Experiencing a manageable amount of anxiety and worry helps prepare us to face the challenges of daily living,” says psychologist Adam Borland, PsyD.
“But worry becomes a problem when it starts affecting your ability to do the things you want or need to do”, Dr. Borland says.
Stress and anxiety can prompt a wide range of problems including:
- poor sleep
- poor work performance
- poor dietary choices
- alcohol, drug or tobacco use
Obviously, when worry starts keeping you up at night or leads you to self-soothe with food or alcohol, it can have a negative impact on your health.
Worry is a part of life for everyone. But by taking steps to proactively manage your stress, you can help make sure that your daily worries don’t end up hurting your health.
The good news is that you can avoid health problems associated with chronic worry. All you have to do is learn to manage your stress:
- Exercise each day. Do some form of exercise each day, whether strength training, aerobic exercise, or walking your dog.
- Meditate and breathe deeply. Repeat a calming mantra or visualize a serene setting.
- Eat healthy. Focus on a balanced diet. Also, limit your caffeine and sugar intake.
- Stay in contact with people who support you. Get support from your spouse or significant other, parents, siblings and friends.
- Take part in fun social activities with family and friends. Smile, laugh and be as emotionally present as you can.
- Seek calming, creative activities. Try painting or drawing, gardening or cooking.
- Be grateful. Focus on areas of life for which you are appreciative. Pay attention to what makes you feel grateful.