Last week we looked at the thinking traps that can lead us astray and contribute towards our anxiety. This week we explore the healthy lifestyle changes we can make which serve to reduce our anxiety.
Lifestyle Choices to Reduce the Effects of Anxiety
Offer your anxiety understanding
The first critical step to counteract your anxiety is somewhat counter intuitive and comes from teachings in self-compassion. Surprisingly, in order to overcome anxiety and ‘win the war’ you must first accept its presence in your life and recognize it is your minds way of trying to protect you against a perceived threat or coming to any type of harm. Once you appreciate this you can have a greater level of compassion and understanding towards your anxiety rather than resisting it which often only causes your symptoms to increase. Remember, in psychology, what you resist, persists!
Like most things, anxiety is profoundly affected by exercise. Just five minutes of continuous exercise has been found to reduce the effects of anxiety, so just think what half an hour could do. If you are averse to high impact exercise psychologist studies have found that a ten minute walk could be as effective as a forty-five minute workout and relieve symptoms for up to several hours. Furthermore, if you exercise regularly the effects of anxiety can reduce long term. To explore how to incorporate exercise into your life on a regular basis please read my article titled ‘New Year, New You’.