Updated: Feb 5
As I understood over years those two are very connected. Decreasing the stress that we have in our lives will decrease anxiety. Bodies and minds of anxious persons are already stressed out, so all additional stress is a killer. But when I say stress I mean all kinds of stress that normal people don't even notice. - Alcohol I have realized that one glass of alcohol is relaxing me and helping me to sleep, but more than one is making me tired and anxious day after. - Sleep deprivation If I don't sleep enough it is more likely that I will be anxious and that anxiety will turn into panic - Eating poorly If my nutrition is based on fast food and sugar, it will cause fast sugar drops that will then lead to anxiety - To much coffee Having more than two coffees per day is irritating my already heightened nervous system. - Emotional stress Fighting with my son, boyfriend or a friend would keep me in anxiety mode for days. Unresolved foggy relations with people also. - Financial stress Existential worries are definitely not helping with calmness and serenity - Not enough oxygen If I am stressed I am not breathing well. My breathing becomes shallow. Walks, yoga or meditation are making me breathing more deep and are refreshing and relaxing my body and mind.
- Really loud and crowdy places It is probably attack on all my senses, but I get easily panicked over - Travel It can be strenuous and exhausting - thus doors for an anxiety attach are wide open - Important meetings/events/gatherings If I have important meeting or an event that I have to go to at certain day and certain time - it is a disaster. All those things look like normal daily little things, but if you are anxious person you have to go through those and put them in order. It will help a lot with overall wellbeing. The whole point with anxiety is really calming yourself down. Not adding fuel to the fire.
What does that mean in every day life? How to avoid stress when we live in stress concentrated environment. Well my only advice and only thing that helped me was putting my wellbeing first. But literally first.
I have started with putting my phone and computer on silent mode. I stopped answering every call. I also started going to bed at the same time, sleeping 8 hours, creating a routine out of it. I try to eat as healthy as I can, even though I love sweets so much. And I always have a chocolate or almonds in my pocket. (btw. chocolate is great help with anxiety too :-)) I have walks every day - it is an instant way to feel better. I am meditating . I laugh with people I love. I take time to have lunch, or coffee, or massage. I am remembering myself to breathe. I am going to therapy. I am writing journal. And all those things, come first. Before work, before kids, before partner, before family. Maybe it sounds selfish, but I understood 15 years ago the simple truth - if I feel well, then everyone around me will be well too. You need to really deeply understand and accept this truth. It also helped me to flirt with "I don't have to do things" attitude. I turned it into "I do things the way I want and when I want". It is ok to move meeting or trip or date. It is ok to have more productive and less productive days. It is ok to say no to people. It is ok to give yourself time to feel sad. It is ok to follow your inner rhythm. Our beings are not made to be pushed and pulled around. This doesn't mean that you don't care about others. It just means that you are aware that when you are feeling calm and collected you can be the best version of yourself. You can listen, you can help, you can finish work, you can be a great company etc. When you feel good you can do wonders. So identify the biggest sources of stress in your life. What is making you tired or physically unwell? What is giving you uncertainty and worry? Then sit down and make strategy how to improve those things with simple every day small steps. And then - be self-disciplined. Make a notes about your progress. Talk about it with a friend. Praise yourself for every little effort. Self love is not some big mysterious thing. It is small things you do for yourself every day.