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  • 6 Tips for Easing Anxiety Symptoms

    By Christine Melendres, LCSW

    If you struggle with anxiety, it’s likely you know what it feels like to experience symptoms of anxiety such as chest pain, headaches, and tightness in the muscles. As scary as these symptoms can be, however, there are many ways to help ease your anxiety symptoms and get relief from the physical and psychological effects of anxiety.
    Here are six tips to help ease your anxiety symptoms.

    1) Identify Your Triggers

    The first step in alleviating your anxiety is identifying what triggers it. Once you know what’s causing the problem, you can work on addressing it. For example, If traffic causes your blood pressure to rise then try leaving earlier or find alternate routes. If social media is upsetting then delete the app from your phone or limit usage during certain hours of the day.

    Identifying your anxious thoughts or negative self-talk and what you are saying to yourself that contribute to an increase in anxiety symptoms. Stop these negative self-talk patterns as soon as possible by acknowledging how irrational they are and replacing them with something positive. It will take time, but it’s important to manage unhelpful thoughts that cause you to feel anxious.

    2) Avoid Caffeine

    Caffeine is an anxiety trigger for many people, and it can worsen symptoms. As a stimulant, caffeine will make your heart beat faster, increase the speed of your thoughts, and cause you to feel jittery. It’s best to avoid coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks as much as possible when experiencing anxiety symptoms.

     3) Get Enough Sleep

    Get enough sleep. Maintaining a healthy sleep schedule is important for your health and well-being, but it can also help with anxiety symptoms. Try going to bed and waking up around the same time every day, even on weekends. This will help you establish a normal circadian rhythm and make it easier for you to fall asleep when your body needs rest.

    4) Exercise Regularly

    Exercise is one of the best ways to ease anxiety. It decreases your stress levels, releases endorphins and helps you feel better in general. Exercise also increases your energy level, which can help you combat fatigue. The most important thing is that it feels good! So get out there and go for a walk, do some yoga or try something new.

    5) Practice Relaxation Techniques

    Practicing relaxation techniques like deep breathing, meditation, or yoga can help you feel more relaxed and calm. If you’re feeling anxious or stressed, try taking a few minutes to just focus on your breath. You might want to consider setting an alarm on your phone as a reminder so that you can take a break when needed.

    The next time you feel overwhelmed by anxiety, try one of these relaxation techniques:

    • Take several deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth
    • Visualization
    • Meditation
    • Progressive muscle relaxation
    • Practice mindfulness

    Mindfulness is a type of meditation, and it can help you calm down and stop your mind from racing. When your mind is racing, it’s hard to find peace and relax. You can practice mindfulness any time of day. Just set aside a few minutes when you have some peace and quiet. Close your eyes, focus on your breathing, and try not to think about anything in particular.

    6) Seek Professional Help and Support

    Seek professional help as soon as you feel like your anxiety is impacting your life. It can be difficult when you’re first starting out, but it’s important that you don’t allow your anxiety to take over. Finding a therapist who has experience with anxiety and sharing how you feel can be healing and therapeutic. Therapy can be a good resource for easing anxiety symptoms. The therapist will help you work through some of your thoughts and feelings that may be causing your anxiety.