News Week states that over 42.5 million people in the United States are affected by some mental illness. Youth mental health especially is worsening according to Mental Health America stats, increasing 11.4% from previous years. One of the most startling findings from a poll with Inc. reveals that Generation Z is the population where symptoms of depression, anxiety, and self-harm reports are way up. The New York Times believes that more teenagers are suffering from severe anxiety than ever because people are struggling to understand how to help them.
Conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar disorder, or schizophrenia are more common than you think, and we want to reassure you that you’re not alone. Mental health is just as important as physical health, so remember to treat it the same. With World Mental Health Day passing on October 10th and the topic growing with more awareness, we want to supply you with some tips as well. To help, here are some ways to cope with anxiety.
Tip #1 to Cope with Anxiety: Take a Time-Out
When you’re feeling anxious, there are many things you can do for both your body and mind. An important way to cope is to take a time-out. Stepping back from your problem is ideal to help clear your head and get your mind straightened out. Start practicing a relaxing technique such a yoga, meditation, or deep breathing exercises. It can even be as simple as inhaling and exhaling, counting to 10 slowly, or listening to calming music to help ease your mind and relax your body before resuming back to an activity.
Tip #2 to Cope with Anxiety: Get Enough Sleep
Especially when your anxious, your body needs additional sleep and rest. One of the biggest stress relievers you can do for yourself is ensuring that you’re getting enough sleep. Set a sleep routine for yourself, and stick to it to decrease your worries and give your mind enough time to relax.
Tip #3 to Cope with Anxiety: Eat Healthy
Exercising daily is beneficial to help you feel good and maintain your health. Eating well-balanced meals is important to keep your body going and your mind happy, so make sure not to skip any meals. A great tip is keeping energy-boosting snacks on hand when you are feeling down. Additionally, limit or avoid food and drinks that can aggravate anxiety. For example, caffeine is one of the culprits that easily triggers panic attacks.
Tip #4 to Cope with Anxiety: Stay Positive
With everything going on, it can be hard to stay positive at times. As difficult as it is though, you have to try to do your best and be proud of all the things you do. The first step is putting your anxiety in perspective, accepting that you cannot control everything and things aren’t your fault. Then, make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones to maintain a positive attitude. A great way to do this is to welcome humor into your situation, since a good laugh goes a long way.
Tip #5 to Cope with Anxiety: Talk to Someone
The biggest thing you can do to cope with anxiety is to talk to someone. You can write out your feelings and anxieties in a journal, but know you don’t have to go through it alone. Telling friends or family when you’re feeling down or overwhelmed is the first step in receiving help. You can then receive professional help by talking to a physician or therapist to learn what triggers your anxiety and what further steps you can take. Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) has a great website full of resources to help you find a therapist, additional help, and valuable articles and facts.
Having a mental health disorder is nothing to be ashamed of. Many of our beloved celebrities such as Selena Gomez, Demi Lovato, Cara Delevingne, and Lady Gaga cope with it themselves every day in powerful ways. See what some of them have to say here:
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