Did you know anxiety disorders are the most common mental illness in the US?
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety affects 40 million adults, or 18.1 percent of the population, every year–and that is without a pandemic.
With this in mind, now is the best time to truly pay attention and take care of your mental health. In fact, symptoms of anxiety disorder can also manifest in physical health problems, such as headaches, muscle tension, insomnia, digestive issues, chance of stroke, early memory decline, and more. So when you manage your anxiety, you are also taking care of your physical health.
Here are five life-changing tips to manage your anxiety:
Find exercises that are fun or enjoyable. From morning yoga to intense HIIT workouts to taking a daily walk, the opportunities to integrate fitness into your life are endless.
According to Harvard, “Exercise activates frontal regions of the brain responsible for executive function, which helps control the amygdala, our reacting system to real or imagined threats to our survival. Exercising regularly builds up resources that bolster resilience against stormy emotions.”
If you are at a beginner’s level of fitness, don’t worry. Everybody starts somewhere. Be patient when you start a new regimen. Most sedentary individuals require about four to eight weeks before any given exercise feels easier.
Adding different exercises to your routine is also another way to help you stay motivated and interested in your fitness as you get your body moving.
Anxiety and stress often come from intrusive thoughts of a terrible future–that hasn’t happened yet. Try to bring yourself back to where you are now, in the present moment. This is where mindfulness comes in.
In fact, research shows that mindfulness is effective for improving anxiety and mood symptoms. The best part is that mindfulness can be practiced in a number of different ways, from meditation to journaling.
Learn more about how to practice mindfulness in our Beginner’s Guide to Mindfulness.
Breathwork is a meditation term for breathing exercises. Among other meditation techniques, breathwork can help significantly reduce your heart rate and overall stress response in situations where you find yourself stressed or anxious.
This can be as simple as breathing in for four counts, holding it at the top, and breathing out for four counts. Another example of this is the 4-7-8 method, developed by Dr. Andrew Weil.
Alternatively, there are different exercises that encourage you to focus on one aspect of the breath cycle, such as by counting only your exhales from one to five, and then starting again.
Ultimately, this type of breathing forces your body to regulate any response to anxiety, such as panic attacks, muscle tension, and so on. Try out different forms of meditation and breathwork techniques and see what works for you.
CBD for anxiety
Another way to manage stress and anxiety is to use all-natural CBD supplements for anxiety that help regulate your body’s response and potentially prevent symptoms such as trouble breathing or migraines.
We started Wisdom Essentials with a goal to create exactly this type of product–to lessen our anxiety with everything that is going on in the world. We custom created CBD products like CALM to help create a sense of well-being.
Our CALM tincture is a CBD treatment for anxiety that contains a natural blend of CBD and terpenes. It includes limonene, linalool, and geraniol for an overall effect that helps maintain well-being. It may reduce anxiety and quiet your mind so you can listen more to your inner wisdom than those intrusive thoughts.
This tip is one that will determine whether these practices are life-changing or just regular tips. Frequency and consistency is the key factor that contributes to how effectively you manage your anxiety or stress.
Whether you exercise or meditate for 30 minutes or 5 minutes makes no difference. Instead, incorporate these practices into your daily routine and equip yourself with the tools you need to keep living life on your terms.
Resources to cope with anxiety
Anxiety is a broad mental health disease that affects every person differently. Whether or not you have received an official diagnosis for your disorder, there are excellent resources and hotlines available to help you better understand or cope with your mental health.
- National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI): 1-800-950-NAMI (6264). If you are in a crisis or looking for mental health information, you can call NAMI’s helpline for free support. NAMI has programs designed specifically for those who identify as living with a mental health condition, caregivers, veterans, teens, and LGBTQ.
- Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA): 800-662-HELP (4357). This national helpline is available 24/7 in English and Spanish for anyone facing substance abuse or mental health disorder. You can call the helpline at any time to speak with a trained information specialist who can provide you with local resources and support.
- Crisis Text Line: Text CONNECT to 741741. When you text this helpline, you’ll be connected to trained counselors for individualized support.
- Coping with Anxiety or Stress about COVID-19: Public health actions, such as social distancing, can make people feel isolated and lonely and can increase stress and anxiety. The CDC recommends some healthy ways to cope with stress and anxiety, especially during this time.
- MentalHealth.gov: This website provides information about mental health disorders and how to get help. There are a number of helplines listed on the page, and you can enter your zip code to find mental health services in your state or zip code.