4 Lifestyle Changes That Can Ease Anxiety


In a world wrought with stressors at every turn, it's no wonder that anxiety levels are at an all-time high across the globe. From civil uprisings to climate change to the constant hum of technology pulling at our attention, it can feel as if triggers are lurking at every corner. If you're struggling with anxiety, you are not alone. Anxiety disorders are the most common type of mental illness, and while anxiety wreaks havoc on the lives of many, it is also incredibly treatable. While some opt for medicine to help them cope, there are also holistic solutions to calm nerves and stress. Here are 4 lifestyle changes that can help ease your anxiety. 

Establish Good Sleeping Habits 
Sleep is paramount to overall good health. You need adequate rest, at least 7 to 8 hours nightly, to support physical healing, boost immunity, and let your mind rest. If you are in the habit of pulling all-nighters to study or staying up late to binge-watch TV, you could unknowingly be worsening your symptoms of anxiety. Did you know that sleep issues like insomnia affect over half of all adult patients with generalized anxiety disorder? Trouble sleeping is not only an attributing factor to anxiety, but it is also a nasty symptom. To calm anxious feelings, you need to break this cycle by actively supporting a healthy sleep habit. Taking natural sleep aids like Melatonin, drinking chamomile tea, and limiting screen time in the hours before bedtime may help. 

Cut the Caffeine 
Another contributing factor that may be hindering a healthy sleep habit? Too much caffeine. Not only can caffeine inadvertently enable anxiety by preventing sound sleep, but it can also have a direct effect. In some cases, anxiety may be considered a caffeine-induced disorder. This connection is drawn when an individual consumes high quantities of caffeine and can severely affect folks who already struggle with anxious tendencies. Caffeine-induced anxiety can manifest itself in general nervousness, restlessness, abnormal heart rates, and even gastrointestinal issues. If you think you may be consuming too much caffeine, stick to decaf for a while and see if you notice a difference. 

Adopt a Pet 
Animals have a profound effect on stress and anxiety. So much so that you can actually register dogs as emotional support animals, giving them certain rights to accompany you on airplanes and in most living situations. Emotional support animals are specifically for folks who struggle with anxiety and other mental disorders and can provide day-to-day comfort to help ease stress. Having a pet to care for can redirect anxious energy in a positive, productive manner. Instead of spiraling in thoughts, you can focus externally on an emotional support pet. The unconditional love and trust of an animal can be deeply healing for folks struggling with mental illness. 

Move your Body Daily 
We all know that exercise is important for physical health, but it also has profound implications for your mental wellbeing. Studies have shown that even a quick 10-minute walk can alleviate depression and anxiety equal to an intense 45-minute workout. That means that you don’t have to be an exercise buff who hits the gym 7 days a week to get the mental benefits of physical activity. If 10 minutes a day is all it takes, you truly don’t have anything to lose! 

While there is no shame in utilizing prescription medicine to reduce anxiety, there are many holistic lifestyle adjustments that can make a monumental difference in your daily quality of life. With restful sleep, less caffeine, a pet by your side, and regular exercise, anxiety could become a thing of your past.

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