Making Lifestyle Changes to Stop Anxiety

 

  • Develop your support group. You may often turn to family and friends when you are feeling anxious. However, you may find it helpful to identify specific people who you feel the most comfortable talking to and confiding in.

    • Learn how the people in your life affect you. Some people may make your anxiety worse because they are anxious themselves. For example, if you have a friend who worries as much as you do, then she may not be the best person to call when you feel anxious.

    Eliminate stimulants. Stimulants, such as caffeine and nicotine can make anxiety worse. If you drink a lot of caffeinated beverages, then try to reduce your caffeine intake. If you smoke or use other tobacco products, then do everything you can to quit smoking.

    • If you are a smoker, quit smoking as soon as possible. In addition to increasing anxiety, smoking can cause serious health problems such as heart attack, stroke, cancer, and emphysema. Ask your doctor about smoking cessation programs in your area.
    • Try not to exceed more than 200 mg of caffeine per day. This is about the same as two eight ounce cups of coffee.

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    Limit your alcohol intake. Alcohol may make you feel better for a little while, but it can make your anxiety worse later on. Limit your alcohol intake and do not use alcohol to deal with anxious feelings.

    • If you tend to binge drink or to drink in excess in response to your anxiety, then you may need to seek help to stop drinking. Talk to your doctor about treatment options.

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    Follow a balanced diet. Some studies have shown a link between eating habits and anxiety levels.Therefore, cutting out unhealthy, processed foods and opting for more healthy whole foods may affect your anxiety levels in a positive way. Strive for balanced, healthy meals that include fruits, vegetables, lean protein, and complex carbohydrates.

    • Include some fish in your diet, such as salmon, which include omega-3s. Consuming foods that contain omega-3s on a regular basis may help with anxiety.
    • Try to reduce your intake of candy, sugary cereals, baked goods, and other high-sugar foods. Instead, opt for a piece of fruit when you want something sweet.
    • Include complex carbohydrates in your diet, such as oatmeal, quinoa, and whole wheat bread. These sources of carbohydrates may increase the level of serotonin in your brain and calm you down as a result.

    Sleep more. Not getting enough sleep can make you feel more anxious, so it is important to get about eight hours of sleep every night.Try to go to bed at the same time every night and do things to prepare yourself for sleep. These might include:

    • dimming the lights
    • taking a warm bath
    • listening to some white noise or soothing music
    • reading a book

 

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