Anxiety tends to spread and infect every aspect of our lives. If it’s left unchecked, it can riddle our day-to-day with unnecessary stress.
I’ve put together a list of ten things you can do to help eliminate anxiety. I wrote this with GAD sufferers in mind, but I think this post might be beneficial to others as well.
Even if you only implement one of these changes into your life you should still feel a difference in your anxiety levels. I think we can all agree that every little bit counts. So without further ado, here are 10 things you can do to help eliminate anxiety.
1. Kick the Caffeine
Whether it’s tea or coffee, your morning dose of caffeine may not be doing you any favors.
Caffeine is known to aggravate anxiety, and too much can make you feel jittery and on edge. Consider cutting out the energy drinks completely and replacing your morning cup with a caffeine-free substitute like herbal tea.
If you’re like me, and you live for that cup of joe, then consider just trying to cut back your intake.
I used to be an all day coffee drinker. Since I scaled back my coffee usage to only one cup first thing in the morning, I’ve noticed quite a bit of difference.
I keep telling myself I’m going to get rid of that last cup but… I’ve got kids. Enough said.
I’m not going to act like this one doesn’t make me groan too. Exercise and I have a love-hate relationship.
It can be tough to carve out time for it, but it really can make a huge difference in your anxiety levels.
Working out can activate feel-good chemicals in your brain, help you get a better nights sleep, and eliminate anxiety stemming from a negative view of your body.
If you have kids, you may also find you start to live for that thirty minutes to an hour of child-free you time. So if you want to get into the gym now is a great time to start.
I suggest a gym membership over a home workout video. No one likes to throw away money, and you’re far more likely to go if you have skin in the game, but if the gym just isn’t your scene, then a workout video will work too.
If you choose the home workout path, it may be helpful to know that there are plenty of free workout videos on Youtube!
3. Eat Better
You might be wondering what your food has to do with your anxiety.
Just like exercising, eating better is going to help with stress stemming from a negative body image. Eating better is also going to give you more energy with less crash, and can just make you feel better in general.
Did you know eating sugary foods can be addictive? It activates the feel-good brain chemical dopamine. These foods basically have a reward system. For people like us, who tend to be down in the dumps a lot, that reward system can wreak havoc.
I’m an emotional eater. I binge-eat in times of high stress. It gives me a little boost in my mood for a short time and then leaves me feeling lower than I did before I ate for many different reasons.
1. It makes me feel sluggish.
2. I feel guilty.
3. I did it for no reason because the effects didn’t last.
4. I know I just gave my body so much fat making fuel.
5. I beat myself up for my lack of self-restraint.
Do yourself a favor and get rid of all those easily accessible snacks. It’s hard to binge-eat on junk when you don’t have any. It could also give you a mood boost just from feeling accomplished in something.
4. Sleep Better
Going to bed at a decent time is going to improve your all day mood.
Being well rested makes you more capable of dealing with life’s demands. Allowing your mind and body to get decent sleep can help you in many different ways.
We anxiety sufferers know that getting better sleep is easier said than done.
There is plenty of advice out there that lists ways to get better sleep, such as:
- Meditating before bed
- soothing music
- Exercising during the day
- Laying off the caffeine
- supplements like melatonin
Here is a helpful article from Healthline that lists 17 proven tips to sleep better at night.
And if all else fails, your doctor should be able to prescribe you something to help combat your restless nights.
5. De-stress Yourself
Stress is probably the number one thing aggravating your anxiety.
The significant stressors can be difficult to tackle, but there are plenty of little stressors, that if dealt with, can add up to a substantial difference in your anxiety level.
Reflect on your life. I recommend making a list. Figure out the things causing problems and stress, and then come up with a game plan to combat them.
- Stressing about time? Get yourself on a schedule.
- Need to get into the doctor’s office? Make an appointment.
- Giant list of errands you need to do? Get cracking.
Harboring those stressors are doing you more harm than good. Try to knock at least one of them off your list every week.
You may be tired of hearing my list making tip already, but there is a reason why I recommend it so often. Anxiety brains spin on their wheels and are prone to forgetfulness. Making a list can help stop those wheels and ensure you won’t forget.
Knowing that you have all the important things written down might stop your anxiety from reminding you about those things the moment you lay down for bed.
6. Repair Your Mindset
Negative brings negative.
If you have a negative mindset then naturally you’re going to attract more negativity.
I know it can be tough to keep your head up when everything seems to be going wrong, but reminding yourself of the things that ARE going good in your life can be very helpful. No matter who you are and what’s going on in your life, somebody somewhere has it worse.
Try focusing on the positive. Getting some sticky notes and Setting up positive reminders and uplifting quotes around the house can be a good start.
7. Carve out some YOU time
Finding time for yourself is essential.
Take care of your mind and body by finding something you love and carving out some time for it.
If you stay busy, but not one of those tasks bring you calm and happiness then you need some time for yourself.
It doesn’t always have to be an hour-long massage or some expensive, time-consuming thing. Meditate, watch a funny movie, learn to crochet, write, find something that you enjoy doing that makes you feel good, and do it.
8. Add More Structure To Your Day
Schedules are such an excellent tool to eliminate anxiety.
I don’t know about you, but I feel like time passes so fast it’s hard to get anything done.
On my high anxiety days, I put things off so long that at the end of the day I stress myself out even more by running around trying to play catch up.
After placing myself on an all-day schedule so much of my anxiety has been reduced.
I honestly didn’t realize how much of my anxiousness stemmed from rushing. I now have alarms for everything I need to get accomplished during the day. It’s a long list, but now I stay on top of it because my set schedule never let me get too far behind.
Waking up and going to bed at the same time every day has helped me fall asleep faster. I start getting tired about thirty minutes before the alarm sounds. My body knows its time for bed, and by the time I lay down my mind is already in bedtime mode. We all know how hard it can be to get an anxiety brain into bedtime mode.
Try it out and let me know if it has helped you as much as it has me!
9. Eliminate Stressful Relationships
I think everyone knows an energy vampire. If you don’t, consider yourself lucky.
An energy vampire is someone who leaves you feeling drained after spending time with them.
Energy vampires are usually pretty self-centered and only care about themselves and what others can do for them. They will ask for your help or use your ear to vent about their lives but will never return the favor.
Stressful relationships can be a constant source of anxiety, and sometimes these relationships just aren’t worth the cost.
You may be thinking, “but what if the person is a family member?” Just because someone is family does not mean you have to put your mental health on the back burner for them.
If someone made you food you were allergic to, you wouldn’t force yourself to eat it just because it was given to you. You don’t have to deal with toxic people just because they are your family. I’m not saying you have to disown them, but cutting down time spent with them can definitely help.
10. Stop Thinking and Start Doing
I can’t be the only one guilty of this. You think and think about how certain things affect your life. You obsess over how stressed you are about this or that, but not actually take any steps to deal with what you’re obsessing over.
I usually at any given time have at least ten things I want to get done, but they don’t go any farther than making a mental list and then obsessing over how I’m not doing them.
Make a Physical list of all those things, and start checking them off. Free yourself from all that mental baggage you’ve been carrying around.
If you have too much crap on your computer, the computer doesn’t operate at peak performance. Your brain is the same way. Start ticking things off your to-do list and it will make you feel loads lighter.
If your curious about what causes anxiety check out my previous post here.
There are so many different ways to eliminate anxiety all you have to do is reflect on the causes and develop techniques to combat them!
A method that works wonders for one person may do absolutely nothing for the next!
I never stop looking for ways to reduce my anxiety wherever possible.
Did you find something on this list that was helpful to you? Do you have one to add? Comment below!
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