Minimize Anxiety & Start the New Year on a Positive Note by Jennifer Scott

Jennifer Scott joins us today to share tips on how to deal with anxiety.  Welcome, Jennifer!

 

Minimize Anxiety and Start the New Year on a Positive Note
by Jennifer Scott

A new year is upon us and we can say goodbye to this past year with all of its highs and

What plans do you have for the new year

lows.  The stress of starting a new year can be daunting for those suffering from anxiety, even if the past year wasn’t too bad.  It may be difficult not to start worrying about what the new year will bring, what goals you need to accomplish, or if you can make this year better than the last.

There are ways you can focus on positivity and keep anxiety to a minimum.  Some planning and techniques for quelling anxiety as it arises can make a difference for your new year.

New Year, New You

Forget about rigid new year’s resolutions, but do take more steps to care for your body.  When you care for your body, you care for your mind as well.

  • Schedule your annual physical. Be sure that some of your anxiety

    What steps are you taking this new year?

    symptoms can’t be relieved by treating another medical condition.

  • Take special care of hydration and diet. More water intake and less alcohol or caffeine can help stop physical anxiety symptoms such as headaches, shortness of breath, stomach issues, and heart palpitations. More fruits and vegetables instead of so much sugar, pre-packaged foods, and chemicals can also help your body function more properly.
  • Make time for regular exercise several times a week, even if for short periods of time. Exercise manages stress hormones and has a calming effect on the brain by releasing endorphin’s.  Specifically for anxiety, it is a way for you to actively have a positive effect on your health and confidence level.

Techniques to Get a Grip on Anxiety

Anxiety is an ever present beast ready to kick you when you’re down, but with some extra ideas in your pocket, handling it might be a little easier.

  • Music is one powerful tool that can be used anytime you get stressed. Make

    music is a key

    yourself a playlist of happy, positive, or motivating songs to play at home or in your car when anxiety starts to rise.  If you are musically talented you can even sing or play an instrument to your happy tunes.

  • Indulge in a hobby when your mind starts to stress about the past or future as a way to focus on the present. Find something that you enjoy, like painting, coloring, building models, playing a sport, or volunteering in your community.
  • Try to avoid letting your mind wander to worst-case scenarios. Anxiety tends to take us all the way to the worst possible outcome when dealing with problems or stress.  Take a moment to halt that line of thinking by reminding yourself that there are more possible good outcomes than bad, and that there is always a way to find a solution to any problem.
  • Remember to take this year one day at a time, and avoid substance

    How do you deal with stress?

    abuse, which will only serve to make the problem worse. You can focus on today and deal with the present instead of letting your anxiety launch you into the many what-ifs of the future.  Take inventory of the positive things in your life and your day and be grateful and content in those accomplishments.  It can give you a sense of calm and well-being.

  • Forgive yourself and allow yourself to be who you are. Another major source of anxiety is perceived mistakes that you have made or things you think should have gone differently in the past. Forgive yourself, and move forward. You are an imperfect being just like everyone else and can make solid choices for your own future, without second-guessing or feeling guilty. You are the writer of your story and it can be entirely different than everyone else’s.

Make this your best year yet by diving in with a positive attitude. Focus on the many

What can you do for yourself for the best you?

things you have to be grateful for, from having a roof over your head to catching the morning train just before it departs. Remind yourself that you’ve overcome challenges your entire life, and this year will be no different. Keep your head up, stay positive, and tackle 2017 with confidence.

And if you ever need a little extra support (we all do sometimes), check these websites for support groups in your area:

National Alliance on Mental Illness

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

What are 3 goals you can set today for dealing with anxiety this year?

 

Jennifer Scott is a lifelong sufferer of anxiety and depression. She is an advocate for opening up about mental health, and hopes to share the types of steps and success stories that can help others realize their own power. She enjoys traveling, working with animals, and seeking out new friendships and adventures.

 

Pictures courtesy of Pixabay.com