5 anxiety-busting lifestyle hacks

February 1, 2015

Anxiety always seems to hit at the worst times, and it's difficult to deal with in a healthy way. Next time it hits, here are 5 anxiety-busting lifestyle hacks to help manage and reduce the symptoms.

5 anxiety-busting lifestyle hacks

Most individuals struggle to deal with anxiety and for approximately 12 per cent of Canadians, normal anxiety can turn into an anxiety disorder. Next time it strikes, here are 5 anxiety-busting lifestyle techniques to help you cope with the symptoms and get on with your life.

1. Schedule time for worry

It's easy to let anxiety affect your life throughout the day. Reduce anxiety's power over you by scheduling a time for worry.

  • Choose a time of day that you'll focus on your worries. For example, schedule 15 minutes after dinner to think through your worries.
  • When worries occur, instead of letting them make you feel anxious, set them aside until your worry time. This allows you to regain control over your worry and anxiety.

2. Sigh

One of the best things you can do when anxiety hits is to start focusing on deep breathing, which actually activates the relaxation response in your body.

  • Sometimes anxiety makes it difficult to dive right into deep breathing, so get started by taking a moment to sigh. Sighing expels air and helps start relaxation, allowing you to begin the deep-breathing process.

3. Engage with your immediate environment

Simply engaging with your immediate environment can shift your mind away from anxiety, calming you down.

  • For some people, trying to find pictures in the clouds may provide a distraction from worry and anxiety.
  • Having a small Zen garden to interact with may help relax you when anxiety overwhelms you. You can buy your own Zen garden, or you can make your own personalized one.

4. Practice relaxation

Relaxation reduces anxiety, yet it's difficult achieve a state of relaxation without practice. Practice it daily so you have a technique you can use when anxiety hits.

  • Try meditation, yoga, deep breathing or any other relaxation technique that works for you.
  • The more you practice, the better relaxation techniques will work when you need them.

5. Change your environment

Sometimes you need to change your environment when anxiety overwhelms.

  • If you're feeling anxious, head out on a walk and enjoy being in a new environment. If you're worrying in bed and you can't sleep, leave the bedroom and do something relaxing.
  • You can't always change your environment when anxiety hits, but when you do, you often leave anxiety behind.
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