The world around you can feel overwhelmingly scary when you have an anxiety disorder.
You can often feel like there is nobody who understands what you are going through. While the symptoms of your anxiety may show themselves in a different form than those felt by another person suffering from this disorder, you can find solace in knowing that you are not the only one suffering.
Eighteen percent of the US population suffers from anxiety (Anxiety and Depression Association of America).
Although there is medication available that can ease anxiety, it is possible to treat this disorder naturally by changing your lifestyle.
By doing so, you will create a long-lasting approach to dealing with your anxiety.
What Causes an Anxiety Disorder?
To figure out how to ease anxiety, it helps to look at the factors that cause this disorder. The following are some of the most common anxiety triggers.
Consuming too much sugar. Research has shown how a high sugar diet can leave us nervous and anxious when the sugar is removed. Consuming too much sugar means quick spikes and decrease in sugar levels, leading you to have more mood swings and a higher chance of feeling anxious.
Being around others who suffer from anxiety. It is good to be around people who understand your anxiety disorder because they have experienced it firsthand but this can backfire, especially if you start being affected by their anxiety triggers. This is especially true when the person suffering from anxiety is someone you consider as your guardian, such as a parent.
The pursuit of perfection. When unattainable perfection is pursued, then you can suffer from more anxiety because you will never be able to attain such perfection.
Low self-esteem. Having a low sense of self and carrying a negative voice with everything you do can also cause anxiety.
Chronic illness or severe allergies. Suffering from chronic illness or a severe allergy such as a high intolerance to nuts can cause anxiety out of fear of eating something you shouldn’t or ending up in hospital because of your condition.
Being a control freak. It is impossible to control everything around you. When you become a control freak, your anxiety disorder can spike because you will try to control everything and you won’t be able to.
Stress from work or life. Being unable to keep up with the overwhelming stress of work or problems in your personal life can also be the cause of anxiety.
Fear. Fear is the primary trigger of anxiety. Often, the thing we fear seems doable to those around us but because our mind becomes conditioned to be afraid of it, then we end up turning our smallest fear into our biggest anxiety trigger.
How to Change Your Lifestyle to Ease Anxiety
There are lifestyle changes you can adopt to ease your anxiety.
Eat better. Whole grains and the right kind of fat; a low caffeine and a low sugar diet are all ways to keep your sugar levels stable to avoid giving your body unnecessary highs and lows that can lead to anxiety.
Exercise. Your heart will race when you experience anxiety through an adrenaline rush that comes from fear. Instead of fighting your adrenaline, choose to exhaust it every day by exercising.
Take deep breaths. Learn to control your anxiety and avoid going into panic mode the minute you feel the fear by teaching yourself how to take deep, calming breaths. The best way to do this is by meditating every day, at least for ten minutes. You can even find a soothing mantra during your meditation or a positive affirmation that can prove to be useful when you experience anxiety during the day.
Count to ten. Tying up with the former point, before going into panic mode, count to 10. This will give your mind time to move away from the panic button.
List your anxiety triggers. Figure out what they are and try to find ways to ease each one when they happen.
Relax. Chronic stress can cause severe anxiety. Start by doing more things that you love and experience new things so you can give your mind a break from stress.
Don’t avoid what scares you. Whatever it is that scares you, try to confront your fear because only by doing so, can you prove to your mind that you are stronger than your anxiety.
Lastly, accept your anxiety disorder.
Anxiety comes and goes. You will have your good days and your bad days. There will be times when you will feel scared but you will do what you need to do anyway and there will be days when anxiety will win.
When anxiety does win, don’t see it as a permanent state. Instead, choose to overcome anxiety the next time you feel overwhelmed.
If you feel like you need more help with overcoming your anxiety — we encourage you to seek professional help that may be able to guide you through a lifestyle change that can ease your symptoms.
To learn more about individual treatment and therapy options, enter your email to get our free individual counseling info pack.