How to Cope with Anxiety and Stress Positively
Data taken from the Anxiety & Depression Association of America mentions anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the U.S., affecting 40 million adults in the United States from age 18 and older. Anxiety can also be caused by prolonged stress.
The impact of anxiety and stress does not only affect a person’s mental condition, but also physical conditions such as causing headaches, eating disorders, sleep disorders, BDD (body dysmorphic disorder), and other chronic illnesses.
However, anxiety and stress are not something that can not be overcome. Before bringing negative impacts too far, we can cope with anxiety and stress regularly. With positive habits that we do, our mental condition will also improve and get better day by day.
Then, what are the easy steps to cope with anxiety and stress?
Recognize the pattern of anxiety and stress
Before we get to the practical steps, we must first identify what causes us stress and anxiety. According to the Mayo Clinic, anxiety and stress have several causes, including trauma, stress Buildup, personality, drugs, alcohol, etc. Its appearance also has triggers and recognizable patterns.
At this stage, self-awareness is crucial. When there are triggers and symptoms that appear (such as chest pain, fast heart-beating, sweating, headache, etc.), we need to take control of ourselves by resting a while and taking a break from all activities that might worsen the condition.
Take a breath, take a break
An article by Harvard Business Review stated that breathing is so effective in reducing stress. In the article, it was said that the one who practiced breathing exercises with SKY Breathing Meditation would have a great mental state, a positive mindset, gain benefits on reducing stress levels, and maintain emotional stability.
SKY (Sudarshan Kriya Yoga) Breathing Meditation is a breathing technique that uses cyclical, rhythmic patterns of breath to bring the mind and body effortlessly into meditation. This breathing method needs relaxation and full concentration.
Every time we feel anxious and stressed, we really need to stop for a while and maintain our breathing. Breathing will also teach you to express gratitude because you are still given the opportunity to enjoy life.
Sometimes when we are stressed and anxious, it is difficult to express our feelings to others. Instead of keeping it in your heart, write your feelings and worries in a notebook or diary.
Journaling can help you decipher the feelings that are in your heart. Numerous sources state that expressive writing (such as journaling) will also provide benefits for our health including sharpening memory, improving the immune system, raising mood, and maintaining mental condition.
Journaling doesn’t have to be well-structured. It just has, raw, expressive, just the way it is, relieving, and revealing what is inside our hearts.
Make Your Body Moves
Many people choose to stay silent for a long time, lock themselves up, and do nothing while facing anxiety and stress. But actually, letting your body move and exercising can also positively affect your mental health.
When we exercise, our bodies will release endorphins, which function to trigger positive feelings in the body and cause euphoric feelings. By regularly exercising, it means that we are also giving happiness to ourselves and our bodies.
For those who are not used to exercising, do light movements such as jogging 10-15 minutes in the morning, 30 minutes of yoga, or warming up before doing activities.
Improve Your Sleep Quality
Your body needs rest, so does your heart, and your mental state. Especially when experiencing Anxiety and stress, don’t let poor sleep quality worsen your mental health.
Health sources mention, in sleep, there are many activities carried out by our bodies, including the brain storing new information and getting rid of toxic ones, nerve cells communicate and reorganize to support our brain function, and our body restores and regains energy.
Imagine if we were sleep-deprived? Our bodies cannot perform the function of cell regeneration in the brain which will cause us to be too tired with the anxiety and stress we experience.
There are many ways to improve sleep quality, such as sticking to a sleep schedule, creating a supportive sleeping environment, staying away from your phone before bed, listening to relaxing sounds, etc.
Ask for Professional Help
It’s us who know how much we can bear with the anxiety and stress we experience. Sometimes there are triggers that only can be solved by professionals. At this point, don’t hesitate to go to a psychologist or psychiatrist to get medical assistance according to the symptoms you are experiencing.
Nowadays, it is not difficult to access professional help. Through the community, online counseling, or visiting the mental health poly at the hospital, we can get the medical help we need. Also contact the people closest to you, so that they can become caregivers who help you struggle with the anxiety and stress you are experiencing.
At UPDEED, there are many organizations and people who are starting to become aware of the importance of mental health. Not only provide education, but they also have services, peer groups, and counseling groups that accommodate people with certain mental conditions. This organization also positively spreads a campaign about eradicating stigma against one’s mental condition.
If you want to know about NGOs concerned with mental health awareness, please visit the UPDEED application. There are many positive and inspiring stories, which can certainly refresh you and boost your spirits even more.
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