We all get anxious from time to time. But it’s usually short-lived. But for people with anxiety disorders, that feeling can actually get worse over time, triggering anything from stomach issues and disrupted sleep to headaches and chronic pain.

Life’s pressures are stressful, and according to the American Psychological Association, nearly one-third of teenagers report feeling depressed, sad or overwhelmed.

It’s no secret that mental health disorders in America are pervasive. We seem to suffer from all types of psychological issues, and it looks like it is not to slow down anytime soon.

Epidemic in America

According to the latest mental health statistics, many of us face mental health challenges. In fact, just under 50 percent of American adults are set to experience a mental illness at some point and around 5 percent of adults experience a mental illness in a year – that’s nearly 44 million people just in the United States.

While these figures are somewhat frightening, you don’t need to become a statistic.

When you need help

People seek help for a whole range of reasons. You don’t need to wait and see if your feelings of anxiety or depression go away. You don’t need to try and figure out life on your own.

Sometimes, signs are pretty obvious and others, you may feel a little off and just can’t figure out why. You don’t need to be desperate or on the verge of a major meltdown to seek help either.

That being said, warning signs like wanting to harm yourself need immediate intervention, as do other serious symptoms of mental illnesses.

There are even subtle signs you might need a little help, like losing interest in your favorite activities, change in your eating and sleeping habits, and a general lack of motivation.

Pay attention to your mind and body.

Relieving stress and anxiety

There’s a whole lot you can do to keep your anxiety and stress levels down. You may find that by practicing certain things each day, you can keep the worry from building up into something a lot more serious.

Here’s what I do:
  1. Exercise
Whether it’s a quick and powerful 10-minute session or a long, relaxing cardio session, I get it done and I feel so much better for it. Putting that physical stress on your body actually helps relieve mental stress, provided you work out regularly. You’re also less likely to experience anxiety, due to:
  • Exercise lowers stress hormones and releases endorphins
  • Improvise the quality of your sleep
  • Boosts your confidence
 
  1. Cut the Caffeine
Caffeine is a stimulant, you know that. It’s hiding in chocolate, energy drinks, tea, and coffee, amongst other things. High doses of caffeine lead to high anxiety. If caffeine makes you anxious or jittery, it’s time to cut back or cut it out.
  1. Journal
You know I’m a big fan of journaling, and it really helps me handle stress. Gratitude is another big one for me. Every day I practice my attitude of gratitude in my journal and it helps me relieve the day’s anxieties and stresses by focusing my thoughts on all the good stuff in life.
  1. Spend time with positive people
Social support from your nearest and dearest can help you get past stressful times. Having a supportive network gives you an amazing sense of belonging and self-worth.

Studies have found that people with fewer social connections are more likely to suffer from anxiety and depression.

Asking for help 

Reaching out for help is a big deal. It’s courageous and applaudable. When you’re ready, you’ll be relieved to know that there are plenty of resources out there.

From your primary-care doctor to a therapist online or in person, support groups, counseling centers, and even national helplines. You have options.

Start online to find out what’s out there for you. It’s also a good way to get an idea of what to expect with online therapy if that’s a route you’re interested in.

If you’d prefer, call an anonymous helpline. Each one is manned by trained counselors with a wealth of information they’ll be happy to impart.

If you’re comfortable to, tell your family or close friends that you need support. They may have their own recommendations for counselors or groups, and they’re sure to rally around and give you the support you need to ensure you don’t just become a statistic.

Mental illness is on the rise. We can’t deny that, but we can do everything in our power to keep our stress levels, anxiety, and depression at bay.

Find helpful tips for a better lifestyle at marksalinas.com.

 

 

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