Managing anxiety is possible. Living with chronic anxiety is not easy and mornings can be especially difficult if we don't manage anxiety.
Waking up in a state of panic and anxiety is not a great way to start the day.
Our morning vibe often sets the tone for the rest of the day. So waking up feeling anxious doesn’t only effect our morning, but often impacts our entire day.
Here are some simple things we can do every morning which help reduce and manage anxiety and stressful feelings. The key to having a good day is to control and manage anxiety and not let it control us.
What Anxiety Feels Like
If we experience one or more of these symptoms listed below regularly for 6+ months, then we’re likely experiencing a generalized anxiety disorder.
- Uncontrollable worry
- Muscle Tension / Pain
- Fast Heartbeat
- Difficulty Sleeping / Insomnia
- Difficulty Concentrating
- Feeling on Edge
- Feeling Irritable
10 Effective Ways to Manage Anxiety
1. Practice Focused, Deep Breathing to Manage Anxiety
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the last ones we actually consider! To manage anxiety, practice deep breathing. The great part is tool can be used anywhere and at any time. Deep breathing has many benefits including helping to manage anxiety.
When we take a deep breath in; our heart rate increases slightly.
Next, as we breathe out, your heart rate decreases.
Repeating this pattern of a breath in and a breath out will naturally brings our heart rate more in sync with our breath.
During this process, our brain releases natural calming chemicals called endorphins which help us feel calmer and less anxious - it’s that simple. Deep breathing is one tool we can use to manage anxiety.
2. Quiet Time Helps Manage Anxiety
Quiet time allows us to do some internal planning and planning helps things run smoother.
Taking the time to think (but not over-think) about imminent challenges we’re facing and considering the options we have - helps reduce the feelings of overwhelm and helps us manage anxiety.
Having too much time may lead to repetitive and out of control thoughts but taking a bit of time in the morning to come up with a plan for the day helps bring some clarity. Clarity and focus both help reduce and mange anxiety.
3. Question Your Thoughts to Manage Anxiety
Negative thoughts are like weeds - they start out and multiply before you know it. The only natural effective way of getting rid of a weed is to pull it out by its root. So you’ll need to do the same with these negative thoughts.
- Ask yourself if the thought you are having is true?
- What proof do you have to prove show it’s true?
- Now think of the proof you have to disprove the point.
This exercise forces us to get out of our head and take a neutral stand. This exercise helps us manage anxiety as it places less power on the event or circumstance.
4. Get Prepared to Manage Anxiety
Truthfully, anxiety is draining! It zaps the positive mental energy out of us - so we need to do anything we can do to conserve that positive mental energy and manage anxiety! It’ll make a big difference.
Some suggestions for preparing ahead include:
- Grinding the coffee beans and prepping our coffee machine with water and coffee grinds the night before. Best of all, if we can schedule the coffee machine to start at the time we wake up so our hot coffee is waiting for us to get the day started.
- Pick our work outfit - planning what we are going to wear reduces the number of decisions we’ll need to make first thing in the morning. We'll awake feeling more organized and in control and this simple exercise helps manage anxiety.
- Plan Meals - try keeping things organized the night before - prepare lunch and if possible snacks for the next day. Some breakfast options can also be prepped ahead of time but simply knowing what we're going to eat helps - once again, less decisions, more control.
5. Listen to Upbeat Music and Positive Media to Manage Anxiety
Try listening to the song ‘Happy’ by Pharrell Williams and not feel happy - it’s hard because he just makes us feel good - listening to the lyrics:
“Huh, because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof
Because I'm happy
Clap along if you feel like happiness is the truth”
Listen to any upbeat music that promotes good vibes and lifts our spirits and helps manage anxiety.
Try to avoid social media - although these sites may not necessarily make us feel anxious - they may spark some comparisons or possibly envy - which don’t help when we are trying to lift ourselves out of our anxious state.
6. Go for a 15 min Walk to Manage Anxiety
There’s very little that a good cardio walk can’t cure.
Some studies show that exercise can work quickly to elevate depressed moods in many people as exercise helps with mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress.
Try to incorporate exercise consistently in each day because where stress and anxiety strips the body and brain of energy and focus, exercise is a healer and is very effective at reducing fatigue, improving alertness and concentration and helping with overall cognitive function and helps manage anxiety.
7. Use Aromatherapy Can Help Manage Anxiety
Aromatherapy has been around for thousands of years and scientists continue to study the benefits.
