People with anxiety can often get trapped in a cycle or a loop of negative thoughts. An individual may experience various different triggers that set off an anxiety attack. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused chaos all over the world. People’s health and wealth have taken a hit. The pandemic, the resulting lockdown, and social distancing norms have worsened mental health problems such as anxiety and stress in India, which has seen an alarming expansion. Moreover, it has gone beyond affecting them on a psychological level, by taking a toll on them physically too, in the form of nervous breakdowns and a number of disorders.
An increasing level of stress and anxiety has been observed across all demographics of the country, particularly in the young working class. Since 2016, the number of people seeking anxiety and depression treatments has been the, peaking in 2021, shortly after the COVID-19 pandemic started.
Another study conducted by an insurance company found that 95 percent of Indian millennials admitted to being more stressed out than their worldwide cohorts, especially in major cities like Mumbai, Bengaluru, and New Delhi, and are highly prone to various physical and mental illnesses. There is thus, a growing need for widespread awareness regarding the importance of mental health.
Following are a few ways to prevent the detrimental effects of stress and anxiety in the long haul, and instead, cope with them effectively for good and long-lasting physical and mental health:
- Increase physical activity— One of the best ways to combat stress is by exercising. Different forms of physical activity like walking, running, dancing, camping/trekking, cycling, and several others that you really enjoy can be adopted. These work wonders to relieve stress and anxiety, and in turn, enhance your confidence and self-esteem.
- Focus on your diet— It is crucial to watch what you eat and drink, in order to keep anxiety levels in control. Caffeine in forms like cola drinks, tea, and coffee along with alcohol must be consumed in minuscule amounts as it can trigger panic attacks. The recommended way is to reduce their intake gradually, and instead, stick to consuming nutritious food and beverages to keep your body and mind healthy.
- Write about your feelings and talk to close ones— An effective way of dealing with tension is to write about it, as well as have conversations about it with family or friends. With respect to writing, make it point to also jot down what you are grateful for, as gratitude goes a long way in reducing stress. Moreover, get social support from your near and dear ones to get through tense times by getting a sense of belonging and increased self-worth.
- Sleep well and indulge in deep breathing— Disrupted sleep is one of the most common causes of frequent anxiety and stress, as well as emotional disorders. Therefore, ensure that you get adequate rest, for a positive impact on your mood and stress levels. Additionally, practice some deep breathing and meditation via yoga to clear your head and feel relaxed.
- Seek medical counseling— As medical counseling has gradually evolved across the globe, Indians are also gradually opening up to the idea. To combat stress and anxiety, talking to an expert and seeking medical advice is an excellent method. In India, there are online services as well as robust, quick, and cost-free helplines like 104 Health Helpline to seamlessly achieve this purpose. Ziqitza Healthcare Limited (ZHL), India’s fastest emergency response service provider closely works with state governments to successfully run the 104 health helpline to provide medical counseling across demographics as part of its prompt EMS.
Facing your anxiety is hard work. We all have things that scare us or stress us out and because of this, we should incorporate these tactics into the everyday routine and keep fear at bay. Over everything, keep reminding yourself that we’re all in this together. Focus on what you can control and always remember that help is only a phone call away anytime you need it.