYSICAL MESS = MENTAL MESS
Tidy up your work space, living space, any place you feel is messy and your mind will start to free itself of all that unnecessary cerebral baggage. Clear brains, lead to more rational thinking and that will in turn reduce anxiety.
3. Eat right – Increased anxiety results in increased abnormality of eating habits. When your anxious, you might crave a more comforting food. But don’t. Put that chocolate bar down. Walk past the burger van, and don’t give in to those freshly baked pastries in the morning. Eat foods with more vitamin B and omega-3s. Such as Vitamin B bars and omega-3s cakes. I’m not sure which foods to be honest, but fish is always a good idea. And fresh fruit and veg is always a good idea.
4. Learn to breathe – I know what your thinking. ‘I can already breathe fool!’. But hear me out. Short, shallow breaths indicate stress to the body. Consciously breathing, longer, deeper breaths will help your brain and body to relax.
5. Don’t hesitate, meditate – Not only does meditation help you to relax, but it also increases the amount of grey matter in the brain. These neurological improvements can help you live longer and reduce the intensity of pain.
6. Play around – Kids and animals seem to have an innate ability to play without stressing about their over flowing inboxes. Volunteer/Spend time with animals or children and experience a stress less mind in its most innocent form.
7. Switch off – I have mentioned this in a previous post about being truly happy. Switching off from all electronics & enjoying silence will allow the brain to be at ease. Too much noise and electronic clutter can be a barrier to get peace of mind.
8. Worry less – Worrying would be at the heart of all anxious behaviours. The best way to deal with a problem, if its worth worrying about, is to give it 30mins of thinking time. Consider all options, and plan for the best suited one. Have a back up plan just in case and then try and switch off. Listen to a little Jay-Z, or watch the BBC Parliament channel on TV. Guaranteed to push your problems to the back of your mind.
9. Accept fear – It is important to understand that some things are inevitable. I can guarantee you the Sun will rise tomorrow, there will be cars driving on the road and Arsenal won’t win the Premier League this year. So try not to be afraid of things that you have no power to change. Being afraid is normal and fear is necessary part of life as its an emotional indication to what can potentially be damaging. Accepting the inevitability of something scary is a great coping mechanism for reducing anxiety levels. Hard to do though, I agree.
10. Give your self credit – One very important step in trying to reduce your anxiety levels is being aware that you are anxious. Self awareness should be recognised as a good thing as that in itself will help reduce the intensity of the anxiety you experience.
11. Exercise and Eat – Exercising on a regular basis, makes you healthier, increases your self-esteem and is beneficial to you in the long term. Have you ever been hungry and start to hate everything around you? When your body’s asking for food and you don’t comply, anormal response is to get extremely agitated. The trick to this is, when your hungry. Eat. Simple as.
12) Drink Herbal Tea – Put down the PG tips and pick up some green tea. Chamomile tea, Jazmine and Green tea have properties which will help you to relax, increasing blood flow to the heart and boosting mental prowess. These herbal remedies have been used for centuries, and are still used around the world today. In China, they drink a cup of green tea after each meal as it helps the digestion process, putting less pressure on your body.
Being anxious can keep you on your toes. When faced with daunting prospects such as public speaking, debt problems or irreconcilable relationship problems, experiencing anxiety is normal. It comes in different forms such as panic attacks, phobia and social anxiety, which can be harmful to you if you’re not aware of it. Sleep problems, irrational fears, excessive worrying, chronic indigestion and muscle tension can also be caused by anxiety. If these symptoms don’t ease and start to affect your life then seeking a doctor might be the best course of action.
Be wary though, these days doctors are on the habit of prescribing all types of useless drugs to help with anxiety. Remember what Chris from the Sopranos said.
THERE’S NO CHEMICAL SOLUTION TO AN EMOTIONAL PROBLEM!
Xanax, Diazepam, Atenolol, Nardil , Valium, Luvox and Prozac are just some of the drugs out there used to combat anxiety. There are thousands of drugs that are available to you, and its a multi billion dollar industry, so those who profit will always want you to keep coming back. More people are addicted to legal drugs than illegal drugs in the world today so if your anxiety is having a negative impact on your life then speak to someone you trust first. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a doctor or a counsellor. Friends, family, pets and even yourself. If it calms you down, don’t let society dictate what you do to deal with your problems. Each individual is going to have their own method of reducing their anxiety levels. Try some things on the list maybe, but remember, anxiety is normal so don’t beat yourself up about it.