Anxiety is a human emotion that is as natural as happiness or anger. Even the most easy-going of us feels anxious from time to time, just as even the life and soul of the party will sometimes feel anger or sadness. However, a study by Bupa found that more than 40 percent of us are stressed and an astonishing one in four feel “constantly close to breaking point.” Perhaps the even more shocking aspect is that this study was carried out more than five years ago, long before anyone had heard of terms like COVID-19 or social distancing.
Cut down the caffeine
Coffee can become as much of a crutch as alcohol or nicotine. While overdoing the caffeine might not be as harmful as these other stimulants, it is no help when it comes to stress. Caffeine tends to cause jitters and nervousness, actually amplifying any anxiety you might already be feeling. If you are a big coffee drinker, try substituting herbal tea. Chamomile is a popular choice and scientific studies have indicated that those taking regular chamomile showed reduced levels of stress and anxiety.
Try CBD oil
Everyone seems to be talking about CBD at the moment. It’s widely available from websites like Cibdol in a variety of forms. Research is still ongoing into many of its purported benefits, but one area in which there is consensus is in reducing anxiety. Again, there has been plenty of research, including this 2015 study by the NIH. Note that although CBD is derived from the hemp plant, it does not contain THC, so there is no risk of feeling intoxicated or “high.”
Get better sleep
The operative word here is “better.” Quality of sleep is just as important as quantity, and is an area in which many of us could do better. It’s all about understanding and being in sync with your body’s natural circadian rhythms. Try to stick to a regular routine of going to bed and waking up at approximately the same time. Also, avoid electronic stimuli for at least an hour before bed – that means switching off the TV, computer and most important of all, the phone.
Treat alcohol with caution
A glass of wine or shot of whisky is often cited as a “cure” to calm the nerves. As a natural sedative, alcohol does exactly that, but the effect only lasts for a short time. When it wears off, the feelings of anxiety return with greater strength. This can lead to the temptation to finish the bottle, and that is where the trouble can really start. There’s nothing wrong with enjoying an alcoholic drink from time to time, but make sure you are pouring it for the right reasons.