8 Simple Ways To Reduce Feelings Of Anxiety
Suffer from feelings of anxiety a lot? You’re hardly alone. According to Dr Julian Hong, a doctor at DTAP Clinic Group and the alternate director of Resilience Collective, the three most common mental disorders are depression, bipolar disorder and anxiety—and one in seven people suffer at least one of these conditions in their lifetime.
If you have generalised anxiety disorder, you probably experience feelings of nervousness or impending doom or danger, hyperventilation, profuse sweating and an increased heart rate, among other symptoms, quite often. And because these feelings can be very overwhelming, they may even affect your daily functioning.
Want to reduce the frequency of these feelings? We got Dr Hong to share eight simple things you can do every day.
Not Doing Great Mentally? Take Care Of Your Second Brain
This Is What It’s Like Living With Bipolar Disorder
Not Sure If You’re Depressed? Check If You Have These 5 Symptoms
“Exercise allows endorphins to be released. These ‘feel good’ hormones help relieve pain, activate our reward receptors, and give happy and positive feelings. Exercise has also been shown to improve one’s self-confidence, which can in turn lead to more positivity when dealing with a stressful situation.”
2. Get enough sleep
“When we don’t get enough sleep, our circadian rhythm and sleep cycle are disrupted. When this happens, the hormones and chemicals in the body go into a state of imbalance, and it is this imbalance that causes the symptoms of anxiety. It’s a vicious cycle because poor sleep triggers anxiety and anxiety triggers poor sleep. It’s therefore useful to adopt good sleep habits, and if your sleep is severely affected, speak to a medical professional for advice.”
3. Don't bring work home
“We all know to work hard and play hard. Working hard allows us to stay focused but work should be kept in the office—playing hard allows us to forget about the stress at work and fully recharge and recuperate.”
4. Avoid caffeine & alcohol
“Caffeine causes our heart rates to go up. When our hearts beat faster, the nervousness that we’re experiencing can worsen. And while some people drink alcohol to cope with their anxiety, especially in social settings, the alcohol will eventually wear off and the anxiety may recur. It can become a vicious cycle and alcohol dependence is very dangerous.”
5. Seek treatment
“There is no shame in seeking help and not all help revolve around medication. In fact, psychological therapy in the means of counselling can greatly help with anxiety. And even if you do need to take medication, it doesn’t mean that you have to take it for life. With appropriate support and help, you may be able to wean off it.”
6. Talk to somebody
“Two heads are better than one, so talk to someone close to share your burdens and concerns. When given social support, you would not have to bear the stress and anxiety all by yourself.”
7. Be active in your community
“Try volunteering at a soup kitchen, aged home or animal shelter. Sometimes, by helping others who are less fortunate, it takes the spotlight of our own problems and helps us see that what we’re going through isn’t so bad.”
8. Find a hobby
“A new hobby helps you channel your extra energy and time somewhere, so instead of worrying about something that may not be real or that you may not be able to change, you can pick up a new skill and enrich your life.”