How to Cope with Extreme Anxiety

Do you know what to do when your anxiety peaks? Many of those who suffer from poor mental health don’t know how to manage when their stress levels take a turn for the worst. While many people may feel mild anxiety from time to time when stepping out of their comfort zone, dealing with extreme anxiety can greatly impact your life, limiting your ability to complete even small tasks.

If this experience is familiar to you, it’ may be time to start looking into coping mechanisms. Read on for some useful pointers on how to lower your anxiety levels and work towards enjoying life again:

Identify and manage your triggers
Most of the time, anxiety is caused by a trigger – these can be as obvious as coffee, alcohol, or drugs, but on some occasions, triggers sit much deeper in the mind, or in past experience, and it can often be difficult to identify them.

If you are unable to work out what your triggers are on your own, it may be worth seeking mental health treatment. A professional therapist will provide different techniques to help you recognize these triggers and equip you with multiple coping mechanisms that you can use when faced with anxiety in your day-to-day life.

Exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety due to its ability to enhance cognitive function. By keeping the heart pumping and moving muscles and joints, exercise increases your energy levels, improves wellbeing, and releases ‘happy chemicals’ – otherwise known as endorphins – in the brain.

When you’re feeling anxious, the physical experience of your heart pumping faster, tensed muscles, stomachache, and insomnia can lead to further worry. Exercise breaks this cycle and forces you to concentrate on something other than your irrational fears.

Eat a healthy diet
Your diet plays a major part in your mental health. A recent study discovered that the Mediterranean diet – which is rich in fruit, vegetables, nuts, beans, and fish – reduced levels of anxiety and depression in chronic mental health sufferers. Choose foods that are crammed with nutrients such as vitamin B, iron, omega 3, and zinc to keep your anxiety levels low.

Try mindfulness
Panic attacks occur when the mind wanders into dark places and imagines worst-case scenarios. To combat this occurring too regularly, it could be worth trying mindfulness. This form of meditation allows you to be fully present in the moment and lose awareness of what’s happening around you, what has happened beforehand, or what may occur in the future.

Talk to friends
You may be nervous about opening up to your peers about your mental health condition, but informing them that you’re not coping well will take an immense amount of pressure off your shoulders when you are unable to keep putting on a front.

Your close friends are also likely to give you words of encouragement to help push through your worst moments and stay in contact with you more regularly to check that you’re okay. Having support from those who mean the most to you will give you the strength you need to get through the worst periods.