3 General And 7 Very Specific Things I Do To Reduce My Anxiety

Sure, there are many superficial physical benefits to exercise, but my primary motivation is mood-based. I’ve found that if I can just get 20-30 minutes of cardio exercise in the morning, my energy levels escalate from introverted zombie into Obnoxious Prom Queen. On mornings I only have seven minutes to spare, I do NYT’s Scientific Seven-Minute Workout in my room. I rue the mornings that I sleep through my alarm, because I know I’ll be lethargic the whole day.

2.…and generally make myself a morning person.

I enjoy nights, but dislike all the ruminating I inevitably do at the end of a day. My own science tells me that most of my unnecessarily bad, self-deprecating thoughts happen after 9 p.m., so I try and go to bed as early as possible.

3.Journaling is my favorite way of processing worries, subconscious thoughts, and memories.

While we can all agree at this point that many of our Instagram feeds are not accurate reflections of the real world, the app nonetheless inspires a comparison spiral that leaves me feeling pretty shitty. I still look at Instagram on my phone from time to time — especially when I travel — but for the most part, I only log on on my laptop when I have a few minutes to kill between tasks at work. This restriction has done WONDERS for my brain and my self-confidence. I’m sure others have figured out other coping strategies, but completely removing the app (and all those tempting ads!) from my life has done the trick for me.

5.I invest in items like ear plugs, white noise machines, and eye masks to ensure quality sleep.

I used to be painfully shy as a kid. And while I’ve overcome most of that unnecessary embarrassment, I still have moments when I feel extra self-conscious about a social interaction or faux-pas. When such moments come up — say, if I feel that I’ve made a fool of myself by getting a new friend’s name wrong — instead of getting worked up about it, I imagine how I’d feel if I’d watched a close friend make the same mistake. And when the situation really calls for it, I imagine Sandra Oh, because she’s my once and forever prez and I can’t see her being affected by anything in life. This little visualization helps me shrug off most situations in an instant. It’s actually one of my favorite exercises to do and works with most bad feelings I ever feel!

What little things do you do to keep your anxiety under control? Comment your favorite tip below!

And by the way, you can learn more about anxiety disorders here.

And if you need to talk to someone immediately, the US National Suicide Prevention Lifeline is 1-800-273-8255. A list of international suicide hotlines can be found here.

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