According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, anxiety disorders affect 40 million adults in the U.S. every year. While these disorders are treatable, only 36.9 percent of those affected get treatment.
Stress and anxiety can affect you both mentally and physically. If it is not managed at first sign of symptoms, the effects can quickly become out of control. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, take control of these feelings with the following tips to get you back on track.
Get Your ZZZs
Stress and anxiety can cause sleeping problems, so be sure to make your bedtime routine a calming habit that promotes effective sleeping. When you’re fighting stress and anxiety, your body needs rest and a full eight hours of sleep. Adequate amounts of sleep can help improve your mood, help you think more clearly, and allow you to handle situations better than when you’re sleep deprived.
Being physically active can help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety. It releases endorphins and other natural chemicals in the brain that can make you feel good, and gives you a sense of accomplishment. The physical results of working out can improve your self-esteem. No matter what type of exercise you choose, 30 minutes per day, five days per week is recommended for optimal results.
Stock Up on Healthy Foods
It’s easy to turn to “comfort food,” such as fast food or treats as a coping mechanism when you are stressed. Fight the urge to overindulge — the results will leave you sluggish, cause you to gain weight, and leave you feeling worse off than you were before tough times hit. Be stock up on foods that improve your brain health for better mental well-being. Fish, broccoli and eggs are just some of the foods which can boost overall cognition and mood.
Instead of stressing out for not accomplishing everything all at once, set goals and work step by step to achieve them. Be realistic about your timeline for achieving goals, and don’t set yourself up for disappointment if things don’t turn out exactly as you planned. While you can’t control everything that happens, you can celebrate the successes you have accomplished to achieve your goal.
Think Positive Thoughts
It’s not always easy to maintain a positive mindset, so it’s important to work toward replacing negative thoughts with positive ones when possible. Remember, it’s all about perspective — a single incident can be seen many different ways. Ask yourself, is it really as bad as you initially think? Sometimes it’s easier to dismiss something as negative, so take the time to find the silver lining in any given situation.
Learn Your Triggers
Whether it’s work-related, personal, family-related or some other area of your life, identify patterns in your feelings, and what triggers them. When you get those feelings of stress or anxiety, try journaling them and record how it makes you feel. Write down details you can use to pinpoint the cause.
Take Deep Breaths
Take time to relax by inhaling and exhaling slowly. It can help symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat to subside. Other relaxation techniques to try include yoga, meditation and massage.
Seek Professional Help
If these remedies are not helping, it may be time to talk to a trained professional who can provide counseling services to help you cope. Fisher-Titus is equipped to provide patients with the behavioral health care they need. If you are having trouble coping with stress and anxiety, contact our behavioral health team by calling 419-668-0311.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Renee Leber, LISW-S, is a therapist with Fisher-Titus Behavioral Health, 282 Benedict Avenue, Medical Park 2, Suite C in Norwalk on the Fisher-Titus Medical Center campus. She offers psychotherapy services to all age groups, addressing abuse, trauma, adjustment disorders, disruptive behaviors, social and family issues, anxiety and depressive and bipolar disorders.