It involve the use of essential oils that are extracted from plants where the oils can be used in many ways but by inhaling the vapors from the oil promotes relaxation and can help manage anxiety.
Here are some essential oils that are popular for their soothing qualities:
Lavender: lavender has been used for centuries for its calming effect and studies show lavender oil can alleviate the symptoms associated with anxiety and depression.
Vetiver: this essential oil is known for its antioxidant properties and is believed to fight free radicals and remove toxins and pollutants from the body to improve well-being. It's also known to improve emotional health and in fact is included in many ADHD and ADD treatments in adults and children. One study done on rats showed vetiver was as effective as diazepam (a medication prescribed for anxiety).
Bergamot: this floral aroma is actually a component in Earl Grey tea and has been shown to improve mood, reduce fatigue and lower levels of stress hormones. Bergamot has also been shown to have a calming effect and helps many manage anxiety.
Chamomile: Roman Chamomile has been used for centuries for its calming qualities. A study found chamomile could reduce anxiety of patients in the ICU better than conventional methods as it's been shown to have a soothing effect on mood and is effective in helping manage anxiety.
8. Take Natural Vitamins and Supplements to Reduce and Manage Anxiety
There are a number of vitamins that people with anxiety are deficient in which include:
- Ashwagandha - also known as Withania Somnifera - this is an adaptogen and Ayurvedic remedy. Clinical trials show KSM66 Ashwagandha can lower feelings of stress and anxiety by nearly 79% so taking this ancient herb helps manage anxiety. KSM66 Ashwagandha is the prime ingredient in our Shanti anxiety and sleep supplement and you can Click here to find out more about Shanti.
- Bacopa - Bacopa Monnieri is effective in reducing high levels of the stress hormone Cortisol which negatively impact our mood and worsen anxiety symptoms. Bacopa helps to manage anxiety and is another ingredient in our Shanti anxiety and sleep supplement, you can Click here to find out more about Shanti.
In the long term, we need to pay attention to what triggers feelings of anxiety. Knowing these triggers can help us manage anxiety. Some of these triggers can be:
Having a chronic illness can trigger anxiety or make it worse so speak to a health care team and engage with the doctor on how best to manage the diagnosis.
Certain prescriptions and over the counter medications can also trigger anxiety. They may contain ingredients that make us feel uneasy. These medications include birth control pills, cough medication, weight loss medication. Talk to a health care provider about these drugs and look for potential alternatives if they trigger anxiety.
A study conducted in 2010 found people with panic or social anxiety disorders are particularly sensitive to the anxiety-inducing effects of caffeine.
Try to reduce the intake of caffeine and consider non-caffeinated options if caffeine does indeed trigger anxiety.
Not eating meals on time may cause our blood sugar to drop leaving us feeling jittery and hungry. This could also trigger anxiety. Try to eat balanced meals to meet energy and nutritional requirements. Carry healthy snacks to prevent your sugar levels from dipping which leaves us feeling nervous, agitated and anxious. Food can effect our mood so be prepared and don't skip meals!
Thoughts have a lot of control over your emotional state. Negative thoughts easily snowball into more negative thoughts and we can end up feeling down, frustrated, stressed and anxious.
If we find yourself often going on this downward spiral, practice positive self-talk, cognitive based therapy or pick up a book on how to control your thoughts and create a positive mindset. We have a number of programs that help you with this - and we offer free coaching to get you started and keep you on track. Click here to find out more.
Worrying about paying bills or saving for the future can definitely trigger anxiety. Unexpected bills or fears of not having enough or funny enough having too much can also trigger anxiety.
Learn to manage these types of triggers by speaking to a financial advisor. If you’re looking for a program on how to create a wealth mind set and look for opportunities to improve your financial situation.
Having arguments or disagreements in relationships can trigger anxiety. Learn conflict resolution strategies. Speaking to a specialist in this area helps figure out how we can manage these feelings.
Being in a room full of people and having to make conversation can be nerve wrecking for many people and can trigger anxiety. Avoiding social events is not a solution and you miss opportunities to meet people and grow. Consider taking a friend to an event to keep you company. This will ease some of that anxiety and help us feel confident and comfortable.
Occasional anxiety is common - we all feel it from time to time. But when these feelings of worry, dread and fear are consistently there - it’s time to get some help. Anxiety can often be treated with the help of a professional. We can manage anxiety with the help of a number of tools including deep breathing, positive self-talk, being prepared, aromatherapy and vitamins and supplements that are proven to help reduce feelings of anxiety.