By Guest Blogger Sophia Letts
Anxiety is not always negative. As a natural response to stress, anxiety can give you the necessary focus and energy for surmounting stressful situations. But anxiety can also be unhealthy, such as when “life gets in the way” and we are faced with several serious problems in a short matter of time, and or when you get anxious outside of a stressful situation.
If you regularly experience anxiety attacks, there are practical ways to prevent and control them without the use of prescription medication.
Evaluate your circumstances.
Oftentimes, your circumstances can play a role in anxiety attacks. Take an honest assessment of your general life circumstances, as well as your environment. Is there anything particular that is causing you distress? Can you pinpoint any triggers for your anxiety attacks?
For example, if your job is causing you anxiety, it might be time for a change. Perhaps you need to look for work in a different industry, find a different job in your current industry, or start your own business. If you determine that you have an interest or passion for a completely different line of work, consider going back to school to earn a degree.
Work out regularly.
One of the best ways to relieve stress and prevent anxiety attacks is to develop a consistent fitness routine. Think of any physical activities that you enjoy, and create a routine that fits into your life. Even 20 minutes of physical activity can go a long way in keeping your anxiety at bay. Whether you run, swim, lift weights, the key is to do it consistently.
Prioritize sleep and rest.
Another leading cause of anxiety is sleep deprivation. When our minds and bodies are not allowed to rest and recharge from the day’s activities, it’s simply impossible for them to function at full capacity the next day.
Poor sleep not only can increase your likelihood of anxiety attacks but can also yield many other health consequences down the road. Establish a bedtime routine and find some relaxing activities to do in the evening that will help you unwind and get restful sleep.
Meditation has long proven to help reduce anxiety. There are many different types of meditation practices, but all of them center on the same concept: clearing your mind and focusing on the present moment, in a non-judgmental way. Research the various styles of meditating and find a quiet place where distraction and interruption will be unlikely. Try to meditate at least once a day, even if it’s just for a few minutes.
If you want to add the element of exercise, consider trying yoga. There is a plethora of benefits to yoga—including physical, mental, and emotional health benefits. Along with stretching and strengthening your muscles, practicing yoga often involves meditation (and the mental health benefits that come with it).
Not all anxiety calls for making changes. But if you’ve been dealing with excessive anxiety or anxiety attacks, it’s essential that you take the necessary steps to prevent them. Assess your life circumstances and environment to determine how you can improve them. Create a consistent exercise routine, get plenty of sleep, and try mediation and yoga. You might be surprised by how these simple, significant strategies can reduce your anxiety and benefit your overall health and well-being.
"Sophie Letts created Meditation Help to help others get started with meditation, dispel meditation myths, and provide the resources others need to connect with their bodies, calm their minds, and embrace their true selves. She has been practicing meditation for five years. Her practice has helped her in many ways, including improving her ability to focus and reducing feelings of anxiety."