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, taking 5 minutes of focused breathing will help. Inhaling slowing through your nose while counting to 5, holding for 5 secs and exhaling slowing through your mouth while counting to 5, will not only increase the oxygen in your whole but will calm the nervious system as well. 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.