Whatever you’re worrying about, anxiety is not pleasant. Luckily, there are some simple ways you can prevent it, control it and stop it.
Note: If you think you may be suffering from a serious anxiety disorder please consult your GP.
Knock the caffeine on the head
It stands to reason that if you’re pouring 5 mugs of coffee down your neck every day you’re more than likely going to be climbing the walls come nightfall. Even a small amount of caffeine can cause hours of anxiety, so if it’s something you suffer from regularly then it could well be worth cutting out entirely. We know it’s difficult to function without it, but the harsh reality is that your beloved coffee is doing you more harm than good.
Get enough sleep
Admittedly, this is easier said than done. When you’re stressing yourself out about something it can’t be extremely difficult to switch off enough to fall asleep. However, there are things you can do to help the process along. Ban phones from the bedroom and read a book instead, try drinking a mug of chamomile tea, don’t eat too close to bed time – all of these tricks can make it easier for you to drift off when the time comes.
It can be tricky to motivate yourself to get up and exercise, but the truth is that you’ll feel much better for it. Even just a brisk walk or a short jog can be enough to make you feel great and take your mind off your problems. Not only that, you’ll get fit and get improve your quality of sleep in the process. It’s a no-brainer really.
Learn your triggers
Everyone who suffers from some form of anxiety will have certain things that bring it on. Whether it’s school, work, university, family, health, money or something completely different, finding out what most frequently causes your anxiety can help you to keep in under control. Try keeping a journal of your worries, once you figure out what causes them most you can take action and put a stop to them.
Cut down on booze
The Sunday evening fear – we all get it. You probably think it’s because you’re worried about the week ahead and feeling sad that the weekend’s over, and it is, but it also probably has something to do with the obscene amount of beer you spent Saturday and Sunday chugging with reckless abandon. Like caffeine, alcohol can cause anxiety and is definitely something worth cutting back on, as painful as that might be to hear.
Eat a well-balanced diet
You are what you eat! Making sure you get three square meals a day and not overdoing it on sugary or fatty foods can do wonders for your mental wellbeing. At risk of sounding like your mother, always eat your five-a-day and take supplements like Omega 3 and vitamin D to keep you feeling your best.
Control your breathing
When you feel yourself beginning to panic it can help to practice breathing exercises. Try breathing in through your nose for four to seven seconds, hold it for four seconds and exhale for four seconds. Practise this method for as long as it takes for your stress to dissipate and use it anytime you find yourself getting worked up.
Use stretching exercises
Another method that can be useful for relaxing before bed is to practice stretching exercises. Individually tense and relax different parts of your body and allow yourself to feel the tension being released. If you still feel stressed, repeat it. Do this as many times as it takes to feel relaxed. Even just focusing on doing this can help to take your mind off your anxieties.
Listen to something
Watching the television or using a computer near bedtime can interfere with your sleep later on. Instead, find an audiobook, podcast or radio show that you like and get into the habit of listening to it in the evening. Not only will you be giving your eyes a break from screens, which let’s face it, you’ve probably been using all day, but it will help to distract you from any worries that may have been bothering you.