Nowadays, anxiety seems to be triggered by almost everything. More and more people struggle with anxiety symptoms such as bruxism, lack of proper sleep, bad food habits, a poor immune system and, of course, a constant fear of falling short. We can see the consequences in our everyday lives, work tasks pile up, it gets harder and harder to focus on one thing at a time and be able to see it through. And needless to say, our bonds and relationships are also affected by our poor attempt to handle everything perfectly.
In addition, contrary to what it only seems to be common sense, the world is full of stressors. Social media is a constant reminder of what we could and don’t have. We are constantly comparing ourselves to others and that doesn’t allow us to fully exploit our passion and skills. It seems that fighting anxiety today is something next to impossible. However, that is actually not the case. The thing is we often look for solutions outside and the answers are far closer: they are within ourselves. So, if you have run out of ideas on how to fight anxiety, here are some tips you could try out.
1. Make yourself some comfort food
True, the relationship between food and anxiety can be a complicated one for some, but it is definitely worsened by all these reminders that we should only eat food that is a hundred percent healthy. Of course, we are not suggesting that you fill up with hot dogs and burgers with cheddar cheese.
The benefits of food can be two-fold if you come to think about it: on the one hand, following a recipe can help you focus on this task, this is usually an effective way to fight intrusive thoughts. On the other hand, having a portion of an easy chicken and rice casserole, like this, once a week can do no harm to your system and it can become a moment of joy, a reminder that happiness can also come from small details like a delicious meal.
However, options are not limited to savory meals. Preparing desserts and cakes in the kitchen can be a great way to reduce stress and anxiety. Not only will you be able to create something that looks and tastes delicious, but the process of baking can be very calming and therapeutic.
The repetitive motions of measuring, stirring, and pouring can be soothing and help to take your mind off of whatever is causing your stress or anxiety episodes. Additionally, baking can give you a sense of accomplishment, which can help to boost your self-esteem and reduce your stress levels.
The smell of freshly baked desserts is also known to lift your mood and be a source of comfort. To top it all off, you have a tasty treat to enjoy with friends and family, making it a great way to spend quality time with the people you love.
2. Write a journal
It is difficult to build this habit if you are not used to doing it. But rest assured, after doing it for only ten days, you will start noticing the change. Take a moment during your day, whenever you feel the anxiety strikes harder, to take a journal and write down anything that comes to your head. The idea behind this exercise is not to become a writer, to come up with inventive new stories or creative and sophisticated expressions.
The opposite is actually true, the idea is that you can let go of those thoughts you have inside your head. Instead of fighting them, you give them a space to flow in, a place to go to other than your own head. It is especially helpful to do so in the morning, before setting a to-do list for the day. This will help you set the day off free of negative thoughts and with a clearer focus on the things you need to get done.
And don’t wait until the weekend to dedicate some time to it. Instead, set aside a few minutes every day for writing. It could be even during your lunch break at work or in the evening before going to bed.
Start by writing your thoughts, feelings and experiences from the day and make it a habit to take out your diary or notes and pour your heart out.
So, don’t wait for the perfect moment to begin writing your diary. Start right now and feel the benefits of this habit every day
3. Create a self-care routine
This can be skincare, yoga, meditation, a walk, a moment to read a book, anything that you can think of. Most times, anxiety blocks us in every possible way. It limits our moves, it can keep us paralyzed for hours only to make us feel guilty later for not being able to accomplish anything. What is the most common response? Trying to do everything we planned to do in an hour. And God forbid anybody finds out we spent hours scrolling down TikTok, unable to get up from that uncomfortable chair we were sitting on.
The truth is that following this pattern can make us forget to do things for ourselves. It forces us to do only the things we are supposed to do, like our job or house chores. Do them, of course, but try to find a time to do something for yourself too.
Choose an activity, even if it is only five-minute long, that reminds you of your worth and value. Take reading, for example. Reading is food for the brain and you deserve to enjoy a fiction or learning about that topic you are interested in. Whatever it is, do it fully aware of the purpose, which is giving yourself a space and a time to appreciate your mind, body or soul.
Disclaimer: these tips are only one aspect of what should be an integral approach to treating anxiety. Do not hesitate to consult a mental health professional that can give you the right tools to deal with these kinds of issues.