Let’s face it, life can be stressful. There are to-do lists, deadlines to meet, people to take care of…the list goes on and on. While some may handle the pressure just fine, many people struggle with the overwhelm daily, leading to sometimes crippling anxiety. It’s a serious issue and it’s important to know what you’re dealing with, possible solutions, and preventative actions you can take. Here’s some information to help you navigate the muddy waters of anxiety.
Anxiety is felt as an overwhelming sense of apprehension, fear, and dread, often marked by physical signs, like tension, sweating, increased pulse rate, and difficulty breathing calmly. It will often build up and intensify over time, and can result in irritability, muscle tension, and difficulty sleeping. For some, it’s a consistent feeling of being anxious about things, and at times, that can escalate into anxiety or panic attacks; episodes of intense anxiety and panic that can cause heart palpitations and hyperventilation.
While there’s numerous treatment and methods for managing daily anxiety as well as anxiety attacks, one you may not have considered is massage. It’s not going to eradicate all forms of anxiety, so you never feel anxious again, but it has been shown time and again in studies to have a major impact and greatly improve the symptoms of those who regularly experience anxiety. Getting regular massages can help to lower your heart rate, decrease blood pressure, improve concentration, release muscle tension, improve your quality of sleep, and regulate the release of certain ‘feel-good’ hormones to calm the body and mind.
There are also several ways you can manage your anxiety on a daily basis.
Be more active
When you increase your heart rate and work your muscles, your body releases the same feel good hormone you receive when getting a massage, helping you to feel better emotionally and physically.
Cut back on your caffeine intake
Did you know that caffeine can increase anxiousness in those who struggle with anxiety and sometimes even cause anxiety in those who don’t? High levels of caffeine can even increase your chances of having a panic attack.
Find your trigger
Try keeping a journal. When dealing with anxiety, you’ll see that some days you struggle more than others. Not only is journaling therapeutic in itself, but you may be able to look at what could have caused your anxiety to increase from day to day. Maybe foods, people, situations; find patterns and adjust to see if you can avoid those triggers.
While you may not have a lot of time in your day to meditate, even taking 5 minutes will help. The deep breaths will help lower your heart rate and having as few moments to get a handle on the day is always helpful.
Get more sleep
When you haven’t gotten enough sleep, your brain sends signals to your body that something is wrong, resulting in higher levels of anxiety and feelings of stress. Prioritizing your sleep will help make sure your body doesn’t feel like it’s under attack.
Seek professional help
Having someone to talk to about what you’re going through and being able to unrestrictedly express your thoughts, can make a world of difference.
Anxiety can interrupt so many parts of your life. We want to help you control it as much as possible. Pair massage with these tips and let’s work together to get your anxiety under control.
Balance in life is something that we all seek, but many struggle to find. We all wear so many hats; employee, spouse, parent, friend, child, volunteer, the list goes on. While many of these hats bring us immense joy, they also bring us a feeling of stress and failure when we aren’t able to balance it all. All that stress, especially when it’s chronic, can cause negative emotional and physical effects, ranging from muscular tension to depression and even heart problems. So, here are a few simple ways to bring more balance into your life every day.
Surround yourself with positive, uplifting people. Have you ever noticed that you take on many of the traits and emotions of those around you? If you’re constantly exposed to negative people, stressful situations, and let’s face it, drama that doesn’t need to be in your life, it’s going to take its toll. With all that you have going on in your life, the last thing you need is to have to worry about baggage that never seems to go away. Helping a friend through a rough patch is great, but if it’s a constant source of stress with no reciprocal support, it may be time to cut back on the time you spend in that relationship. Those that give you a real break and let your social self flourish, spend more time with them. If you have someone who leaves you even more stressed and down after your interaction, set boundaries and limit your time with them.
Once you’ve established more boundaries concerning the people you surround yourself with, it’s time to turn your attention to balancing all the plates you’re juggling. We live in a busy time, so prioritizing your schedule is a must. Obviously, work is a necessity for most of us, but if you’re taking on extra hours or staying over all the time to complete a project because you’re struggling with time management, find ways to optimize your time while there so you can avoid that overtime if possible and keep the rest of your time for other things. As for home life, something as simple as making a cleaning schedule and meal planning each week can immediately help to save you time and stress. Getting your family on board takes even more stress off of you. Also, you can have one meal prep day every week or so to get breakfast and snacks ready to grab at any time and either cook ahead or at least prep ingredients to throw in a slow cooker or the oven as needed. An hour every Sunday can save you a few hours through the week.
Make sure your personal time is valuable, helping you nourish yourself and the most important relationships in your life. Family game night, movie night, and craft night can all be great options that allow your family to put the phones down and focus on one another. Scheduling one day a month with friends to grab lunch, dinner, or even a quick coffee to catch up can be a perfect solution to your self-care and social needs.
Another thing to keep in mind is it’s okay to say no. With such a busy schedule, you’re going to need time to not only keep all these things balanced, but take time for yourself too. Whether you promise to read a new book each week, treat yourself to dinner once a week, take an hour for yourself, or get a monthly massage, doing something for yourself is a must and should be just as much a priority as anything else. Finding balance in life isn’t about putting as much as you can on your plate, it’s about knowing your limits and working within them to build the most meaningful life you can.