I am an introvert person. I hate social gatherings. Talking. Dancing. Worst of all, people. People scare me. It is not like I am scared of them hurting me, I am aware no one is gonna attack me (hopefully). But just thinking of them is shaking me to the core. The whole scenario makes me nervous. I start to stutter. My legs start fidgeting. God only knows how many times have I dived into the phone, pretending to text someone. I want to hide away.
Welcome to the life of a person who is doomed with anxiety.
Anxiety. A mental disorder that is constantly sending signals of fear down the spine. Overthinking becomes your new companion. The mind is always running, but somehow, it never wins the race. Fright, nausea, and irritability are the best friends, 4 peas in a pod. Yay!
So many factors are closely knitted with our mental health. While most of these things are out of our control, as we tend to go back to have some semblance of normalcy, it's important to address the habitual things we can actually change or maybe try to add.
Here are outlines of a few of the factors and easy tips to make sure you're doing what you can to protect your emotional wellness.
- A Good Night’s Sleep
We have always heard from our teachers, parents, and mostly, the doctors about how important sleep is. Preferably, sleeping six to eight hours a day is what every adult needs for personal wellbeing. Resting your body and getting a good downtime are very closely linked to mental health. Sleep deprivation affects your psychological state as well and according to a study by Harvard Medical School, people with mental health problems are more likely to be insomniacs or have other sleep disorders.
- Regular Intake of Water
I know many people need a water remaindering application to, well, remind themselves to drink water. And I totally understand it. Life is busy and fast-moving. Some days you even feel like you do not have time to breathe, you know, too busy for oxygen. Water might be the last thing on your mind. So a water reminder is actually a very smart idea. Drinking enough water is key for both physical and mental health. When you don't drink enough water, you are slithering into mild dehydration. At that time, your brain rings an alarm that you're in a life-threatening situation and starts flooding with stress hormones—especially cortisol. A spike in cortisol leads to anxiety, depression, and mood disorders.
- Keep Learning New Things
When you are not doing something, your brain starts to think about irrelevant things. It starts to overthink. What I tend to do is learn a new language. It not only improves my skills but also keeps my brain busy. According to a study from Central Connecticut State University, learning new things may not only increase your intelligence but also helps you come up with better ideas and solve problems. For your brain, learning to play an instrument, trying to speak a new language, or taking on a new topic you don’t know helps your keep the mind busy, while also improving your knowledge. This newfound knowledge allows you to adapt better to different situations. It is also a habit followed many millionaires follow.
- Get Out
Remember how Rapunzel was locked in a tower all her life that she ended up with a chameleon as her best friend? That’s why many doctors suggest getting out more. Something as simple as taking a walk around the neighborhood is also counted as self-care. In 2019, research stated that just 20 minutes outside significantly lowered stress hormone levels.
- Be in Contact with Friends and Family
This one is one of the most important key to keeping your mental health at bay. Maintaining relationships with friends and family is vital to your mental welfare. As mentioned before, being alone with your thoughts might take a toll on you. So, make the effort to text back, schedule video calls, and go out for movies or dinner/lunch, etc. so that you stay in touch with people. This helps in building a trustful environment where you will realize that that zone is your judgment-free zone and can reach out whenever you feel overwhelmed.
- Physical Activities are a Great Help
Seriously, working out in any way, be it hardcore exercise or yoga, physical activity elevates your mood like nothing else. It's crucial that you exercise as it feeds your body with the endorphins which is much needed! Prolonged exposure to stress is capable of resulting in triggering psychological issues such as Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), depression, psychological distress, and anxiety, among several others.
In all, what we are trying to say is maybe it gets better. The anxiety might get better with time, patience, and therapy. Talking to a friend who is ready to listen to your sudden bouts with no judgments is very hard to do, but once you do, you would feel sudden lightness on your whole body. Take deep breaths when nervous. I have learned a fact that literally, no one is gonna remember that mistake you made. It may sound bitter, but people have a lot to worry and think about, and your mistakes aren’t running through anyone’s mind.
Surround yourself with people who have a good interest in their hearts for you. Anxiety gets better with kind words and kinder intentions. This way, maybe we can overcome anxiety.