Anxiety is our body’s natural reaction to everyday stressors. Although uncomfortable, anxiety often helps us to identify possible areas of concern in our lives that require our attention. However, amid the global COVID-19 pandemic, as social, political, and economic uncertainty abound, many are experiencing unprecedented levels of stress and anxiety.

Unmanaged, anxiety can lead to depression, sleep disturbances, and a variety of other physical and mental health issues. Perhaps now more than ever, healthy and practical coping skills are needed to keep anxiety at bay. Here are four daily habits that can help manage and relieve your anxiety.

Exercise

Simple anaerobic and aerobic exercises can greatly reduce symptoms of excessive anxiety. When we exercise, our body releases several endorphins that naturally increase feelings of well-being. In addition, exercise can relieve anxiety simply by taking our mind off of negative feelings and emotions. Oftentimes, anxiety is characterized by an inability to stop recurring worries and thought cycles. By taking us out of our minds, we receive the space necessary to separate ourselves from our emotions. Yoga is one form of exercise that can have many benefits to your mental health. Consider taking a power yoga class either online or in person. You will get both the relaxing and meditative benefits of yoga along with physical strength training that will release those endorphins. 

Sleep

Adequate sleep is crucial to managing anxiety. A well-rested body and mind is better able to withstand and process daily stressors and triggers. Adults should aim for at least eight hours of uninterrupted sleep nightly. There are several ways to improve sleep quality including limiting electronic use at least an hour before bed, creating a comfortable sleeping environment, and the use of natural supplements such as THC-free broad spectrum CBD oil. Having a night routine can signal your brain that it’s time to relax and sleep. Do what is relaxing and comfortable to you before bed. 

Limit Alcohol and Caffeine Use

With added stress and responsibility, it can be tempting to increase the use of both caffeine and alcohol. Although this can be effective in the short-term, both caffeine and alcohol lead to increased anxiety, disturbed sleep, and reduced feelings of wellbeing. If you do want to consume these beverages from time to time, make sure you do it in moderation. 

Mindfulness

In recent years, mindfulness practices such as meditation have gained increasing popularity. Studies have shown that even simple mindfulness practices can lead to reduced feelings of anxiety. Numerous, free resources are available that can help you introduce simple mindfulness practices into your daily life.

If you feel that you are experiencing excessive anxiety it is important to learn as much as possible about both its causes and treatment. Online resources, such as the Mayo Clinic, are valuable sources of information and should be consulted regularly. Once we have an understanding of what anxiety is, and its causes, we can begin to treat it with these and many other helpful practices and habits.

About the author

Emma Sturgis

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