Well-being with Meaning: 4 Ways to Reduce Anxiety

We all experience anxiety. We can either continue to suffer, or we can play an active role in reducing this stressful burden in our lives. Here are some positive, easy ways to reduce the anxiety in your own life.

Maintain a healthy diet. Recent studies have shown that maintaining a balanced diet, low in fat and rich with Omega-3 fatty acids (flax seeds, walnuts, salmon, broccoli, brussel sprouts etc.) aids in managing anxiety or panic disorders. While sustaining a balanced diet is key, it is important to provide your body with adequate amounts of B-complex vitamins and vitamin C as well (Info Barrel). Foods rich in vitamin C include broccoli, tomato, peppers (red, orange and yellow have twice as much as green), mango, papaya, kiwis, etc.

**Google search “foods that contain B-complex vitamins” to find out what foods you can eat to get your daily amount of B-complex vitamins- There are many!

Work it! Incorporate some cardio into your daily routine. Providing your body with as little as 30 minutes of low to moderate cardio 3 times a week (walking, jogging, dancing at the club, playing a sport with a friend, etc.) will improve your physical and mental well-being. Adequate exercise will help focus the mind, therefore helping to improve your ability to handle stress. Your body has tons of extra energy built up, so sweat it out! Remember, the body and mind are one.

Just breathe. “…the conscious cultivation of breath offers a powerful way not only to extract energies from the outside world, but also to regulate the energetic pathways of our inner world, helping to bring our body, mind, and emotions into harmonious balance” (The Tao of Natural Breathing: For Health, Well-Being and Inner Growth). I find that a prolonged, forward bend accompanied with deep, exaggerated breaths helps calm the mind. Being conscious of our breathing focuses our minds and provides a chance to collect ourselves in moments of anxiousness. Think of exhaling as ridding the body of negativity.

You are in control. “All that we are is the result of what we have thought” (Zen and the Art of Happiness).  Redirecting our thoughts in a more positive direction is profoundly effective. It can be challenging at first, so pick a simple and positive mantra to recite to yourself. Choose something that you truly believe, and mean it when you say it: “I am in control…” While you redirect your thoughts, breathe deeply, think of something you are thankful for, remember something you know you truly love about your individual self. Give yourself credit, you have more control than anxiety does over you. You are the only person who has control of changes made in YOUR life. Isn’t that empowering?

Please keep in mind that I am not a doctor. I chose these four strategies because they have provided me with positive results when dealing with my own personal anxiety. If you feel as though your anxiety has too much of an affect on your life, do not be afraid to talk to someone or go see your doctor for further advice.  I would really love to hear what other methods have helped you alleviate the anxiety or stress in your life. Please feel free to comment below.

**One more thing. Here’s an interesting article I found about how regular exercise has been proved to reduce patient’s anxiety by 20 percent. There are no excuses! Get to it!

Cat Juliano

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