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Anyone who struggles with anxiety knows how difficult it can be to maintain a sense of peace and well-being when pressures mount. The stress caused by anxiety can build until it's almost unbearable, resulting in panic attacks and other physical symptoms.

As hard as it is to believe, anxiety can serve a purpose. It keeps us alert to danger in a threatening environment. It becomes a problem when those feelings of worry and dread arise for no apparent reason or when they interfere with your daily life.

Prevention and daily management are vital parts of living with and recovering from anxiety. In addition to medication and counseling, stress-reducing activities such as yoga and massage therapy can help you feel better. There's more to it than engaging in good habits. You may also need to cut out some bad habits so you can improve your emotional and mental state. 

Overindulging in Alcohol, Caffeine, and Simple Carbs

It may be tempting to try to perk yourself up at work with an energy drink or a latte in the hopes that you'll be more productive. The truth is that the sugar and caffeine in these beverages can trigger anxiety. Sipping too much wine to relax can also backfire.

Both alcohol and overly sugary foods can undermine your efforts to stay calm by causing your blood sugar to fluctuate. If you do decide to indulge, limit the amount and frequency so that you can maintain a more stable mood.

Driving During Rush Hour

For many people, driving is their most anxiety-inducing activity. This is doubly true if you've previously been in an accident, which is a common cause of PTSD.

Ridesharing or carpooling may be better for you if driving in heavy traffic is too nerve-racking. In some cities, taking public transportation is a good option. If you simply have to drive, you can try to find an alternate route with less traffic. The ride may take longer, but you'll arrive happier.

Overusing Social Media

As tempting as it is to look at your phone every time you get a notification, this activity may cause problems. Social media anxiety can make us feel that we're not measuring up, and that can affect our sense of self-worth. 

Try to remember that much of what is posted on social media has been enhanced in some way to appear more impressive or attractive than it really is. It’s also helpful to follow positive accounts and to block or unfollow accounts that cause negative feelings.

Managing anxiety isn't simple, but you make efforts to do so consistently, the result is a more balanced and enjoyable life. Not all of these methods may work for you, and it may take some trial and error to find what provides the most relief for you.

Need help with your anxiety? A massage might be just the trick!