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10 Ways to Manage Anxiety

Trying to meet financial, work, and family responsibilities is enough to make most people stressed and anxious. Adding any physical illness, mental illness, or recovery from addiction and life can begin to feel incredibly challenging.

1.     Take a time out and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness is one's ability to become present and aware of what's happening within and around them. It's the practice of staying in the present moment and allowing things to be just as they are. If you're feeling stressed, take a few minutes out of your day and become aware of your internal and external environment.

2.     Eat healthy meals. Skipping meals alone can create anxiety. Make sure you eat 3 healthy meals per day.

3.     Limit your alcohol and caffeine intake. Both of these substances can trigger panic attacks and exacerbate an anxious state. Avoiding these two substances will help you stay calm.

4.     Sleep well.  When a person is anxious or stressed, their body needs more sleep. Make sure you're sleeping 8-9 hours each night.

5.     Exercise. Physical activity can affect the brain and body in positive ways. Exercise on a regular basis (ideally 2-3 times per week) for optimal health and psychological well being.

6.     Take deep breaths when you need them. Deep breathing has a powerful effect on the nervous system. It can immediately put the body into a state of calm when it was previously feeling anxious. Inhale and exhale slowly through your nose.

7.     Laugh. Laughing on a regular basis can be healing. Tell yourself a joke once a day and you may notice its effects on your anxiety level.

8.     Maintain a positive attitude. One way to do this is to uncover your negative thoughts and work toward replacing them with positive ones. Another way to get into a good mood or positive attitude is to spend time thinking about what you're grateful for. You might also go through your day identifying what you enjoy in others versus being critical of them.

9.     Learn what triggers your anxiety. It's one thing to go through life and feel anxious most of the time, without knowing what is triggering the anxiety, the tension might be worse. If you can learn what is triggering you and what is setting off the anxious symptoms, you can have more control over your anxiety. You can limit your interaction with any known triggers or you can get support when you know you're going to be in the presence of a trigger.

10.Talk to someone you trust. Simply knowing that you have someone you can call when you're anxious is sometimes enough to feel better. However, in most cases, actually picking up the phone and talking about what's triggering you can make all the difference. 

These are suggestions for managing anxiety. If you can sustain these habits (especially mindfulness, healthy eating, healthy sleeping, and regular exercise) you're sure to notice a difference in your state of mind. 



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