Nearly 1-out-of 5 Americans suffers from some form of anxiety disorder, making it the most common form of mental illness in the United States. Sadly, far less than half of those people end up getting any form of treatment for those disorders. Allowing anxiety to take over your life can be problematic, and can increase the risks of other mental disorders, such as addiction or depression. While it is super important for individuals to get real, professional help for a clinical anxiety disorder, it is also important to practice self-care that can reduce the effects that a person feels from anxiety, throughout the day. Here are some helpful tips on how to set up your mornings to reduce anxiety..
Don’t over do the caffeine
If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, then you probably know that an overload of caffeine can agitate your anxiety and make it far more stressful to get through the day. On the other hand, for many people, caffeine is an important part of the morning that helps them perk up and do the things they need to do before they start their day. The key is that you shouldn’t be over consuming caffeine and stimulating your nervous system. A cup of coffee, or two at the most, is plenty to perk you up for a new day. Alternatively, certain types of teas contain less caffeine than coffee, and can have the same effect.
Listen to music
A 2013 study published in the Journal of Positive Psychology showed that the type of music that people listened to had an impact on their overall mood. This might seem obvious, but people far too often don’t take advantage of the benefits that listening to specific types of music can have. When waking up in the morning, listening to relaxing, upbeat music that helps ease your mind and brings up your energy for the day can set off your morning on the right step, and provides uplifting entertainment while you get ready. This isn’t to say that there isn’t any place for music that makes a person sad or thoughtful, but it probably isn’t best to kick off your day with that state of mind, if you suffer from an anxiety disorder.
Do breathing exercises
Breathing exercises can be such a useful tool to deal with stress and anxiety, that it’s a real shame that these things aren’t taught to kids in school. Many tense situations can be calmed down by simply doing some practiced breathing techniques, and taking a step back to think. When waking up in the morning, doing a few breathing exercises can help put you in a relaxed and mindful state of mind. If you don’t know any breathing exercises, check out this helpful list of breathing exercises to try.
Eat a wholesome breakfast
When we sleep, our body is still using energy and burning calories. That’s part of the reason that people feel groggy when they get up in the morning: they are nutrient-deprived. This causes a mini boost of adrenaline to occur in the morning, which can agitate an anxiety disorder. For this reason, don’t wait too long to get your blood sugar up with an energy-filled breakfast that helps perk you up. A healthy breakfast in the morning can do a great deal to help you from feeling bogged down throughout the rest of the day. In addition, eating food with that morning cup of coffee will help mitigate some of the negative effects of caffeine on anxiety.
Take a walk
After you’re all ready for the day, try taking a little personal walk through a natural area before you head out to start the rest of your day. Simply taking a small walk through nature can have a profound impact on reducing the effects of anxiety, according to a study published in 2015 in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In addition, that bit of physical activity helps get your heartbeat up, which helps prevent the effects of anxiety.