Our fast-paced, digitally comparative, fragmented lives mean that more and more of us are now suffering with low self-confidence having to learn to live with anxiety. It's our body's natural response gone haywire – that feeling of sweaty palms, a racing heartbeat and not being able to breathe is now being triggered by the high levels of stress most of us live with on a daily basis. The circumstances are individual, but thankfully there are universal solutions and techniques you can try to manage the situation – some are short term fixes, while others are a more holistic, ongoing way to manage your wellbeing.
Going hand in hand with rising levels of anxiety is the simple fact that many of us aren't getting the quality and duration of sleep that we need for optimal mental and physical health. The average person needs seven to eight hours of quality rest per night, but chronic levels of people now report insomnia and the inability to fall asleep. Start by addressing your sleep hygiene. Invest in blackout blinds and the best quality mattress and bedding you can afford. Ensure that your bedroom is a slightly cool temperature and ban blue light emitting electronics which disrupt the body's natural production of melatonin. If you have trouble unwinding mentally, try using a mindfulness app or try some lavender pillow spray to trigger your brain into a natural state of relaxation.
A diet high in processed foods, saturated fats and way too much salt and sugar can also contribute to poor mood, concentration and anxiety as well as impacting your mental health. Make sure you are eating a rainbow of fruit and veg each day, set aside some time at the weekends to batch cook healthy delicious recipes and freeze them so that you always have a nourishing dinner ready to go and try adding some supplements into your diet. A powdered supergreens mix can boost up your five a day, while some people find omega 3 helpful and others sing the praises of CBD in regulating mood. Experiment to see what works for you.
There are so many studies linking regular exercise with better mental health and reduced anxiety that it has to be top of the list to try. More and more people are realising that the benefits of a workout stretch far beyond shifting a few pounds. The trick is to find a routine that you enjoy, whether that's a hot spin class, playing tennis with friends at the weekend or fitting in a run at lunchtime. Finding something that works for you means that you're more likely to stick to it and it can become an important tool in your anxiety management.
Alongside these more holistic lifestyle changes, you can learn some techniques for managing anxiety in the moment it flares up. Focused deep breathing, like the 4-7-8 technique is known to help reduce anxiety quickly, and can be a vital thing to know.