When anxiety is getting the better of you, there are 10 things you can do to fight back and reclaim your happiness! These are ten things you can do each day for just a few minutes. By integrating all ten of these things into your daily routine, you can fight back against anxiety.
1) Avoid an aversion to singing.
When stressed or anxious, the anxiety can build and grow until it cuts you off from all other activities which might provide joy. You have to fight actively back against this, and one way you can do that is by singing each day. It is not important to know how well you sing, the act of singing for 15 minutes per day decreases anxiety by increasing endorphins. Endorphins are hormones associated with positive emotions and pleasure, which are released when you sing. Oxytocin is another hormone which helps to alleviate stress and anxiety by increasing trust and bonding, thereby decreasing feelings of loneliness or depression. Singing lowers levels of cortisol, a stress hormone, and thus relieves anxiety. The best part is that you do not have to be talented to reap these rewards. Any amount of singing, either with a local church group or community singing association or even in your shower at home, can bring forth these rewards.
2) Avoid an aversion to reading.
Many people are so consumed with stress and anxiety that they let go simple pleasures in life like reading. If you are feeling anxious, then reading a favourite book or any engaging book can work well to relieve high cortisol levels in the body. These are stress hormones which increase when you are feeling anxious, but decrease when you are actively focused on an activity like reading. Reading a book will transport you to another world, another place. It moves you mentally out of the situation causing you anxiety and puts you into one you can control, one you might already know, one whose outcome you can stop by simply closing the book or imaging something else. It can be quite therapeutic.
3) Avoid going a day without laughter.
Pushing yourself to laugh, even fake laughter will increase your happy hormones naturally. Fake laughter, real laughter, they both produce serotonin and reduce cortisol levels. Walk around your room and force yourself to fake laugh over and over for 2 full minutes, even if people are watching awkwardly.
4) Avoid watching something sad or upsetting.
Many people, when stressed or anxious, will seek out films, television shows, or books which mirror the way they feel like a natural way of finding solidarity or social acceptance for the way they feel. But, this only serves to worsen the way you might feel. If you are anxious, and you watch a film about a girl who is also anxious or overwhelmed, it will not make you feel better, like you might have hoped. But if you watch a funny show, movie, television show, or stand up performance, it will help counter the anxiety. You might not laugh so hard that you fall out of your chair, but even slight laughter or a single guffaw can lead to great results.
5) Avoid caffeine at night.
Many people are not cognizant of the hours when they consume caffeinated beverages to stay awake or active during the day. But if you are anxious or stressed, and you drink coffee or caffeine late at night, it will course through your veins right when you want to sleep. It will only serve to exacerbate your sleep schedule and your cortisol levels.
6) Avoid ignoring your daily exercise.
Any form of exercise is good for the body and the mind. It releases endorphins the same as singing or laughter. It is a wonderful way to get your blood pumping, which can help cleanse your body of toxins produced by anxiety. It leaves every system functioning like new. You will feel happier after a new bought off “happy hormones” and can rest assured that in addition to your improved heart rate, so too will your cortisol levels improve. Remember too that yoga, a quick walk around the neighbourhood, some weight lifting, or just jumping rope in your living room counts.
7) Avoid a bad sleeping schedule.
Work to maintain a regular sleep schedule. If your anxiety is making you stay awake all night, then it will only make it worse. Try to keep a notepad next to your bed so that you can write down the things which are fixated in your mind and then sleep. If you are not getting sleep, then read a book until you fall asleep.
8) Avoid dehydration.
While many studies point toward better hydration as a way of alleviating stress, merely consuming water will only go so far. But a cup of tea can give your body the calming jolt it needs to look beyond the cause of your anxiety. Different teas can do different things for your body. There are many calming herbal teas out there with herbal mixtures designed to reduce stress in the body. Some are meant to alleviating stress, while others work to rid the body of the toxins caused by anxiety. Finding a blend and brand suited to your needs can be most helpful. Mindfully sipping the tea and focusing your mind on the taste, the smell, the steam rising from the top, the sight of the bag adrift in the sea of hot water, can encourage a form of meditation. It leads to the next point.
9) Avoid an aversion to meditation.
Meditation is important when something weighs heavily on the mind. With anxiety, one of the most important things you can do is to admit when things are out of your control. If they are out of your control, and there is nothing you can do, then you must meditate on that and seek peace or consult your psychologist for more suggestions. Some people prefer sitting down and using mindful meditation practices while other people view prayer as their form of meditation. In either case, the purpose is to gain acceptance that certain facets are out of your control and that you should not stress over things you cannot control. If you could control them, change them, then you most certainly would. Focusing on the problem, instead of being out of your control or you having done everything you could, only serves to worsen any level of anxiety.
10) Avoid negative people and situations.
If you are anxious, and there are people in your life who exacerbate that stress with their negativity, only cut them out of your life. Keeping people around you who only derive pleasure from making you feel worse, you are hurting yourself.