10 Ways to Relieve Anxiety
Jun 06, 2023
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Do you feel anxious or depressed because you don't have money to put gas in your car, or buy groceries? You are not alone. People's living cost has reached a very high level now. But there are some simple actions we can take to stay sane and improve our mental health and anxiety.
Globally, due to various reasons, mental health levels have declined significantly. Anxiety and depression can seriously affect an individual's health and need to be taken seriously. While seeking official medical help, there are things we can do ourselves or through lifestyle changes to improve symptoms of anxiety and depression. Here are 10 proven ways to help us fight some common mental health problems.
1. Go outdoors to reduce the "vicious circle"
When it comes to improving our own mental health, being outside can pay off enormously. A 2015 study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) found that a 90-minute walk outdoors can reduce rumination. In psychology, rumination is a negative thinking mode that constantly "ruminates" injured memories (somewhat similar to a "vicious circle").
2. Let the body move
When you're feeling down, exercising can be the least appealing thing you can do. However, getting your body moving can benefit your brain, sometimes surprisingly.
Exercise also combats anxiety by training the brain not to panic when it experiences physical symptoms of fear or worry, such as a racing heart or shortness of breath. Can lead to better mental health. Team sports, cycling, aerobics, and fitness activities provide the greatest benefits. More exercise isn't necessarily better: 45 minutes three to five times a week works best.
3. Practice meditation to activate emotional control
Research in recent decades has shown that meditation benefits mental health. Meditation practice activates brain networks associated with emotional control and can also lower blood pressure and levels of cortisol (known as the stress hormone), and mindfulness-based techniques appear to be better at treating anxiety than basic relaxation techniques.
It's worth noting that, as with many therapeutic strategies, some people may experience negative side effects or even worsening symptoms from meditation. A 2020 study found that 8.3 percent of people experienced negative effects of meditation, usually worsening symptoms or developing new symptoms of depression or anxiety after a meditation practice. So if meditation makes you feel bad, don't push yourself.
4. Connect with others to break out of negative thought patterns
For mental health, loneliness has been linked to depressive symptoms and a host of health problems, from lack of sleep to decreased immune function and even early death. However, research does show that loneliness can be fought back: interventions such as joining a support group or increasing social interaction can help people build relationships, and developing social skills and breaking negative social thought patterns is even better . Cognitive-behavioral therapy is a promising intervention that can help untangle distorted thought patterns, such as the belief that everyone at the dinner party secretly hates them.
5. Stop using your phone too much
Overall, the study found that smartphone use was not strongly associated with stress and anxiety, but in some cases, excessive phone use can definitely take a toll on mental health. Among young adults with high levels of FOMO (fear of missing out), stress can lead to excessive smartphone use, which can lead to symptoms of depression and anxiety, as well as disrupted sleep. So where is the bottom line? If you're already feeling a lot of stress, turning to your phone for relief can backfire.
6. Hug others
A "hug" may seem like a simple gesture, but this kind of human contact can make people feel less alone. The researchers found that in the UK - considered a "low-touch" society - people who experienced physical contact (such as back stroking) in their daily lives reported being less neglected in relationships; People who experience this aspect have more feelings of being neglected.
7. Express your gratitude
When you feel like everything in your life is looking bleak, it's not easy to find the silver lining. But the act of finding that silver lining, expressing gratitude, can make the world a better place. In one well-known experiment, researchers asked participants to keep a diary of everyday annoyances, things they were grateful for, or everyday events. Participants also recorded their emotions. It was found that those who listed things to be grateful for over a 21-day period reported more positive emotions, and fewer negative emotions, than those who listed neutral events. According to the report, they are generally more satisfied with their lives and more optimistic
8. Practice breathing
During an emergency, people (and many animals) engage in what is known as the fight-or-flight response, in which the body automatically prepares for a dangerous situation: the heart beats faster, the breathing quickens, and the pupils dilate to absorb more light. However, these responses are not particularly useful when there is no actual threat present. Sometimes, breaking the cycle is the first step in fighting anxiety and depression. Practicing yogic breathing -- alternating deep, slow breaths with fast, excited breaths -- can help reduce symptoms of depression in people who don't respond well to antidepressants.
9. Make sleep a priority
Depression, anxiety, and sleep disturbances are closely related. Rumination and worry can make it difficult to sleep; at the same time, sleep deprivation can increase anxiety and negative emotions, and when people don't sleep well, they are more likely to be angry the next day.
How to get better sleep? Stick to a regular sleep schedule, avoid electronic devices in bed, watch your caffeine intake, and get some exercise during the day.
10. Manage your health
People with chronic illnesses have higher rates of depression than the general population. It is estimated that one in three people with chronic illness will experience depressive symptoms. In some cases, this percentage may be higher.
Chronic disease can also limit people from engaging in activities that bring them pleasure. For this reason, patients are advised to share any symptoms related to depression with their healthcare provider.
BP Smartwatches can help you manage anxiety and stress by tracking and recording physical fitness, providing relaxation exercises, and reducing phone use, among other features, allowing people to better cope with life’s challenges.