Seven top tips for tackling anxiety

Feelings of anxiety can range from worry to severe panic, which, if left unchecked, can sometimes make coping with life a little difficult. These tips may help you to tame your worries and release the pressure that anxiety can cause.

Meditate

You’ve may have heard (and scoffed) about meditation being good for calming the mind. Well, millions of people throughout history can’t all be wrong, can they?

Feelings of anxiety can stem from worrying about the future or feeling guilty about the past. Meditation trains the mind to be in the present. You don’t have to sit cross-legged to learn to meditate either. Simply find a quiet place and sit for a few minutes. Focus your attention on your breath. Take note of your thoughts. But don’t be consumed by them. Rather, let your thoughts in when you breathe in and let them out when you exhale. You’ll be amazed at the way you feel if you meditate this way for ten to 15 minutes daily.

Get out and about

Being outside not only increases vitamin D intake, which some experts say is important for our wellbeing, but regular exercise is also one of the best ways to enhance your serotonin levels – the brain’s natural ‘feel good’ chemical. Whatever the scientific reasons, sometimes it’s just nice to have a change of scenery.

Go green

There are many benefits of being in the garden too, such as increased mental focus, awareness and patience. Gardening is a kind of manual meditation. If you don’t have access to a garden, you could locate your nearest community garden, or plant some flowers in pots, or create a small herb garden. Either way, you’ll benefit from pulling out your green thumb.

Rethink your diet

You can never eat enough fruits and vegetables, but a simple rule to go by is 80 per cent vegetables and 20 per cent fruit. Increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables will also provide your body with essential vitamins and nutrients necessary to defend against illness and disease. Smoothies are an easy way to get your daily supply of fruit (or veg) and they’re a tasty way to start the day. Other foods that can help reduce anxiety are fish (especially wild salmon), asparagus, almonds, oats, Greek yoghurt, spinach and turkey.

Change the colour of your day

Sometimes it can seem as if everything around you is a little ‘grey’, so adding a splash of colour to your living space can have a soothing, positive outcome. Arranging flowers in a vase, hanging a colourful painting, or placing some bright cushions on the couch can have an amazing effect on your general outlook. Take advantage of the strangely magical influence colour can have on lifting your spirits.

Read a book

Reading is one of the best ways to escape the stresses of the world around you, and not only is it relaxing, but you may also learn something at the same time. Self-help books and inspirational memoirs are great for reconnecting with your inner self or connecting to other people. A good detective novel or other fictional work is a great way to ‘zone out’ for a little rest time.

Get creative

If you have too much anxious energy to sit and read, why not redirect it creatively? Make the most of this energy and channel it into something productive. Take a cooking lesson, a life drawing class or try tango lessons at the town hall. Socialising and connecting with others can have far-reaching, positive influences on your general outlook on life. Anxiety can be difficult with which to cope, but it can also fuel a fire for positive change.

Do you have any tips for dealing with anxiety? How do you choose to relax?  

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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