Nathalie is our Digital Brand Manager at Aliat
Anxiety. It’s a word we hear very often now, and for a very good reason. With rising housing costs, higher student debt, increased use of social media and more competition in the job market, Millennials are among the most anxious of the generations. When left untreated anxiety can impact your mental and physical health, relationships, and even work performance.
Fortunately, anxiety is a highly treatable condition. There are many lifestyle changes, medications, or a combination of both, that can reduce or eliminate stress and anxious thoughts and behaviors. After being diagnosed with anxiety at a young age, I am ready to share my top tips on how to deal with anxious feelings and get back to feeling like yourself again.
Dealing with Anxiety: 6 Tips to Help Calm Your Mind
- Check Up on Your Diet- Increasing research shows that what we are eating has a high impact on our mental health. Use a journal to write down what you eat and how you feel emotionally and try eliminating foods you suspect are catalysts for negativity. Food like refined sugars and unhealthy carbs are notorious for causing inflammation which directly affects your brain function.
- Get Moving- Regular exercise releases endorphins. Endorphins are our bodies natural painkillers and they lead to better rest and a reduction in stress. Try combining your favorite exercises for a total of at least 30-60 minutes, 3 times per week to help reduce stress. Personally, I enjoy practicing HIIT workouts to get my heart rate up.
- Practice Mindfulness- Part of anxiety is having worrisome thoughts that have no productive value. Spending at least 60 minutes a week (about 10 minutes per day) practicing mindfulness activities can help reduce racing thoughts. Yoga and meditation are excellent ways to calm the mind. Apps like Headspace can help with guided mediation.
Related: A Police Officers’ Advice On Stress In The Workplace
- Keep a Gratitude Journal- Spending 5 minutes writing down the things you are grateful for each day can train your brain to focus on the present and cultivate more positive thought patterns. Try to find small things to be grateful for, like your morning coffee or a good conversation with a close friend. On a day when you are feeling anxious go back and read your gratitude lists to help ease your mind.
- Get Lots of Quality Sleep- This may be a tough one for the night owls. Getting to bed earlier and getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep is extremely important for your brain function. It may be temping to continue watching Netflix when the next episode is just seconds away but turning off your TV and letting your brain rest is vital. Your body and mind use this time to re-charge so they are ready to go the next day.
- Seek Outside Help When Needed- Do not be afraid of the false stigma’s surrounding therapy. Reaching out for help from a mental health specialist when anxiety begins to interfere with daily tasks, relationships and work life is strongly recommended. Mental Health Specialists can offer you a wide array of therapeutic practices, and some can even prescribe medication if they find it necessary. Check your healthcare coverage, as many providers can help cover costs. Many employers may even offer an Employee Assistance Program through their benefits package.
Bonus Tip…Dance Party: When you’re feeling especially low, turn on some music and have a 30-second dance party! This can be done solo or with a friend. Dancing is typically done when a person is experiencing joy and happiness. By doing this, you can trick your brain into thinking the same thing.
At Aliat, Health is at the core of what we do. To learn about our Benefits, including The Employee Assistance Program, a free resource available to all Aliat co-employees and their family members as they deal with life’s stress, visit myaliat.com/benefits.