Do minor disputes or challenges leave you feeling overwhelmed? Do you rely on coffee or soda to make it through the day? Do you avoid social situations for fear of leaving your comfort zone? If this sounds familiar, you may have a common condition known as anxiety.
Anxiety has the potential to impair your schoolwork and sports performance. However, there are some non-medical options that can help. Try the lifestyle changes below to reduce anxiety and feel more confident every day.
Ditch the Life Suckers
Some people see everything in a negative light. If you are surrounded by people who fit this description, separate yourself from them to avoid negative sources of energy in your life. Associate with people who make you laugh and have a positive outlook on life. It’s amazing how much a positive mindset can change your perspective on the daily stressors of life.
Live in the Present
Take time every day to do the things that bring you joy and make you smile. Don’t dwell on past failures or shortcomings. You can’t change the past or control the future, so don’t stress out every night wondering “what if.”
Taking a half hour a day to be alone is restorative, both mentally and physically. Do yoga if you want, but finish with at least 10 minutes of quiet meditation.
If you’re one of those people who subscribe to the “I’ll sleep when I’m dead” theory, you may find yourself dead sooner rather than later! Okay, maybe that’s a bit extreme, but sleep is seriously important. Just try going a day or two without it and you’ll see what I mean. You need to restore yourself to take on the day, and quality sleep will set you up for success. Try to sleep in a little on weekends and aim for seven or more hours a night. Learn more about the athletic benefits of sleep.
Use Nutritional Supplements
Several herbal alternatives to prescription drugs are backed by anecdotal evidence of their effectiveness at reducing anxiety. Focus on lifestyle changes first and add supplements later. I recommend giving these a try if you are feeling anxious:
- Theanine. A natural amino acid found in green tea that reduces anxiety and blood pressure. 100mg before bed (or 100mg twice daily) is a good starting point.
- Calcium/Magnesium/Zinc. Essential minerals that play critical roles in the body and relax the mind. Take a combo supplement before bed.
- Melatonin. This helps establish better sleep patterns so you fall asleep quicker and wake up refreshed. Try 1-3mg nightly.
- Licorice Root. Don’t eat the candy; drink the herbal tea. I recommend one cup before bedtime.
- Rhodiola Rosea. A popular supplement for battling chronic fatigue and stress. 200mg split between morning and early afternoon is usually enough to see noticeable benefits.
Learn more about the best supplements for athletes.