Anxiety can happen to anyone. Even if you have never struggled with anxious thoughts before, new surroundings, a stressful situation, or seemingly nothing at all can bring on a sudden bout of anxiety. While anxiety is normal, it is certainly unpleasant. To help ease anxiety symptoms, one of our new therapists, Jessica Sullivan, has suggestested a few things anyone can do to feel a little better.
What is Anxiety?
Before we discuss how to ease anxiety, it’s important to know what anxiety is. Anxiety is defined as “intense, excessive, and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. Fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating, and feeling tired may occur.” However, the worries brought on by anxiety don’t have to be linked to things going on in your life. Oftentimes, people find themselves anxious about things that are not actively happening, things completely out of their control, or seemingly nothing. Whether you can place the cause of your anxiety or not, the feelings are real and valid.
3 Ways to Ease Anxiety
1. Stay Hydrated
Making sure your body is hydrated may sound strange when it comes to relieving anxious thoughts, but ensuring your body is taken care of can go a long way. Jessica suggests drinking half your weight in ounces of water. For example, if a person weighs 100 pounds, drinking 50 ounces of water per day, plus an additional 8 ounces of water per every hour of exercise, can help relieve anxiety symptoms and keep you hydrated.
2. Do Some Diaphragm Breathing
Taking some long, smooth breaths from your diaphragm can go a long way. When a person becomes anxious, breathing can speed up and become strained, which only makes the anxiety worse. By spending some time taking long, intentional breaths from your diaphragm, you can ease your mind and anxiety. Jessica recommends diaphragm breathing for 2-5 minutes twice a day.
3. Practice Good Sleep Hygiene
Sleep is important for everyone’s health, including their mental health. Sleep gives your body time to heal and your brain time to process and regulate. While sleep needs are different for everyone, Jessica suggests around 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night for optimal benefits.
Bonus Tip: Consider Mental Health Counseling
Anxiety is normal, but that doesn’t mean you have to live with it your entire life. Working with a mental health counselor can help you process your anxiety and learn helpful tools for coping with anxious and stressful situations. For help in the Atlanta area, be sure to contact Jessica Sullivan to learn more about how therapy could help you.
About Jessica Sullivan
Jessica is passionate about working with marginalized populations and affirms all genders, relationships, and identities. She also offers letter writing services for gender affirming services. She utilizes body based approaches and may encourage light movement or body exercises. Even though my foundational approach is somatic, she draws on many theories and modalities. Her previous experience includes working with individuals with disabilities in state vocational agencies. She plans to offer pilates classes and services in Spanish in the near future.