Anxiety can take on many forms, making it difficult for sufferers to achieve feelings of comfort and safety. Anxiety is not comparable to occasional jitters when preparing for a test, speech or meeting. It is a pervasive mental health condition where powerful, irrational worries may have no obvious cause.
Anxiety is associated with a wide range of health conditions:
- High blood pressure, which can make victims susceptible to heart attack and stroke.
- Difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep, which curbs quality of life.
- Bruxism (teeth grinding) and Trichotillomania (hair-pulling disorder).
- Problems with concentration, focus, and memory.
Anxiety sufferers are affected professionally and personally, making it difficult to develop friendships and partnerships. Here are some great practices you can use to help reduce your anxiety.
Get Breathing and Get Moving
Deep breathing is one of the most powerful techniques to reduce feelings of anxiety. When you engage in deep, strong breaths, it encourages the muscles of the chest – which usually tighten up in times of crisis – to relax. It can also help curb heart palpitations, sweating, and even hyperventilation. Sit in a chair with your eyes closed and back straight so you’re able to breathe deeply.
Move around. Start with a gentle neck roll when sitting. Stand up and stretch your arms over your head to start the process of reducing shoulder tension, then do a set of ten “shrugs” to keep the shoulders from locking up further. Also, consider going for a 10-minute walk outside.
Engage in Healthy Distractions
When anxious thoughts are overpowering, it’s important to not let them consume you. Ruminating is defined as getting caught in a negative thought, which you continue to repeat or think about. It often feels like there’s no escaping it. Avoid ignoring the feeling because it most likely won’t go away. Instead, focus that feeling elsewhere.
There are a variety of distractions that can be helpful and valuable. Watch your favorite uplifting TV show or talk to a friend who understands the situation. Try volunteering; being able to channel the feelings/energy towards something or someone can be vastly beneficial.
Accept and Recognize Yourself
Your mind cannot be changed by force. If you feel upset, angry, and bitter about your anxious feelings, they will often cling to your attention even more tenaciously. To calm yourself, try and accept exactly who you are.
Your anxiety presents many challenges in your life, but you are not your anxiety. You have positive traits and abilities that you’ve cultivated in spite of your anxiety – in fact, your anxiety may have been a factor leading to some of them.
Anxious thoughts can be addressed over time, but they won’t disappear overnight. Accept them for what they are and you will loosen their grip on you. Practice this daily and you might find anxiety losing some of its power. For help determining the best treatment options for your anxiety, contact us today to book an appointment.