Life is not a bed of roses because right beneath those roses lies the thorns. In other words, life does not present itself as a smooth journey to anyone. It is full of ups and downs, and the quest to attain happiness, peace, and contentment truly lies in our hands. Whenever something good happens we easily rejoice and embrace the change but the moment the stride becomes rough we are left clueless as to how to handle the adversity and end up feeling sad, anxious, stressed, and in the long run depressed. This article covers anxiety in brief and how one can cope with stress and anxiety by following certain simple life-changing rules.
Anxiety And Its Causes
When we are exposed to uncertain, unfamiliar, or fear-instilling situations in life a general feeling of dread, worry or unease takes over our mind. This feeling is termed anxiety. Everyone feels anxious in life over unexpected changes that may come by, before or during an exam, when faced with challenges, etc. which is a normal reaction of the human brain towards such a situation. But when the fear and distress go out of our control things begin to take a bad turn and it ends up into a mental disorder that needs medical attention. Apart from mental issues, some physical problems like unexplained backaches, tummy cramps, unexplained infection, etc are also caused due to anxiety. In a way feeling anxious in a well-regulated, normal manner is a gateway for us to stay alert of prospective dangers ahead and prompt us to take precautions as and when needed. It acts as an in-built alarm system that protects us from harm. But when the same goes overboard it does more harm than good. Anxiety can be classified into different types namely obsessive-compulsive disorder, trauma, and stress-related disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, separation anxiety disorder, panic disorder, etc.
Listed below are some common causes that lead to anxiety:
- Life-altering situations – these could be in terms of huge financial losses, the birth of a child, death of a loved one, having to move the city of dwelling, divorce, etc
- Genetics – some people are naturally susceptible to get anxious over petty things much more in comparison to others. They’re just made that way genetically.
- Substance abuse – excessive usage of drugs and alcohol induce anxiety in people in a really bad way. Best to steer clear from these bad habits.
- Phobia – a lot of people are scared of a lot of things unknown or known to them and feel extremely anxious when faced with it. For eg. herpetophobia is the fear of reptiles, especially snakes or lizards, and when forced to be in the environment with reptiles an overwhelming sense of anxiety overpowers their brain and makes life miserable.
- Circumstantial reasons – sometimes when faced with certain challenges people get worked up and get panic attacks especially when they anticipate trouble. Identifying the same would help to ease the situation.
- Unexplained reasons – some people showcase extreme anxiety symptoms without any particular reason and it is often not easy to detect the issue in such people.
Common Symptoms Of Anxiety
Some tell-tale signs and symptoms of anxiety are as follows:
- Getting fidgety and experiencing unrest without any particular explanation as to its cause
- Overthinking and worrying endlessly over small problems and anticipating the worst outcome always.
- Increased heartbeat, sweating, mouth going parched, fast breathing for long periods.
- Some people experience unexplained fatigue and prefer staying inactive.
- Problems with concentration and mind getting diverted too often.
- Tense and stiff muscles is another symptom of anxiety
- Feeling cold or hot even when the climate is good
- Feeling dizzy and nauseous.
- People with anxiety often have sleep issues.
- A most unpleasant symptom is a panic attack which is caused as a result of excessive fear
- People with severe anxiety avoid social gatherings and prefer to stay in one’s own company.
- They are often plagued by a lot of phobias.
- Unable to give one’s best performance be it at school, work or with relationships.
11 Simple Ways To Cope With Stress
Sometimes all it takes to better manage anxiety and related stress in life is to make simple lifestyle changes. Let us round up 10 of them that would help make life less stressful:
- Exercise – time and again experts stress on this one factor that, exercising can do wonders not just to our physical health but it greatly promotes the betterment of our mental health as well. It helps to release mood-uplifting endorphins as well as lowers the stress hormone cortisol. Exercise also helps to improve our sleep patterns.
- Decrease caffeine intake – high doses of caffeine in our body can induce anxiety. Reduce the intake of chocolates, tea, coffee, etc but do enjoy it all in moderation.
- Chew gum to reduce stress – yes, that’s right. Pick your favorite flavor of gum and chew it to induce peace and calm and to relieve stress. Studies have shown that gum chewing produces brain waves that prompted relaxation. The stronger one chews the better.
- Spend time with like-minded individuals – this undoubtedly is one of the best ways to reduce stress. Talk about things that are of common interest and get engrossed in happy conversations. This way you can share positive, stress-reducing vibes.
- Don’t leave anything for later – this habit not only helps you get tasks done on time, but it also saves delay-related anxiety and helps in time management. And in the process helps in an overall reduction of stress and anxiety.
- Spend time in nature – doing this not only helps to get rid of stress but it heals our mind and body in ways more than one and greatly helps to reduce anxiety. Head to the woods, relax on the beach or simply take a light stroll in the early morning hours.
- Take natural stress-reducing supplements – omega-3 fatty acids, lemon-balm, green tea, valerian roots, etc are some safe options to consider in this regard but after consulting with a health expert.
- Know that laughter is the best medicine – laughing helps to relax our muscles, reduce stress, uplifts our mood, and even helps build immunity. Join a laughter-therapy community or watch a show that tickles your funny bones. Rest assured you will find stress slowly leaving your mind and body.
- Go on vacations – once in a while traveling to relieve stress is a necessity more than a need. Travel the world, see places, meet people, merry-make and, forget stress and anxiety.
- Live life one day at a time – it is a good thing to think and plan for the future but to worry endlessly will only worsen anxiety symptoms. Accept that life comes with challenges and learn to embrace the downfalls just as you do the successes.
- Know that you are important – when the time arises don’t hesitate to say no, go for aromatherapy, join yoga or dance classes or pick a productively enjoyable hobby and work towards improving it. Always make time for yourself.
Making simple lifestyle changes often helps to improve one’s mood and overcome stress. Most people fail to get rid of age-old habits of placing themselves at the end of the happiness line which is not a good thing, to begin with. Learn to love yourself just as you would those around you. Know that, if one door closes then another will open for it is the law of nature. Embrace these priceless pieces of information and eventually, you will learn to live life with reduced stress and anxiety.