How Do I Reduce My Anxiety?
2020 brought many changes worldwide and in our personal lives. With all these sudden changes, we are seeing more and more adults reporting symptoms of anxiety and depression. Continue reading to find out what might be causing this anxiety, how you can recognize symptoms of anxiety, and what you can do to help prevent anxiety.
With the many shifts around the world and at home in 2020, four in ten American adults reported having symptoms of anxiety or depression. (1) With more people working from home or doing school online, feelings of isolation and loneliness can start to increase feelings of anxiety. We have some tips on how you can naturally combat anxiety symptoms.
WHAT IS ANXIETY?
Anxiety in the body is a very natural response stress. When we start to feel fear or apprehension about the future, those feelings are classified as anxiety. (2) This is typical in cases like starting a new job or moving to a new city. However, if your feelings of anxiety last longer than a few months, you may have an anxiety disorder.
According to the Mayo Clinic, “People with anxiety disorders frequently have intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations.” These feelings often build very quickly and result in panic attacks. These feelings of fear can often interfere with your daily life and are difficult to control. (3)
There are many forms of anxiety disorders, but the most common are (4):
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder: This occurs when a person experiences symptoms of anxiety over several different things for a period of six months or longer.
- Social Anxiety: This occurs when a person experiences fear of being criticized or embarrassed in everyday social situations, i.e. public speaking, eating out, voicing opinions at work.
- Panic Disorder: This occurs when a person has a persistent fear or a recurring panic attack that lasts longer than a month.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF ANXIETY?
As we’ve previously discussed, the main symptom people with anxiety experience is a feeling of fear and apprehension. In reaction to these feelings, the body will also have a physiological response.
Physiological symptoms associated with anxiety also include (3):
- Increased heart rate
- Rapid breathing
- Trouble concentrating
- Difficulty falling asleep
- Gastrointestinal (GI) problems
- Sweating and trembling
Symptoms of anxiety can vary drastically per person. It’s important to listen to your body when you are feeling stressed, overwhelmed, or apprehensive about something.
WHAT CAN CAUSE ANXIETY IN YOUR HOUSEHOLD?
There are many factors that can trigger anxiety in your life or the lives of your family members. More often than not, an anxiety disorder is not caused by one single factor but by a combination of things. These triggers can be related to personality, life events, and physical health.
Personality Factors: Researchers have found that certain personality traits can help predict if an individual will develop an anxiety disorder, particularly a social anxiety disorder. Individuals who are a “perfectionist, easily flustered, timid, inhibited, lack self-esteem, or want to control everything” are more likely to develop anxiety throughout their life. (5)
Stressful Events: Anxiety disorders may develop or worsen due to stressful life events. These stress-inducing events might include (5):
- Job loss or job insecurity due to current economic conditions
- Major changes in daily routine like working or schooling from home
- Changes in living arrangements
- Family or relationship issues
- Death or loss of a loved one
Physical Health Complications: Individuals who live with a chronic illness may experience symptoms of anxiety. A few chronic illnesses associated with symptoms of anxiety include (5):
- Hypertension and heart disease
If you experience symptoms of anxiety and suffer from one of the chronic illnesses listed above, you should speak with your doctor to determine treatment options.
WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE FEELING ANXIOUS
If you are experiencing symptoms of anxiety, the first thing you should do is seek help. We recommend speaking with a medical professional about your symptoms. Additionally, there are some natural ways that have been proven to help reduce anxiety.
NATURAL WAYS TO HELP REDUCE ANXIETY
Exercise: According to the Mayo Clinic, exercising can help reduce symptoms of anxiety. When you are physically active, you release natural, feel-good endorphins that improve your sense of well-being. Regular exercise also helps to take your mind off of the feelings of fear and apprehension associated with anxiety. Experts recommend a minimum of 15 to 20 minutes of physical activity a day. (6)
Meditation: Meditation is the act of being more mindful. Mindfulness is defined as “the ability to be present, to rest in the here and now, fully engaged with whatever we’re doing in the moment.” Most meditation starts with sitting quietly. While sitting, you will focus on breathing and training the brain to be more presently aware. (7) Meditation may help reduce anxiety by helping to clear away information overload that builds up and causes stress.
Aromatherapy: Aromatherapy is “the inhalation and topical application of true, authentic essential oils from aromatic plants to restore or enhance health, beauty, and well-being.” (8) Researchers noted that there have been multiple studies proving the positive effects that lavender oil can have on individuals with anxiety. Due to the main chemical makeup of lavender essential oil, it may help produce an anxiolytic (anxiety reducing) effect when inhaled. (9)
Yoga: Yoga is defined as a combination of physical postures, breathing techniques, and sometimes meditation that may promote physical and emotional well-being. (10) In a study done at the University of Utah on the effects of yoga on the stress response and the participants’ responses to pain, research suggests that “techniques, such as yoga, can help a person regulate their stress and, therore, pain responses.” (11)
If you are looking to reduce your stress or anxiety, yoga is a great practice. You can look for yoga classes at your local rec center or try some free yoga apps on your phone.
Hydrogen Water: Hydrogen water is water that has additional hydrogen gas dissolved in it. There are over 12 years and 900 studies that back the amazing health benefits that hydrogen water has on the human body. One study in particular noted that drinking hydrogen-rich water may improve the quality of life of adults in terms of mood and anxiety. (12)
Drinking hydrogen water to improve your mood and reduce your anxiety is easier now than ever with the Echo Hydrogen Water™ Machines from Synergy Science™. Synergy Science™ offers hydrogen water machines for every lifestyle. Check out our site to learn more about hydrogen water and what machine is right for you.
Although you can’t always control the things in your life that cause additional stress and anxiety, incorporating a few of the practices listed above may help naturally mitigate your anxiety. Also, when you are feeling stressed and overwhelmed, don’t hesitate to reach out and get help because a happier you is a healthier you.