Affecting at least one in 10 adults, anxiety disorder is the most common mental health issue in Canada, according to the Public Health Agency of Canada.
Women are more than twice as likely as men to get an anxiety disorder, and women in their 50s and 60s seem to be the most vulnerable.
Whether you have occasional anxiety or a more serious disorder, there are steps you can take every day to help manage and even minimize your stress.
That 2018 APA poll highlights the need to help reduce stress with regular exercise, rest, healthy eating, and enjoyable activities, according to APA President Dr. Anita Everett in a press release accompanying the release of the findings.
Movement is medicine, and one of the best things you can do for your mental and physical health is to get regular exercise. For example, a brisk 30-minute walk helps to release endorphins that reduce stress levels in the body. Other good cardiovascular exercise options include running, biking, dancing, swimming, and sports such as soccer, basketball, and tennis.
Lack of sleep can trigger or worsen anxiety symptoms. If you have trouble winding down after a busy day, try establishing a sleep routine that includes relaxing activities such as sipping hot tea, taking a warm shower or bath, listening to music, and breathing deeply. Limiting your use of electronics before bed can help prepare your mind and body for sleep as well.
While substances such as caffeine and alcohol may initially give you a mental boost that seems to curb anxiety, their long-term effect can be just the opposite. Aim to eat a healthy, balanced diet that includes plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and be sure to keep well hydrated.
When stress builds up, is time to switch gears and do something that brings you pleasure and enjoyment. Getting outdoors for fresh air and sunshine can ease anxiety as can reading a book or engaging in a favorite hobby. Meditation, yoga, and other calming activities can help minimize stress. Another way to help combat stress is to keep a journal of how your moods and feelings fluctuate during the day. This listing can help you identify what is causing you stress and help you find ways to cope with them.
Anxiety can feel overwhelming. If these steps do not offer you relief, then it may be time to seek professional help. Here are a few websites to help you find a qualified therapist.