With anxiety affecting over 40 million people in the United States, those of us struggling with anxiety, along with researchers in the field of mental and emotional health are beginning to narrow down more holistic means of treatment. Of course, sometimes medication is a more effective option, but professionals have traced more practice-based treatments and their results. We found 4 of those effective practices to be particularly helpful.
To begin with, studies show that the #1 contributor to depression and anxiety is feelings of disconnection. As human beings, we crave personal connection, but technology has trained us out of it. Look around at any bar, coffee shop or generally public space and count the number of people buried in their phones. In the past 10 years, the draw to more sensational, eye-catching technology like cell phones, has quickly put the basic human need for connection based activities at the bottom of the list. But overriding this habit to distract with our phones could be the very thing we need to feel richer connections, higher quality relationships, and a deeper sense of intimacy- all things proven to lower anxiety and increase feelings of peace and joy.
Moreover, often energy manifests as anxiety, leaving you feeling like the issue is in your mind. However, research shows that chemicals released in your brain during and directly after vigorous exercise help counter the negative affects of anxiety and stabilize moods. So, if you’re someone who’s feeling that swell of anxiety inside, strap on those spin shoes, book a hot yoga class, or hit a circuit training class. You’ll feel a difference even after the first session.
We know, it sounds a little cliché. But, research shows that being deliberate about what we focus our attention on is directly correlated to how we manage our stress and anxiety levels. We love this quote “where attention goes, energy flows”. Making deliberate choices like going to a comedy show with a friend or seeing a funny movie are great ways to or spending time in activities that bring you joy.
Lastly, quiet time comes in so many varieties that it’s almost impossible not to accomplish this one. Your down time can be spent journaling, reading, breathing or in meditation or in a spiritual practice of your choosing. And, if you’re lucky enough to live in a larger city, chances are you can easily find meditation dens or mindfulness-based classes in your neighborhood. With these services rising in popularity across the country, you’re bound to be in good hands and good company.