An estimated 40 million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders. Maybe anxiety even affects you. Ranging from mild to severe, anxiety disorders can disrupt both personal and professional aspects of your life. When you’re anxious, negative and sometimes irrational thoughts cause you to withdraw from the support system so vital to your recovery.
Luckily, anxiety disorders are highly treatable. Here are five simple tips you can use to manage your anxiety and improve all aspects of your life now that you are sober.
1. Get Plenty of Rest
Studies have shown that lack of sleep can worsen anxiety problems. Ideally, you want to aim for at least seven to eight hours of sleep a night. Practicing relaxation techniques before bed, establishing a bedtime routine, avoiding caffeinated foods in the evenings, and limiting your time in front of a tablet or TV screen at night will help you relax and fall asleep faster.
2. Practice Breathing Techniques
Breathing techniques can work wonders for anxiety. Being mindful of your controlled breathing not only will help you maintain proper mind and body function but will also lower your blood pressure and reduce tension. When your anxiety increases, your breathing begins to move rapidly and shallowly from your upper lungs which leads to hyperventilation. By using deep breathing techniques, you will be able to take your mind off of your racing thoughts and any other distractions that are causing you anxiety.
3. Use Positive Self-Talk
Reassuring self-talk will help you stay focused on the positive to gain control over your emotions. If you practice this every time stress starts to build or when a panic attack is about to happen, it will become almost second nature.
4. Focus on the Present
Meditation is a great way to focus your mind and attention on the present moment. This mindfulness practice forces you to clear your mind of any of the racing thoughts that usually accompany anxiety.
5. Keep Your Body Healthy
We all know that eating healthy and exercising are great ways to stay in shape, but they are also very important for alleviating stress. Your body and brain are directly linked, and some symptoms of anxiety are physical, including dental problems, muscle and stomach pains, and a weakened immune system. This mind-body connection also means that improper diet can cause anxiety. Improve your mental and physical health by eating more balanced, nutritious meals. Exercise is similarly important to mental wellness, with one study finding that regular workouts reduce a person’s likelihood to develop anxiety disorders by 25 percent.
By utilizing these tips and continuing to focus on how you can alleviate anxiety, you will surely begin to see changes in yourself and your overall well-being.