Anxiety can affect your mental, emotional, and physical wellbeing, and make even the simplest task feel like scaling a mountain. But while it may take some trial and error, there are a number of ways to deal with feelings of anxiety, according to Reddit. While one particular method might not work for everyone, they are, at the very least, worth considering; even if one method isn't for you, another might actually make a difference.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America says anxiety is the most common mental illness in this country, impacting the lives of 40 million people age 18 and up. This accounts for nearly 20 percent of our population. It seems things are getting worse generation by generation, too: an estimated 12 percent of millennials have been diagnosed with anxiety disorder, which is about twice the number of Baby Boomers. Thirty percent have general anxiety, and approximately 61 percent of college students are regularly impacted by it. The numbers seem to be growing, and only 36.9 percent of people with anxiety get treated for it — even though it's treatable.
While the way people experience anxiety varies and some ideas for easing it will work better for some than others, people on Reddit who experience anxiety shared their own. Here are 19 that may be worth exploring below.
1. Play An Instrument
Science has found many significant health benefits of playing an instrument. It can lower your blood pressure and heart rate, reduce stress, strengthen your immunity so you can fight viruses better, and potentially ease anxiety and depression.
2. Get Up And Get Moving
Similar to how stress affects the brain and body, so too does physical activity, by producing endorphins. It can decrease tension, improve and stabilize your mood, help you get better sleep, and even better your self-esteem. Even just five minutes help. Whether you love running, yoga, weightlifting, or something else entirely, it might be worth trying to see how you feel.
3. Journal It
Anxiety left on its own can turn into stress and rumination. Journaling is a way to focus your thoughts, get them out of your head, and put them somewhere else — in this case, on paper.
4. Brain Gymnastics
There might really be something to this, as taxing your brain can noticeably help reduce stress and anxiety. Partake in anything that forces your brain to work harder, like Sudoku and word searches.
5. Act It Out
Sometimes, "fake it 'til you make it" is a legitimate philosophy to live by. Plus, theater can help boost confidence and reduce stress.
6. Unplug From Social Media
Even scarier than the fact the social media causes anxiety is that not having access to social media also causes anxiety. Regain control instead of letting it control you. Whether that means cutting back or cutting it out, getting a handle on your social media use could seriously help ease your anxiety.
7. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
CBT encourages you to challenge your own distorted thoughts and try to improve upon your destructive habits. It's solution-focused, seeking the root of anxiety rather than just trying to ease it; to learn more, you can schedule an appointment with a licensed cognitive behavioral therapist.
8. Mindfulness Meditation
9. Connect Versus Disconnect
Instead of putting yourself at the center of so many negative thoughts, find common ground with the person you're sure is judging you. It helps to remind yourself you're both human, and you're probably a far worse critic of yourself than anyone else ever will be.
10. Watch Videos
Controlling your emotions can be so challenging because they're abstract; but putting a face on them could help make them more tangible and real, thereby helping you get a better grasp on them.
12. Deal With It Later
Although we're always discouraged from running away from our problems, that might be a good direction to go in. This isn't to say you should suppress them completely; but often, dealing with an issue later on when you're not as emotional helps you handle it more adequately.
13. Nix Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant, and its effect on your body is similar to when you get into "fight or flight" mode after a scary experience. It can make your anxiety worse, increase nervousness and moodiness, keep you up at night, and even lead to an anxiety attack.
14. Chemical Intervention
Despite all the support surrounding natural methods of dealing with anxiety, there is no shame in taking medication if your body needs it and a licensed professional recommends it. So much of anxiety comes down to a chemical problem; and sometimes, a chemical solution is the only answer.
15. Prepare For The Worst
Although it's ideal to conquer your anxiety before it gets out of control, let's be real: this simply isn't the case 100 percent of the time. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, and you'll be able to handle whatever is thrown at you.
16. Imagine How Bad It Could Get
Similarly, you might find relief by concocting in your mind the most absurd outcome possible, even if it's the most unlikely thing in the world — which it probably is. Perspective can make all the difference in the world, and remind you that you might be worrying about things for nothing.
17. Find The Source
Finding the root of the cause might mean you're able to find the right solution for you. That last part of the comment is so true: if you know what triggered your anxiety, you're so much more powerful over it.
18. Acknowledge The Thought And Then Let It Go
If controlling your anxiety seems like an impossible task, then try simply acknowledging that it's there before sending it on its way.
19. CBD Oil
Cannabidiol oil doesn't make you high, but it can still help you calm down and reduce your anxiety. Important note: research is limited, so you should proceed with caution!