There are some tips that people often overlook that can ruin even the best-laid plans for reducing anxiety in your life. Follow these little-known tips that I tell my patients at the Integrative Acupuncture Center in Ridgewood, NJ, to help better your emotional relaxation and reduce your anxiety.
- Eat regularly every 4 hours: When you are not eating, you are depriving your brain of glucose. When you deprive yourself of glucose, you start to release stress hormones and which scramble to regulate your blood sugar.
- Mind –Body techniques: Adopting some mind-body techniques for making your mind more resilient to counter stress. Your mind is like a muscle and it needs to be “flexed” so you can get better. Even as little as 10 minutes is helpful in mastering the relaxation response so you can quickly and more easily drop back into the state. The best way to do it, is to take it seriously, like you would an appointment, so you can’t push it off but you just have to do it.
- Stretching your neck and jaw muscles unlock areas of pain. Did you know that near constant muscle tension, whether it consists of clenching your jaw, balling your fists or flexing your muscles throughout your body- often accompanies anxiety disorders? Using your fingers to press in on the jaw muscles to relax the jaw, and help to reduce the level of stress in your body. So much stress gets stored in the jaw and calf muscles. Massaging and foam rolling the calves is a great way to help the body unwind. The key is to hone in on the area that is the most tense, and use gentle work every night or morning to work away stress. Since form follows function, working your body to relax, helps your mind to relax in response. This mind-body connection takes the burden off of you in thinking that it’s “all my fault” for being so tense and allows you to engage in positive steps you can take to reduce and curtail stress and anxiety
- Shorter bursts of intense exercise: They say that intense exercise helps anxious people get more relaxed with the burst of endorphins that occurs after exercising. For many anxiety-ridden patients, exercise is difficult, if not impossible to do due to extreme anxiety, lack of sleep and low energy. So exercise in shorter bursts of 20 to 30 minutes duration and more intensely. In this way, you can help burn off the excess anxiety but not leave you too winded and wiped out to repeat this. Exercise helps burn off excessive energy or as we say excessive “Yang” energy. It is a way to help release a lot of the anxiousness and to get the muscles to circulate blood to reduce insulin levels which tend to spike with chronic anxiety and stress without exhausting yourself.