Anxiety sucks. Unfortunately, it tends to pop out its ugly head during stressful times (*cough cough* new semester *cough cough*). Not only that, but not everyone has easy access to a therapist or other medical means. Don't fret, though! There are plenty of ways to help yourself when your anxiety feels like it's at its peak.
Disclaimer: I'm not a mental health professional, I'm just sharing some tips that help me whenever I'm dealing with excessive anxiety. Hopefully one of these tips can help you too!
1. Take a breath and meditateGiphy
Meditation is actually fairly simple to do, and it can be done basically anywhere. It's not just for spiritual enlightenment — the simple act of solely focusing on your breathing can do wonders for your anxiety. If it's your first time meditating, you may find your mind trying to wander; it's important to bring your thoughts back to your breathing when you catch yourself wandering. There are some really great apps that help users with breathing exercises for meditation just by typing "anxiety" in the App Store search bar (and most of them are free!).
2. Stay away from caffeineGiphy
This one is hard to stick to, but it really does help. Coffee is great when you're running on three hours of sleep, and you've got five classes and eight hours of homework to get through. For people with anxiety? It'll get your adrenaline going and your mind raising. Save those milk tea or coffee runs for low-stress days.
3. Drink hot, herbal tea
Tea is not only great for your physical health but for your mental health, too. A hot cup of chamomile tea is soothing and a good way to start your day or prepare for a night's rest. It relaxes muscles and helps with insomnia. If you're not a huge fan of the taste of chamomile, there are a lot of different herbal teas with different flavors to choose from, such as peppermint or fruit teas, like lemon and hibiscus.
4. Distract your mind
If your mind is racing with random fears, it's hard to focus on anything else. It's difficult to do homework or get some sleep when your anxiety kicks in. Try putting in some earphones and listening to something. Some people require complete silence when working, sleeping, or whatever it may be, but sometimes it really helps to have some background noise. Personally, I like to listen to podcasts when I'm working on schoolwork and instrumental music when I'm going to sleep. Some people find white noise to be really effective, such as sounds of rain or waves rolling onto the shore. Reading, cooking, or focusing on crafts are also effective and distracting. Whatever floats your boat!
5. Break a sweatGiphy
Even fifteen minutes of cardio can be very beneficial. While exercising, your brain releases chemicals that fight stress! Your heart also pumps more oxygen to your brain and chemicals are released that help your overall mood. Now if running isn't your thing, there are other options you can choose, such as the elliptical or diving into the pool to swim a couple of laps.
Obviously, these tips aren't cures for anxiety, but they can be beneficial. I hope you guys try them out if you haven't already!