health, life

Fighting Anxiety on the Daily

We all get stressed at some point. Some people deal with it well, adjust their schedules to accomodate some rest time; others buckle under the pressure of daily stressors and end up letting it dictate their lives; some simply refuse to admit they’re stressed until it becomes too much and consumes them as well. There are also people who encounter more than just “stress,” though. We have general anxiety. Small things may send us into unpredictable panics, irritable moods, or antisocial and depressed states. Sometimes, it isn’t triggered at all.

If stress or anxiety is something that doesn’t play a huge role in your life — maybe you get a little anxious before big meetings or tests, but not really on a daily basis — this article probably won’t be super helpful. But for those of us who have to deal with anxiety on a daily basis, as it threatens to keep us home or convinces us there’s no use in reaching our goals, I have spent the last year of my own life testing out different “remedies” for anxiety that don’t involve therapy or medication.

First, there are activity-based remedies. This is everything from exercise to playing an instrument, spending time outdoors to drawing or painting. It took me a while to figure out what my personal choice would be, but everyone who faces anxiety should try to make time in their schedule for one of these stress-relieving hobbies.

Exercise is probably the easiest, most diverse option. You could take a yoga class once or twice a week to reduce your levels of anxiety, or you could try something more active like running or weight lifting. All of them will focus some of your negative energy into the workout, releasing endorphins and making you happier while also giving you the benefit of improving your physical fitness as well.

For those of us who are less athletically-inclined, artistic pursuits often have the same anxiety-reducing effects. Your energy gets focused into the piece — it can be a drawing or painting, a song played on your favorite instrument, a poem written in a private journal.

Taking your mind away from the daily thoughts that play into your anxiety is the key.

All those options do, unfortunately, only work for people who have the option of taking time out of their schedule to use on one of these activities instead. If that isn’t an option, there are other remedies that you have use as they are convenient throughout the day; some, while you sleep. These are the environment-based remedies.

Most of the environment-based remedies I have tested involve essential oils. These provide simple solutions to a lot of different things, including treating anxiety. Scents like lavendar and eucalyptus are know for reducing stress and having a soothing effect. Citrus and ginger, on the other hand, can lift your mood and give you a little energy back. Used at the right times, these oils can help influence your mood throughout the day. Play with different ways of exposing yourself to the oils: if you invest in 100% oil, it is consumable, can be combined with soap or lotions, or can be used consistenly through diffusers that you either inhale directly or leave in the room with you. These can get a little costly, depending on how often you want to use them, but one bottle should last you a long time and they are highly effective.

In addition to oils, I have tested another environment changer: a weighted blanket. These come in various sizes just like regular comforters, but they weigh anywhere from 10 to 30 pounds! They are designed to both mimick the sensation of receiving a hug and to prevent excessive movement, which can help people with anxiety sleep or relax more effectively. I saved this for last because it is probably my favorite remedy out of all I have listed, and it doesn’t require any extra time or energy on my part. Rather, it gives me time and energy back, since I am sleeping better and waking up happier and well-rested.

If there are other remedies I haven’t mentioned here, feel free to comment some additional ones! Also, let me know how you feel about the ones I have listed here, if you have tried any!

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