The right environment
Ever heard, “you’re a product of your environment?” If your home is dark, dull and lifeless, you will feel dark, dull and lifeless. If your home is full of clutter, your mind will feel full of clutter. When improving your surroundings, think cleanliness, plant life, sunlight, cushions and candles. Read more about creating a relaxed and happy ambience at home here.
A healthy diet
Diet is a no-brainer. The better you treat your body, the better your body will treat you. Make sure you’re eating plenty of fresh fruit and vegetables. Fast food, processed foods and too much sugar can have a negative impact on your health and mental wellbeing. Read our recommendations here.
Excessive caffeine intake has been proven to worsen feelings of anxiety. Negative side effects include an upset stomach, the jitters, overthinking and trouble sleeping. If you’re already anxious, steer clear of it. Try changing up your morning coffee ritual for a nutrient-dense smoothie instead.
Alcohol disturbs the natural chemical balance of the brain, which can lead to emotional disorders such as depression and anxiety. If you can’t completely abstain from alcohol, try to moderate it and do not drink excessively.
Smoking kills. Need we say more?
For most of us, the concept of endorphins and how they work are nothing new. However, this “happy chemical” is powerful and can have a domino effect leading to positive thoughts, clarity and less worry in all aspects of life.
Anxiety has the power to make us feel alone, and sometimes, we are alone with nothing but our thoughts. Music, though? Music connects us. Music reminds us that we are not alone. What better feeling? Try something uplifting and easy-listening like Better Together by Jack Johnson.
This is a mental exercise that clears the mind and redirects our thoughts. It’s a break from the hamster wheel, the rat race… it’s a time to reflect and be present, both at the same time.
Meditation and yoga often go hand in hand. However, you may prioritise yoga because it combines the benefits of exercise and meditation into one.
Exposure to sunlight has the ability to improve your mood by releasing a hormone called serotonin. This can have a calming effect on the brain, reducing feelings of anxiety. If you’re someone who spends a lot of time at home with the curtains drawn, try eating breakfast on the porch or going for an evening stroll around the neighbourhood.
When people are stressed or depressed, part of the brain malfunctions and suddenly you are left with an endless string of negative thoughts. Nature offers an escape, but not only that. There are therapeutic benefits involved. The sense of peace that comes from being around nature actually lowers blood pressure and cortisol, which is the body’s stress hormone.
Certain scents (especially lavender) have been proven to reduce the heart rate, which prepares us for a deeper sleep. This is really beneficial for anyone who suffers from insomnia.
Sleep is important because it helps us recover from physical and mental exertion. It is essential just like breathing, drinking and eating. If you suffer from anxiety, sleep deprivation can definitely worsen it. Our top tips here include turning off technology an hour before bed (so, read a book instead of aimlessly scrolling Instagram), avoid or completely eliminate caffeine and alcohol and tailor your environment. By this, we mean, get everything just right. Love the feel of fresh sheets? Make sure your bedding is clean. Too hot in temperature? Take a shower to cool down. Read more about sleeping better here.
Some people feel bogged down and anxious if they have overcommitted and have too much on their to-do list at once. Daily goal setting and prioritisation are time management strategies that can help. Also try to limit distractions when there is work to be done and procrastinate less. Easier said than done, we know.
Pet a furry friend! If you feel alone and can handle the responsibility of a pet, adopt one. You won’t regret it.
Talk to a friend, family member or professional. Talk to anyone, really. Confiding in someone else can lighten your load and make you feel better almost instantly. Most of the time, whoever is on the receiving end will be more than happy to listen and offer advice. If anything, your willingness to discuss serious topics will make them feel honoured, trusted and valued as a friend.
If family and friends aren’t doing it for you, talk to a professional. They’re trained in the study of people, are unbiased, can offer a fresh perspective and will listen without judgement.
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