Say Goodbye to Anxiety in Six Simple Steps

Holland Ramos, News Editor

Photo by – Marcus Redder

Anxiety in some shape or form is something that 260 million people across the globe suffer with. For some, dealing with this feeling of apprehension may literally make you feel like the world is crashing down on you, while others may be facing this feeling on occasion. Regardless of the severity or cause of ones anxiety, we can all agree that a world without it is a world we’d like to be in. 

Luckily for all anxious people around the globe, you can incorporate small, easy and valuable steps in your everyday life to manage and vanish your anxiety. Those with anxiety 9 times out of 10 are no stranger to surfing the web looking for a diagnosis, so if you feel you have tried everything but are still having racing thoughts and chess pains…”everything” may be an exaggeration. Below, you’ll find 10 small steps you can begin today, and like everything else, practice makes perfect! 

  1. Breathe….just breathe 

We’ve all been told to “just breathe” from someone who has never had to look anxiety in the eye. When done correctly (hyperventilating doesn’t count) your anxiety can  indeed be exhaled out. 

“ I learned when I was little to take deep breathes but I never actually did it. When I started to stop and breathe I noticed I felt less stressed” says Sophomore Jadin Gonzalez

To begin this process stop what you’re doing and sit with your eyes shut and your attention towards your breathing. To slow down your breathing inhale for 5 seconds, hold for 5 seconds, and exhale for another 5, preferably through the nostrils. After repeating this a few times your breath should begin to regulate while simultaneously relaxing your thoughts.

2. Get your gut health in check

You read that right! Your gut could be the stem of your anxious thoughts and feelings. The bacteria found in your gut are key players in your mood and mental health. They can relieve the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and stress, but they can contribute to  making them worse. 

Your colon is home to trillions of bacterial cells that make up a entire ecosystem which we call the gut microbiome, their activities influence your brain as well as many other things. A study from Harvard health has shown that cutting out processed junk foods, alcohol, sugary beverages, refined oils, and artificial sweeteners may “aid the growth of healthy gut bacteria. Cutting out foods containing gluten or common stimulants of digestive symptoms may also help”.

3. Hit the hay sack

With severe cases of anxiety getting a good night sleep may seem like a fantasy. Although it may seem like a dream to just sleep your anxiety off, sleep deprivation is a huge anxiety contributor. Inadequate shuteye boosts the brain’s anticipatory reactions, which causes a inflation for overall anxiety levels. 

When well rested, we allow specific regions that help regulate emotions rejuvenate and keep us less sensitive to that feeling we call anxiety. No amount of cups of coffee in the morning will make up for sleepless nights.

4. Get your body moving

While having an anxiety episode staying in bed is often more favorable then forcing yourself to workout. Although this takes a lot of strength to do while carrying around this feeling of anxiousness, the end result is worth it. Not only will it give you an outlet to clear your headspace, pump up the endorphins, it will also help you achieve that good nights rest you need. Research has found that those who exercise vigorously and regularly are 25 percent less likely to develop an anxiety disorder within a five years period. During the course of your workout you may also notice your anxiety symptoms vanish.

“ Anytime I feel myself in a irritable or anxious mood I force myself to get up and get moving because I know by the end I’ll feel a lot better then I did when I was doing nothing” says Senior Santiago Cid.

 Look better and feel better at the same time….a win win

5. Befriend your anxiety 

Yes…you read that right! Although it sounds strange, building a relationship and understanding your anxiety is crucial. This allows you to understand and accept your triggers, allowing yourself to become more aware of when the anxiety may be beginning to rise. 

Anxiety triggers are common situations or actions that lead to the feeling of panic and anxiety. Once familiar with these triggers, you can begin to avoid these things or start your coping process.

6. Reach out to someone

As alone in this as you may feel, their will always be at least one other person who can.

Fighting this fight can make you feel alone or very helpless, but by taking a quick look around you’ll realize you aren’t.

“ The feeling of anxiety has been no stranger to me throughout my life. While it’s easy to sit back and complain about how awful I feel inside, I learned the hard way that unless I put in the work and try to help myself it, will follow me in my life” says Junior Alfonsina Santucho.