By Marie Miguel

If you suffer from anxiety or panic attacks, you are definitely not alone. In fact, about 40 million Americans have an anxiety disorder. From social anxiety to generalized anxiety disorder to post- traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), these illnesses are becoming more common in the United States. A highly convenient and accessible way to manage your anxiety is to talk to a professional online, such as a therapist or counselor from an online service like BetterHelp.com. However, here are some tips to help you in your day-to-day that you can start immediately.

Just Breathe

Sometimes it is really just that easy. Take a deep breath. Let it out. Repeat. In fact, focusing on breathing is a form of meditation, which we know has been an effective treatment for anxiety for years. Try it. It may just work.

Count to 10

Yes, counting can really help you when you are suffering from anxiety. Similar to meditation, just concentrating on something besides your anxiety can help. By focusing on counting, you allow your mind to let go of those other annoying thoughts that are causing the anxiety. And if counting to 10 does not work for you, try counting to 20.

Take a Hike

You probably already know that exercise is good for you. Not only physically but mentally because it increases the endorphins, which are the hormones that make you feel good. Getting outside and walking is even better for you because the sunshine is also good for you (increases Vitamin D) and the fresh air is even better.

You Are What You Eat

Getting the right amount of vitamins and not eating junk food is essential to physical and mental health. You cannot fill up on caffeinated beverages and fast food if you want to feel better. Fats, cholesterol, caffeine, and alcohol are all recommended to be avoided by those who have anxiety. Instead, try some fruit or even a piece of dark chocolate.

Get Healthy

See your doctor to make sure your anxiety is not caused by a physical illness. There are many illnesses that can cause anxiety in people such as high blood pressure, heart disease, and hormone imbalance. So, if you find out you have a medical issue that is causing these anxiety symptoms, you can treat the illness to get rid of the anxiety.

Sleep

Your body needs at least seven to eight hours of sleep. Even if you get up after a few hours and feel like you can get up and start your day early. This is not a good idea. You need enough sleep for you body and your mind to heal. It also helps your body make those important hormones you need to feel good.

Music

Listening to music has been known to relax babies, animals, and yes, even adults. It does not matter whether you turn your stereo up full blast in the car and sing, turn up the jams at home and dance around the house, or just put on some headphones and listen to some nice calming music. Whatever makes you feel better, do it.

Laugh

Laughter really is the best medicine for some things. Even if you do not feel like laughing, just fake it. Have you heard the saying, “fake it till you make it”? This surprisingly has some merit as it relates to managing your anxiety. If you cannot make yourself laugh, start with a smile, and hold this for a few seconds. Studies have shown that the simple act of smiling can have a positive effect on your mood.

Talk to Someone

Chat rooms and support groups are great ways to help ease your anxiety issues. Talking to someone who has the same or similar issues as you can be really helpful. You can learn tips and tricks from others who have anxiety and share your own tips with them too.

Let it Go

If you cannot do anything about a problem, let it go. Learning to let go can be difficult but if you start with breathing and counting, listen to some music, take a walk, and get enough sleep, you should be able to teach yourself to let go of things you need to let go of.

If you are still having trouble with anxiety and want to talk to a professional, BetterHelp.com has over 2,000 licensed mental health experts who can help. You do not need an appointment and you can do it from home. Try it today and start feeling better right away.

Marie Miguel has been a writing and research expert for nearly a decade, covering a variety of health- related topics. Currently, she is contributing to the expansion and growth of a free online mental health resource with BetterHelp.com. With an interest and dedication to addressing stigmas associated with mental health, she continues to specifically target subjects related to anxiety and depression.

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