Understanding anxiety can be difficult if you don’t experience it often or intensely. Because it manifests in different ways, trying to support someone whose life is impacted by anxiety can be a challenge.
You can support your loved one by educating yourself on the causes, symptoms, and treatment. However, the holidays can be a difficult time for someone living with anxiety or depression. No matter how the person in your life experiences anxiety, these holiday gift ideas will show you care and can help them manage their mental health.
When we express gratitude, a few different things happen within us. The more we practice gratitude, the more we adopt this mindset. Our tendency to feel grateful strengthens. Identifying what we are grateful for puts things into perspective. Instead of going down a rabbit hole of negativity or worry, we can see the full picture of our lives.
An anxious brain focuses on the dreaded “what ifs” and fears for the future while ignoring the good we have in our lives. Taking two minutes to jot down what we appreciate in our lives can help pull us out of a worry spiral.
Mindfulness Meditation App
Practicing guided meditation allows the brain to quiet down and lowers cortisol levels, allowing us to feel more at ease. Areas of the brain that are responsible for healthy brain function become more substantial. Likewise, there is a decrease in activity in areas of the brain that are involved with anxiety. Making meditation a part of our daily routine can have a profound impact on lowering anxiety.
However, many people find daily life busy enough, which makes it difficult to attend a meditation class. Additionally, people with anxiety disorders can find social situations difficult. Fortunately, there are a number of meditation apps available, including Headspace, Calm, and Serenity. Many of these apps offer a subscription service and make great gifts for a friend or loved one suffering from anxiety.
Adult Coloring Book
We feel anxious when we believe something is unsafe. Our minds can get a little carried away and ignite a fear response. Coloring has the ability to relax the fear center, or amygdala, of the brain. It induces the same state as meditating by reducing the thoughts of a restless mind. When we engage in coloring, we enter a more mindful, present state. Coloring books can serve as a healthier substitute to endless scrolling on our phones and devices.
Lavender Essential Oil with Diffuser or Bath Bomb
Essential oils have gained a lot of popularity recently. Diffusers can be used anywhere in the home, at the office or in the car. An online search for essential oils reveals endless scents and their respective benefits. Lavender is well known for its soothing effect and has been shown to help ease anxiety.
Diffusing this scent throughout your home can promote an overall sense of calm. Use it in the bedroom to promote relaxation and sleep or take a warm bath with a lavender bath bomb. Anxiety can produce tense and tight muscles. Taking a warm bath helps us to relax, signaling the mind and body that we are safe and do not have to be in an anxious state.
Anxiety can make getting a restful night of sleep difficult. Weighted blankets were originally developed to help children with autism or behavioral disorders; however, as they’ve become more widely available, they are often used to help people with anxiety disorders, as well.
Weighted blankets work by “grounding” the body, which may have a positive effect on anxiety. This works similar to deep pressure therapy (DPT), a therapy that focuses on touch and pressure to help treat anxiety and panic attacks.
Blankets are now available from many retailers, both in-store and online. Typically, they can range anywhere from $100 to $200 depending on the size and weight. Generally, it’s recommended to use a blanket that is around 10% of the person’s weight. In other words, someone who weighs 150lbs would want a 15lb blanket.
Reading serves as a good diversion from anxiety. Typically, our thoughts run wild when we are feeling anxious. We go through the dreaded “what ifs” and fall into worrying thoughts, such as imagining the worst-case scenario. At times, we just need to give our minds a good diversion from overthinking and bring us back to more rational thoughts. Sitting down with a good book occupies the mind and interrupts these thought patterns.
Find a book your loved one would enjoy or a self-help book covering anxiety or well-being. These self-help books can be very eye-opening. In addition to easing anxiety-provoking thoughts, reading has benefits that help with the physical symptoms of anxiety. Research has found that reading for just six minutes can relax your body by lowering your heart rate and easing the tension in your muscles.
When not well-managed, anxiety can significantly impact an individual’s quality of life. They may avoid certain social outings or engage in constant worry. Seeking treatment for anxiety can drastically improve one’s quality of life. Therapists at High Focus Centers use evidence-based treatment models to help individuals manage the many causes and symptoms of anxiety. If you or a loved one is struggling with anxiety or another mental illness, the team at High Focus Centers is here to help. Reach out to us today to learn more about our programs.