If you tell me you’ve never felt anxiety, I won’t believe you a word. Maybe you’ve felt your heart jump, your breath speed up or your muscles tense up, but didn’t give it much thought. That’s anxiety.
Between the dramatic click bait headlines about increased gas prices or rampaging diseases, busy professional and family lives and a constant feed of negativity on your social media, even the toughest people can’t fend off anxiety for long.
But while many disregard anxiety as a passing feeling, it can become a chronic condition that opens the door to numerous health issues.
Dealing with anxiety isn’t as simple as rooting out the negativity in your life and pretending that everything is fine. You can keep it at bay by regularly working out at the gym, changing your diet and meditating. You will need to change your lifestyle completely to get rid of it for good or at least soften its blow.
Who is Susceptible to Anxiety?
Approximately more than 40 million US adults suffer from anxiety, and one thing they all have in common is high levels of fear or stress. People who tend to worry the most are most prone to its attacks. Healthy emotions like worry and concern cannot lead to it. In fact, they are natural emotions that serve as a vent.
What are the Causes of Anxiety?
Many events can trigger an anxiety attack. Anything from relationship woes, financial troubles, stressful work environment, health scares, personal traumas like losing a loved one, can lead to it. It can also be triggered as a side-effect of medicine you’ve been taking, substance abuse or medical disorders. Finally, if you tend to overthink and worry too much about everyday situations, you can also be prone to it.
Does Anxiety Affect Our Body?
If you ask anyone suffering from panic attacks, social anxiety, and other phobias, all specific forms of anxiety, they will confirm that it can take a severe toll on your body. It can lead to respiratory issues, gastrointestinal problems like the Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), sexual performance issues, headaches, weight gain, sore muscles and more. It affects the delicate brain chemistry and affects the amygdala, responsible for emotions like fear.
What are the Symptoms of Anxiety?
Anxiety can manifest itself through various symptoms. Due to the differing nature of these symptoms, anxiety attacks might be misinterpreted as a different medical condition. Symptoms of anxiety usually include:
- Heart rate fluctuations
- Trouble breading
- Panic attacks
- Dry mouth
- Tense muscles
- Cold and sweaty hands and feet
- Gastrointestinal issues like diarrhea
If you experience any of these symptoms or a combination of a couple of items on this list, anxiety is the likely cause. You should see a doctor if they repeat too frequently, as they will be able to determine whether these symptoms are a manifestation of anxiety or point to another medical condition.
How to Get Rid of Anxiety?
Fighting and conquering anxiety can be a long, painful and challenging process, but one that you must go through if you want to lead a normal life. There are some ways to fight it, and all of them come with serious changes to your daily routine.
Exercise is the natural and most effective cure for anxiety. If you’re inactive and trapped at a desk job, enrolling at a local gym should be the first step towards defeating it. At least 30 minutes a day, five days a week will quickly yield positive results. It is because working out reduces the production of Cortisol, a hormone responsible for glucose release. The best exercises for anxiety include running, either outside or on a treadmill, hiking, and yoga. Strength training can also help you deal with mood swings and insomnia.
Modify Your Sleeping Habits
To fight anxiety, your body needs proper rest, which means at least seven hours of sleep a day with a regular sleeping schedule. You should sleep in a room with no TV and keep your mobile devices away to avoid distractions at least 30 minutes before you go to sleep. If you have trouble falling asleep, you can read books or magazines, listen to calming music or meditate.
Change Your Diet
You might be surprised to hear that certain types of food can help battle anxiety. Likewise, there are things we consume every day that can further spark it, like caffeine and alcohol. Nutritionists recommend complex carbs as they take time to metabolize, that helps maintain a certain blood sugar level. It, in turn, can calm you down. Your diet needs to contain more fruits, vegetables and whole grains and less simple carbohydrates usually found in junk food. You also need to modify your eating schedule. Skipping out on meals is the biggest mistake you can make as the sudden drop in your blood sugar levels can make your anxiety worse.