For most people, anxiety is a short-term condition that simply comes and goes. Maybe it happens the day before an important business meeting or a first date. However, for certain people, anxiety never goes away completely. For these people, anxiety–constant worrying and negative dialogues–is part of their daily lives.
Learn How to Effectively Manage Anxiety
If this sounds like you, the most important objective is to learn how to control anxiety symptoms so they don’t control you. It may be helpful to consider anxiety as a chronic condition that requires constant monitoring. We recommend you follow a list of daily anti-anxiety strategies to ensure your mental state is in check.
Here are 9 things you can do every day to remain calm and beat anxiety.
I. Understand and Outsmart Your Unhappy Thoughts
1. Stop thinking about the “what-ifs”.
What if people don’t like it? What if I can’t finish on time? What if I get fired? Overthinking is one of the most common anxiety symptoms. People with chronic anxiety tend to obsess over dangers and worst-case scenarios that don’t even exist to the point of crippling fear. The first step is to become aware that you default into worst-case scenarios. Once you notice this bad habit, you can avoid being trapped in an endless cycle of what-ifs.
2. Take control of your inner dialogue.
We talk to ourselves every day, whether out loud or inside our own heads. Refrain from using unhealthy words like hate, ugly, always, never, stupid, unlovable, worst, and broken. Replace black-or-white language with neutral terms that are not related to senses like know, think, understand, motivate, learn, change, decide, and able.
3. Understand the Cognitive-Behavioral Triangle.
People with anxiety often feel that others have “attacked” their feelings. In reality, feelings always come after a thought. Therefore, becoming aware of your thought process is critical. Note that many thoughts are based on core beliefs or internalized scripts that are difficult to change. If you tend to overreact to things easily, it’s likely due to unhealthy feelings leading to unhealthy behaviors. In those moments, remember this diagram: Thoughts –> Feelings –> Behaviors
For advice on rewiring your thoughts, read this in-depth article.
II. Strategies to Manage Your Mind and Behavior
4. Practice both meditation and mindfulness.
Successful meditation allows you to “clear” your mind. While mindfulness allows you to notice what your mind and body is doing or feeling. In other words, mindfulness teaches you how to pay attention to paying attention. For those battling anxiety, mindfulness helps you notice your body’s stress signals so that you can practice feeling calm.
5. Be present.
By far one of the best anxiety hacks is to give 100% attentionto the current task at hand. For example, when you’re working on a presentation for work, put everything aside and focus all your attention to that task. Don’t try to check emails and cook dinner simultaneously. According to a recent time.com article: “Every time you switch your focus from one thing to another, there’s something called a switch-cost. It can take your brain 15 to 25 minutes to get back to where it was before stopping to check the email.”
When you focus on the task at hand, you stop worrying about the outcomes or the what-ifs. You also work more productively, allowing you to feel better about yourself and reducing stress and anxiety along the way.
6. Work fast and efficiently.
Don’t rush yourself or stress over how fast you’re working. This would be counterproductive. Instead, block off time at the office to do what Cal Newport calls “deep work”–cognitively demanding tasks that are done without distractions. When you learn to work quickly and efficiently, you save time, learn to trust your skills and talents, won’t stress about perfection, and reduce anxiety levels tremendously.
III. Habits for a Healthy Lifestyle
7. Do breathing exercises.
Slow and controlled deep breathing is the foundation of calm. At various times throughout the day breath in and out slowly to relax. Try the 4-4-4 breathing exercise:
- Inhale for 4 seconds
- Hold for 4 seconds
- Exhale for 4 seconds
Let each breath flow in and out effortlessly. Repeat this exercise four times to calm your mind.
8. Drink more water.
Studies have shown that dehydration leads to stress. When you’re stressed, your heart rate and breathing rate increases, leading to a loss of fluid and even greater dehydration. This vicious cycle continues until you drink water.
Water has natural calming properties, which soothes your body during times of intense stress. Overall, water makes your body and mind feel better, which positively impacts your anxiety levels.
9. Develop a better sleep routine.
In 2015, the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) issued new recommendations for sleep. Here are the adult recommendations:
- Young adults (18-25): 7-9 hours
- Adults (26-64): 7-9 hours
- Senior adults (65+): 7-8 hours
Getting a good night’s rest doesn’t mean you automatically are anxiety-free. However, not getting sufficient rest can increase your anxiety and stress. A recent study suggests that a sleepless night can raise anxiety by up to 30%.
Make sure you practice following a good sleep routine. When you wake up, you will be energized to tackle your list of worries and minimize unnecessary anxiety. Best of all, you’ll have the energy to get things done and feel better about your productive day.
Can Kratom Help with Anxiety?
According to Kratom Society, kratom increases production of dopamine in the body, a natural chemical that makes the user feel happier, more confident and relaxed. Excessive amounts of dopamine can lead to feelings of euphoria rather than just a slight boost in energy. For this reason, small doses of Kratom is recommended for those experiencing anxiety.
Studies have indicated that Kratom stimulates the mu-opioid receptors in the brain, directly effecting anxiety levels. The plant also affects other brain receptors that affect adrenalin and serotonin levels, both of which play a role in anxiety regulation.
Can I use Kratom for Pain and Relief?
Some studies suggest kratom also acts as an opioid blocker to eliminate feelings of pain or tension in a similar way anti-anxiety medication works. This is the reason why many users have recommended kratom for pain relief.
Despite all these benefits, we still lack clinical studies on the full capacity of Kratom, especially as it pertains to anxiety and other medical conditions. However, many users have reported on reddit and twitter that Kratom has positively affected their social anxiety issues.