All of us know what it’s like to feel anxious – the anxiety in your mind before a first date, the uneasiness you feel when your supervisor is angry, and the way your heart pounds if you believe you’re in danger. Anxiety triggers you to take action. It gears you up to face and deal with a challenging situation. For example, – it makes you study harder for a test or exam, and inspires you to perform better when you’re making a public speech. In general, it is a normal emotion that helps you to cope.

However if you have an anxiety disorder, this normal healthy emotion can completely disrupt your life. It can results in an increased heart rate, poor concentration at work and school, sleeping problems, and you may have trouble concentrating on anything than the reason for your worry.

The good news is that occasional anxiety can be treated easily by making lifestyle changes and adjusting the way you react when anxiety sets in. Given below are some tips that you can use to beat anxiety:

Identify your triggers: Relax and take some time to analyse what people, events, or situations cause your anxiety. Do you get worried before public speaking or when you have to meet certain people or in particular situations? Any person or thing that causes your anxiety is your trigger and it can be physical or emotional. Once you have identified your triggers you can start working on how to manage your emotional reaction to the situation by understanding what is the cause of your anxiety and why you are behaving in a particular way. The best way to minimize the effect of the triggers that cause your anxiety is to face them.

Be mindful of your breathing: When anxiety attacks your breathing will be quick and shallow as your “fight or flight” reaction kicks in. If you bring your mind to your breath and focus on taking slow, deep breaths this signals to your body that everything is alright and you will naturally feel calm and relaxed. Taking control of your breath can train the body’s response to situations that trigger anxiety and dampen the production of stress hormones.

Get enough sleep: Getting sufficient, regular sleep is essential in maintaining your physical and mental health. Lack of sleep can have serious consequences including an increased risk of chronic disease. In addition, sleep disturbances can lead to higher levels of anxiety and can actually cause an anxiety disorder. Develop a regular, relaxing bedtime routine that prepares your mind and body for good sleep and make a habit to get seven to eight hours of sleep every night. You will realise the benefits in just a few days.

Eat right: When you are suffering from anxiety, your appetite may change and you may crave for sugary, processed foods. In order to control and beat anxiety, you’ll have to feed your body whole foods that give it the nutrients it needs. Go for foods with higher levels of vitamin B and omega-3s. Vitamin B is known for good mental health properties while omega-3s may help reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Smile. Studies prove the long known fact that a good laughter can reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. So try to smile, even when you don’t feel like it. There are great chances; it will make you feel better.
Express gratitude. Therapists suggest developing the practice of expressing gratitude as it helps reduce symptoms of depression and anxiety. Make a gratitude journal to get in the habit of appreciation, and out of the mindset of being overwhelmed.

Plan ahead. One effective technique to beat anxiety is to plan ahead for the days ahead. Try maintaining a schedule or a to-do list and develop habits that enhance productivity. If you are prepared well in advance your mind will not allow the anxiety producing thoughts to pop up.

If lifestyle changes do not help and you are still feeling troubled by anxious thoughts it is advised to take help of a trained therapist. The Family Enhancement Centre is a leading name for anxiety counselling in Brampton, Mississauga, Niagara Falls and Orangeville. We are a team of Registered Social Workers and therapists who have long experience in helping people with anxiety problems. Our anxiety counsellors offer a safe, non-judgmental environment to understand how your life events have shaped you and can help you to take the necessary steps to meet your goals, find peace, healing, and restoration.