I have been feeling stressed and anxious for a long time. I tried at the beginning of the month to take action by setting myself goals such as getting up an hour earlier, exercising daily, cutting down on alcohol and by following a healthy diet. However, I do not yet see any changes mentally or physically and I have been unable to sleep. I feel exhausted and unable to work or be a good partner to my girlfriend. I feel like despite my best efforts I have failed. I actually feel more stressed than ever before. What can I do to feel better?
Thank you for your help,
Well done for making the decision to take action! It is not easy to change daily habits and begin a journey of self-improvement. The first thing to note is that self-improvement takes time, therefore be patient and keep going! You are only two weeks in and it is too early to reap the benefits of your efforts. In time, if you remain committed, you will see and feel the advantages to your healthier lifestyle, both physically and mentally.
The second thing to note is that you have not failed. Every day you get up is a day to begin again. If you find that you are suffering with a sense of failure or overwhelming sadness, it might be worth attaining some counselling support in order to aid you in your efforts. You have chosen to prioritise your well-being. This means focusing and reflecting upon some tough questions. Why are you anxious? What has caused your stress? The counselling process will support you through any emotional darkness or negative experiences that you carry. To better understand yourself is a key part of self-improvement Henry and it is vital in terms of tackling the roots of your long term stress and anxiety.
Thirdly, let’s consider your lack of sleep. Many of underestimate how essential sleep is to our well- being. Sleep is essential to our health as it is the way in which our body regenerates and heals itself. Sleep is the key to our body’s capacity to function and ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of ailments such as stroke, heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, weight gain or kidney disease. A lack of sleep can also dramatically impact our mental and emotional health. Our sleep can be impacted by many factors, such as eating late at night, medications that we take or the environment in which we sleep. It is worth taking a moment to discover why your sleep is currently impacted. If you find that you are unable to sleep for a period of two weeks, visit your doctor for additional support. Ways in which you could try to improve your sleep regime include meditation or breathing exercises before sleep, not eating after 8 pm, restricting caffeine and alcohol from your diet and keeping a journal beside your bed. The journal is important if you are experiencing worry over problems such as work deadlines, relationship issues and general feelings of anger or irritability, all of which could be keeping you up at night. Writing down any negative thoughts or worries before bed might help to unwind your mind. The thoughts you write down may also provide you with valuable insight as to additional unknown factors that are attributing to your stress.
Tackling anxiety and stress can feel like an uphill battle. Take one day at a time Henry, you can do it. Talk to your girlfriend and confide in her, share what it is that you are experiencing so that you no longer harbour the burden alone. Praise yourself for your efforts each day by reflecting on the positive steps that you have taken to improve your life and self. Feel encouraged by the fact that you are already two weeks into your journey and that you have made the conscious decision to start. This is the beginning of a healthier, happier life. Cherish it.
Wishing you good health and motivation!