Author: Tammy Taylor, CPT, BHS
An hour before you start your new workout class you begin to feel it. That uneasy feeling in the bottom of your stomach. That feeling that some would like to pleasantly refer to as “butterflies”, but actually feels more like a swarm of angry bees. You calmly try to utilize all of your best bee charming skills by remaining perfectly still, and waiting for the bees to settle down, but as you are standing there waiting, you notice that your hands are beginning to get a bit clammy and you seem to be sweating more profusely than normal. Then it happens, your physiological response of fight or flight takes over. You abruptly decide it is best to cancel the work out class and just relax on the couch for the evening instead and binge watch your favorite tv series on Netflix. After all, it has been a really long stressful workday and clearly you are not ready for the class if it is triggering all of this anxiety.
According to the Oxford dictionary, anxiety is a feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome. And since we all have experienced this feeling at one time or another, it can make recognizing the difference between a healthy level of anxiety versus an unhealthy level feel a bit tricky. A good rule of thumb is if you feel like your anxiety is interfering with your everyday life or causing you to feel depressed, it is best to seek out help from a mental health professional who can help to recommend specific treatments.
However, if you are experiencing normal levels of anxiety, those strong physiological responses, when utilized correctly, can be useful for initiating change and helping to motivate you towards your goals instead of sabotaging and holding you captive in your comfort zones.
5 tips for how to control your anxiety so your anxiety doesn’t control you
1. Challenge your thought patterns
Try to objectively assess the situation by separating real risk versus imaginary risk.
Ask yourself these questions:
- How does this thought help you or hurt you?
- Does this thought motivate you or hold you back?
- How would the quality of your life improve if you didn’t have the thought?
2. Pay attention to your diet
By eating foods rich in vitamins and minerals you can potentially reduce those stronger symptoms of anxiety! Which means not only do you get a healthy body from eating a well-balanced diet, but you can also improve the health of your mind. That’s a win-win in the Noomiverse!
3. Find your tribe
Seek out family or friends that you can lean on to help rationalize some of those more intense feelings. Finding your tribe can have so many wonderful benefits such as; feeling less lonely or judged, reducing stress, decreasing depression, and giving you a greater sense of control and empowerment!
Exercise can be a wonderful way to get those positive endorphins flowing and help to distract you from whatever triggers may be causing your anxiety. Some of the best exercises to try but are not limited to; yoga, running, hiking, dancing and strength training. But really anything that enables you to remain in the moment and feel a sense of groundedness will be beneficial.
5. Get more ZZZs
We all know that getting enough sleep has so many wonderful health benefits such as; better memory, reducing depression, helping with inflammation, lowers stress and countless other benefits. Yet, even while knowing this many of us struggle to make sleep a priority in our busy lives. Check out this article for tips on how to get a better night’s sleep!
To learn how to find your healthy balance, start your 14-day Noom trial today!