Three Habits to Help Decrease Anxiety

June 20, 2018

Life can be stressful and full of anxiety at the best of times. When events conspire to make things more difficult than they need to be, we may experience dramatic blows to well-being. For people experiencing chronic anxiety, any form of social interaction can be difficult, and even asking a close friend for tips when decluttering your home may seem like a daunting task. If things are allowed to spiral too far, quality of life can be affected. This means isolation can easily occur. Serious, ongoing anxiety is best dealt with by a combination of factors, including therapeutic techniques such as CBT, and potentially medication. That being said, lifestyle factors play a major part in the development of such conditions, and a few tweaks or positive habits can have a striking effect. Here are some habits that can help you decrease your anxiety.

Quit caffeine and all other stimulants

Caffeine and other stimulants such as nicotine, or Adderall, may help to give you that “boost” that you feel you need in order to conduct yourself productively from day to day, but they also come with numerous potential downsides, especially for people with chronic anxiety. Stimulants lead, among other things, to a chronic elevation in the body’s stress hormone production. This vastly magnifies any pre-existing anxiety, and makes things seem far more daunting than they should be. Stimulants can also lead to the exhaustion of the body’s adrenal glands, a reduction in sensitivity to dopamine (one of the primary “reward” hormones), and sleepless nights, which in turn compound the issue. If you’re dealing with anxiety, quitting caffeine and all stimulants (and gritting your teeth through the withdrawal processes, which can last a while longer than you might expect) can make a tremendous difference.

Declutter and organise your home

When you’re in a tidy, organised, and familiar environment, your brain is much more likely to perceive that you’re safe and that there’s no need for stress and anxiety. Or, at least, not as much of it. When your surroundings are messy, cluttered, and chaotic, your brain is likely to likely to register the environment as threatening and untamed. Decluttering and organising your home is a way of strengthening your sense of comfort and security, in the place where you should feel most comfortable and secure. This, in turn, can help to alleviate anxiety. It is, in other words, well worth seeking out tips when decluttering your home in order to get the best result possible.

Begin daily positive visualisation and meditation

Research in the field of neuroplasticity has shown that the brain can change its structure and connections, throughout life, based on our habits and behaviour. According to Norman Doidge, author of “The Brain That Changes Itself”, research has even gone a step further, and suggests that imagining things in sufficient detail, and with enough intensity, can change the structure of the brain. People who only visualise themselves exercising, for example, actually become stronger. Begin to perform daily positive visualisations. Imagine yourself being comfortable and popular in social settings. Imagine feeling secure and stress-free. Performing these exercises often enough will begin to establish habits of emotion that can help you to overcome your anxiety. Throwing in some meditation can further help, by creating distance between you and your thoughts.

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