If you experience feelings of anxiety such as racing thoughts, tightening in your chest and shortness of breath it can be hard to imagine going through daily life with a sense of calm. While you should always talk to your doctor if you are suffering from anxiety, there are steps you can take that don’t require a prescription to help ease those anxious feelings.
Excess clutter and mess can exacerbate feelings of anxiousness as it sends signals to the brain there is something that needs to be done. By eliminating clutter and creating a calm, tidy environment you will feel your anxiety decrease a lot. It’s not just a messy, or cluttered house that causes an increase in anxiety, it can be any kind of excess clutter – an overflowing email inbox, too many voicemails, and a cluttered social media feed. Take time to delete old voicemails and emails and go through your ‘friend’ list, or those you follow on social media to see who you can unfollow.
Get Some Sunlight
Experts agree that just 30 minutes of natural sunlight can help ease anxiety. Why? Sunlight can help trigger the brain to release serotonin – aka the happiness chemical – which helps promote a feeling of calm.
Limit Refined Carbs
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When we are feeling anxious sometimes we want to reach for a comforting bowl of pasta, a donut, cake, or white bread. However, refined carbs can cause blood sugar levels to rise dramatically and then drop. That drop can mimic a spike in anxiety and elevate feelings of anxiety.
Get a Good Night’s Sleep
Lack of sleep not only leaves us feeling tired and groggy, it can also increase levels of anxiety. Experts suggest getting a good solid 7 – 9 hours of sleep per night and implementing a sleep schedule. Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day (even on weekends), turn off the phone or tablet at least one hour before bed, have a late night snack of protein and carbs before you turn in for the night, and write down a brain dump – things that are on your mind – before you hit the pillow.
Keep a Journal
Keeping a daily journal, or planner can help lessen anxiety by getting everything out of our heads onto paper. Whether you choose to write a daily entry in a journal, or pick a daily planner to get important notes and to-do’s written down, the physical act of writing things down can help promote a feeling of calmness.
Exercising daily can be really beneficial for those suffering from anxiety. Physical activity releases endorphins, which helps alleviate stress and promotes a feeling of happiness. Not only will daily exercise help lessen symptoms of anxiety, it also helps with energy levels and feelings of well being.