Anxiety is different for everyone. It’s severity and symptoms vary from person to person.
Most people have experienced it at one time or another.
What is Anxiety
It is the intense feeling of worry or fear over everyday situations. It is characterized by a fast heart rate, rapid breathing, sweating and feeling tired.
Anxiety can be normal under stressful situations such as public speaking or taking a test. It is only a sign of an underlying disease when feelings become excessive, all-consuming and interfere with daily living.
It’s all in the mind. Literally. It’s your brains’ reaction to stressful, dangerous or unfamiliar situations. Anxiety helps us be aware and alert and to stay away from danger. However, it can be debilitating for those suffering from a disorder.
Being nervous does not mean you have anxiety. Anxiety is often felt physically and psychologically, whereas nervousness is a sensible reaction to a potentially scary situation. We often say things make us anxious when in fact we just feel nervous about them.
What Causes Anxiety
There are various factors and triggers to anxiety:
A stressful situation (work, financial, school, abuse and a death of a loved one)
Medical condition (lung disease, heart problems)
Hereditary (genes and family history)
Anxiety is a common human experience. How can you stop it from ruling your life?
Before applying any of the tips below please note that this does not in any way constitute as medical advice and you should check in with your doctor to make sure you do not have a mental disorder.
Listen to your inner voice
That voice in your head is not insanity. How you talk and relate to yourself is very important. Stop the negative talk and bringing yourself down.
Are the feelings you’re having making you feel worthless? Think positive thoughts and affirmations.
Your intuition is a way of getting your attention. Try to understand what your inner voice is saying.
Meditation is a relaxing technique that reduces stress and anxiety. You need to find a quiet time to listen to what is happening in your life.
Block out the surrounding noise that can cause confusion and unrealistic fears. Meditation creates awareness within ourselves and in our environment.
Meditation is a safe space to feel everything. Make a connection with what you feel and the situation at hand. Release and clear out the negative feelings as you become more aware of how you feel.
When anxiety strikes take a deep breath in and out. Deep breathing will help you calm you down so you recenter yourself. Just focus on the inhaling and exhaling.
Breathing brings clarity in your mind.
A therapist can provide tools and techniques that can help ease your anxiety. When you feel like it is getting out of control seek therapeutic help. It is not a weakness to ask for help.
Therapy is an empowering tool that can help you manage anxiety yourself in the long run. You can read this post from Diffusing the Tension about what to expect on your first therapy appointment.
Therapy is best in dealing with your specific type of anxiety if you don’t already know it. It will offer a deeper understanding as to why you feel the way you do and how to change your negative thinking patterns.
Stay in the present moment
Anxiety is often caused by the worry of future events. When you focus on the present and what is happening, you will be more clear and rational to deal with the situation at hand.
Practice mindfulness to help you stay in the present moment. Think of what is happening right now, in the present. How can you solve the problem you are faced with? It might have a solution that doesn’t require more than a day to sort out.
There is no need to fear what may happen in the future. So, when you’re mindful of the situation you can bring yourself back to the dynamics of what you are faced with.
Write it down
Write down your thoughts and feelings. A journal is a safe, non-judgmental space to share your thoughts. It is a great way to distress and let go of the anxious feelings and factors causing anxiety.
Aromatherapy is calming and soothing. You can use it in the form of oils, candles or incense. Make sure you don’t have any sensitivity from aromatherapy products.
Also be cautious if you’re pregnant, breastfeeding or have any underlying conditions. Consult your doctor before using any products.
Eat a Balanced diet
Certain foods are natural mood boosters. They release endorphins that can help ease your fear and worry. When you eat healthier, you feel much better and your immune system is much stronger.
A diet rich in foods that are high in antioxidants, vitamin D and omega 3 that also reduce inflammation can help treat some of the symptoms associated with anxiety and ease its intensity.
Exercise helps circulate oxygen to your brain and body. It also releases endorphins that make you feel good. Take a walk or do a few yoga poses to wind down and relax.
Exercise eases tension and improves your mood. Through a good workout, you can redirect your thoughts from whatever is causing you to be anxious and you focus on the workout.
Get some Sun
Getting some sunlight increases serotonin levels in your body, which better your mood and calm you down. The sun also aids the body in creating Vitamin D which is also a mood booster.
Have you ever wondered why rainy, dark weather makes you feel gloomy? Now you know. Get sunlight in moderation and always apply sunscreen.
Note that the UV rays are at their strongest between 10am and 4pm.
While anxiety can be debiltating to some, it’s possible to treat it and cope with it. There are situations which may make us anxi0ous and fearful, however we need to know how to handle them.
Please see a doctor if you have a disorder before applying any of these tips as they do not constitute as medical advice.
I hope these techniques and tips will help you live a calmer more mindful life.
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