Helpful Tips

Helpful tips to decrease anxiety and depression:

Connect with others. Loneliness and isolation can trigger or worsen symptoms of anxiety and depression, while talking about your worries face to face can often make them seem less overwhelming. Make it a point to regularly meet up with friends, join a self-help or support group, or share your concerns with a trusted loved one. If you don’t have anyone you can reach out to, it’s never too late to build new friendships and a support network.

Manage stress. If your stress levels are through the roof, stress management can help. Look at your responsibilities and see if there are any you can give up, turn down, or delegate to others.

Practice relaxation techniques. When practiced regularly relaxation techniques such as mindfulness meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing can reduce anxious and depressive symptoms and increase feelings of relaxation and emotional well-being.

Exercise regularly. Exercise is a natural stress buster and anxiety reliever. To achieve the maximum benefit, aim for at least 30 minutes of aerobic exercise on most days (broken up into short periods if that’s easier). Rhythmic activities that require moving both your arms and legs are especially effective. Try walking, running, swimming, martial arts, or dancing.

Get enough sleep. A lack of sleep can exacerbate negative thoughts and feelings, so try to get seven to nine hours of quality sleep a night.

Be smart about caffeine, alcohol, and nicotine. If you struggle with depression or anxiety, you may want to consider reducing your caffeine intake, or cutting it out completely. Similarly alcohol can also make both depression and anxiety worse. And while it may seem like cigarettes are calming, nicotine is actually a powerful stimulant that leads to higher, not lower, levels of anxiety.

Put a stop to chronic worrying. Worrying is a mental habit you can learn how to break. Strategies such as creating a worry period, challenging anxious thoughts, and learning to accept uncertainty can significantly reduce worry and calm your anxious thoughts.

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