People flock in droves to make a brightly-lit skyline the landscape of their choice. The allure of better opportunities, an excess of outing options, and convenience make urban city life desirable–and rightfully so. While these things are a major plus, it isn’t always fun and games. Cities come with their own set of challenges: overpopulation, high cost of living, pollution, greater commute time, and work-life balance conflict. Factor in everything and it’s easy to understand why people’s mental health takes a toll in urban areas. After all, research has found that urban dwellers are 21% more likely to struggle with an anxiety disorder than rural folk due to constant stimulation that puts the body in a stressful state. Here are some ways to deal with anxiety in Los Angeles.
Connect With Nature
Nature has been linked to promoting greater well-being and improving mental health. It has even been shown to boost creativity and problem-solving. When people surround themselves with green spaces, bodies of water, or mountains, they can clear their minds because their stress is reduced when in contact with nature.
If you’re feeling stuck with a work issue or life circumstances, take a walk or bike ride to your local park. Whether it be a small city garden, man-made park, riverfront, hiking trail, or beach, you can reap the benefits of connecting to nature. Empty out your thoughts onto a journal, meditate, or draw, unplug yourself from your electronic device for a few minutes or for however long is accessible to you. If you’re up for it, take off your shoes and feel the natural world below you. Walking barefoot in nature (earthing) is believed to elevate serotonin levels and decrease cortisol, producing a feeling of calm. Additionally, you can add plants to your home to have a little piece of nature with you indoors.
Connect With People
Having a sense of community and purpose is an important contributor to a person’s wellbeing. Yet it can be difficult to invest a lot of time on building relationships when everyone is so busy. To build the community you want, try centering it around something that really matters to you. Whether you’re crazy about fitness and nutrition, enjoy horticulture, consider yourself an art aficionado, or love making music, there are many other like-minded people to connect with in your city.
By attending events or meet-ups focused on your chosen interest, you will be able to grow your community, enrich your knowledge around your interest, and feel fulfilled to spend your free time doing something that is important to you. Additionally, socializing helps combat loneliness and improves productivity. However, if socializing triggers your anxiety, you can consider joining a support group for anxiety to meet others who also find it difficult to get out there to meet people, plus you’ll gain valuable coping tools.
Go to Therapy
It is second nature to nourish our bodies with food because it means we’ll have energy to get us through the day. If we make attending to our emotional and mental health second nature, we can increase our general wellbeing. Therapy is a great way to nurture our psyche. And a holistic approach to therapy can affect the mind-body-soul. Consider seeking out a holistic provider that incorporates talk therapy, experiential therapies, group therapy, and Eastern spirituality practices.
A city filled with millions of people is exciting, but it can feel lonely and overwhelming too. It doesn’t have to be. To discover more ways to deal with depression, or anxiety in Los Angeles, call Trauma and Beyond Center ® at (818) 651-0725.