If you are one of the roughly 40 million people in the U.S. who suffer from an anxiety disorder, you know that managing it is not always easy. Knowing how to find instant relief when you are feeling stressed and anxious can seem like an uphill battle. As an experienced Bethesda, MD therapist such as one from Lindsey Hoskins & Associates can tell you, you can try basic tips to help you manage your anxiety symptoms. Try the following tips the next time you are feeling affected by anxiety.
Take a Walk
Going outside and taking in fresh air can do a lot to lift your spirits and minimize your anxiety. Changing your environment can dramatically boost your mood and clear your mind from stress. A brisk and short walk can get your blood flowing, loosening your muscles, and getting rid of the tension in your body. A few minutes of walking each day is a simple and efficient way to distract yourself from anxious thoughts you may be having. Making this a regular part of your life can serve to diminish the stress that you may have been feeling.
Spend Time With Pets
If you have pets, a quick cuddle or playtime session can help to reduce your stress levels. Studies have shown that spending time with animals can release chemicals in the brain which promote comfort and feelings of content, helping to calm and soothe your mind. Spending time with your pet or a therapy animal can help your body feel less tense and can cause your heart rate to slow down. With so many positive psychological benefits, you can go ahead and schedule in playtime with your furry friend.
Turn to a Hobby
About 30 minutes of recreational activities or hobbies can have a positive impact on the brain. Whether it’s gardening, hiking, cycling, painting or playing a musical instrument, engaging in hobbies of your choice can help significantly reduce stress and boost your mood. Find something you enjoy and set aside time to develop your craft or skill. Even a few minutes a day is enough.
It may seem like a small act, but deep breathing exercises can have a profound impact on your stress level. Being mindful of your breathing not only assists in managing your anxiety, but loosens your muscles and reduces inflammation in the body. Try a few minutes of rhythmic, controlled breathing each day and see if it alleviates your stress.
There are plenty of ways, large and small, that you can reduce your anxiety. What works for other people may not be as effective for you, so take the time to explore different activities and exercises. Managing anxiety does not involve a one size fits all approach, and what works for you one day may not work on a different day. It is a lifelong process that you have to continually navigate. For more information about treatment options for anxiety and stress, talk to a licensed therapist today.