The best way to minimize your lifetime risk for anxiety is to have a good baseline strategy for self-care. If you have a healthy sleeping and eating routine, a pattern of regular exercise, adequate personal time, and a good social network, you are already managing anxiety. If not, here are some strategies to consider:
- Get your sleep. There is a clear relationship between sleep quality, mood stability and emotional resilience.
- Maintain an eating routine that includes regular meal times and reduced consumption of sugar and caffeine. Low blood sugar levels increase anxiety. Low or fluctuating levels of blood sugar increase the likelihood of panic episodes, as does caffeine use.
- Exercise regularly. Exercise reduces the level of cortisol and adrenaline in your system, and it increases production of other mood stabilizing elements.
- Monitor your alcohol consumption. Alcohol reduces levels of anxiety initially, but as alcohol levels drop, anxiety levels can actually increase over their initial baseline.
- Build a good social network. Interpersonal connection is beneficial in reducing isolation.
- Place yourself in novel situations to increase your comfort with new circumstances. Engaging with the unfamiliar builds your trust in your capacity to navigate surprises.
- Sing in the shower and look for opportunities for a good belly laugh. Both of these activities provide an endorphin release. A good sense of humor also provides a healthy perspective and emotional resilience.