General Anxiety Self Help
There are four starting steps in reducing all types of anxiety
Introduce a level of regular exercise into your life
Reduce all caffein drinks
Reduce the intake of sweetened foods and drinks
Begin a regular relaxation routine
Exercise is a good place to start from. But please do not do what some people tend to do when they have not exercised for sometime. You must start slowly and build it up. You could use a gym and get professional help. Also if you have not exercised for a long time it would be wise to have medical check on your general fitness.
Build up to around thirty minutes of aerobic exercise 3 to 5 times per week.
If you cannot mange that then regular walks can be very beneficial. Not only that if you walk regularly in the countryside the experience can also help to lift your spirits. Swimming is also a good form of exercise that does not put undue strain on your body.
Caffein is a stimulant. The over use of it can increase heart rate and induce feelings of anxiety. Plus drunk at the wrong time of day it will interrupt your sleep patterns.
A friend of mine had developed a habit of drinking several cups of coffee during the day. He found that he was having heart palpitations and sleeping badly. He reduced his coffee intake and his palpitations ceased and his sleep patterns improved. This is not an uncommon occurrence.
Sugar also works as a kind of stimulant giving your system boosts that can then fall back quite rapidly. These swings can effect moods as well as physiology.
The over use of sugar can lead to diabetes or hypoglycemia which can give symptoms of anxiety.
Relaxation is essential for all individuals. At some point in the day we need to chill out to just let the stresses of the day dissolve and enjoy some peace and quiet. During the day as someone who is raising children or doing any job we are having demands made upon us in various ways. It is just great to turn these off for a while through one of the following
A relaxation CD or video
All of the above are ways of starting to reduce the levels of anxiety. It is best if you make these changes in your life in a structured gradual way. Devise some form of tracking sheet for your self and record your progress.
You could perhaps keep a subjective daily measure of your anxiety levels. For instance take 0 as totally chilled out and relaxed to 10 feeling very agitated. Choose a particular point in the day to ask your self the question.
You could keep a feel good diary, recording only the positive aspects of your day. Ensure you focus on at least one positive each day. For instance it could be as simple as enjoying one beautiful flower in a vase. There are many simple pleasures in life that can lift the spirits.
The last thing to do with any of these exercises is put more pressure on your self. Accept where you are at mentally and physically and take small steps. Expect that it will not be all plain sailing and that you will make good progress some days and less or even negative progress other days.
Remember you are learning and all learning is a matter of trial and error. And you have been living in this anxious state for sometime it can take some time and effort to get out of it. Just be determined.
Write yourself a goal stating how you want to live your life.
Another point to be aware of is that sometimes anxiety symptoms are caused by physical factors. Hypoglycemia and Thyroid Imbalance can both be related to feelings that are similar to anxiety. I have worked with at least one client who had one episode which she called a panic attack which was directly related to a thyroid problem. She then went on to be afraid of having another attack but without any recurrence of a panic attack. It was a mild form of agoraphobia in the end.
Other life changes could include
Also reduce any self medication especially of alcohol and other recreational drugs
Develop positive self talk
At some point is is sensible to see a medical practitioner even if it is just to remove any doubts about other possible medical conditions. You may find working with a counsellor or other kind of therapeutic help beneficial. It may only need to be for a few sessions. There are also many self help books that you will find helpful.
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