Are You Experiencing Anxiety?

February 05, 2023

Are You Experiencing Anxiety?
If So, You’re Not Alone

Introduction

anxiety 2

Tens of millions of Americans routinely suffer from anxiety. They are worried about money, their health, work, their kids, the future, and dozens of problems (real or imagined) that are being pushed by the media.

Anxiety is normal to experience every once in a while. But when it comes to getting set off by the littlest thing, it’s time to take a closer look and see if this needs to be explored (and possibly corrected).

Are You Triggered?

A word we use these days is “triggered”. Everybody seems to be “triggered” about something. What that means is people experience anxiety or upset based on stimuli. A trigger could be something you see on the news. It could come from an article you read online. It could stem from watching a YouTube video, or from somebody cutting you off in traffic.

Have you ever noticed that there are people who walk around all day long looking for things that offend them? Maybe it’s part of the human condition. Maybe our brains are hardwired to protect us from danger. And social media sites capitalize on this by creating fear and apprehension through news articles appearing on Facebook, or Twitter.

Health Risks

As I said, a little anxiety is harmless. But if it goes on too long, and gets out of control, we risk health problems (like high blood pressure, hormone imbalances, or mental health issues). It can adversely affect job performance, relationships, and our ability just to appreciate things. It can rob all of the joy out of our lives.

What You Can Do

There are certain things that we can do right away to decrease our level of anxiety. Most of these things don’t cost any money and don’t require the use of medications. Here are some things to consider:

Unplug

Don’t watch TV (especially the news). Don’t participate in social media. Completely unplug your phone (or limit the amount of time you are exposing yourself to electronics). The news is just morbid entertainment. You really don’t need to know about every murder, assault, robbery, or fire. Ignorance can be bliss.

Exercise

One of the best anti-anxiety remedies out there is exercise. Cardiovascular exercise improves mood and balances hormones. Weight training builds lean muscle mass, boosts basal metabolic rate, helps you to lose weight, and improves insulin signaling. Both cardio and weight training help wash away anxiety.

Get Plenty of Sleep

If you aren’t getting sufficient restful, replenishing sleep, you will experience increased anxiety during your waking hours. Research shows if you go to bed before 10:00 p.m., there is a beneficial effect on your circadian rhythms.

Optimize Your Nutrition

Eating real food, and avoiding sugar, grains, dairy & seed oils are going to decrease inflammation. By decreasing inflammation, your brain will function at a higher level.

Meditate

calm app

Doing a daily meditation promotes relaxation and allows you to re-center yourself. While a lot of people don’t understand how to meditate, it really isn’t that complicated. I use an app on my phone called “Calm” (which is available for download on the Google Play Store or the Apple store). It provides coaching, sounds of nature, sounds of surf, soothing music, etc

Optimize Your Environment

Sometimes our homes & workstations can get cluttered and disorganized. We are then faced with a sea of loose papers, unfinished tasks, and accumulated debris. I find it oddly therapeutic to clean my home (especially when I’m riled up about something). By organizing your environment, you are taking back control (which alleviates anxiety). My guess is that others can benefit from keeping their environment neat & clean.

Don’t Bite Off More Than You Can Chew

Whether it involves a work project or things you need to do at home, having to spin too many plates often can lead to feelings of anxiety (especially with a looming deadline). Do one task at a time. Do it very well. And then move on to something else. Break things down into little bite size, more easily digestible chunks.

Go Outside

walk outside

Make sure you are making time to go outside on a regular basis. Go for a walk. Play in the park. Ride a bicycle. Go to the beach or to the mountains. Breathe the fresh air. Remember what life was like when you were a little kid and played outside until the street lights came on? (This was what life used to be like before we had “play dates”).

Conclusion

The source of anxiety rarely stems from one thing. For most people, there are a number of areas that need to be improved. By systematically optimizing the above-mentioned areas, I think you can ease your mind, improve your mental health and decrease the anxiety you’re experiencing.