How do you know that you are suffering from anxiety? The honest truth is there are no hard and fast rules when it comes to anxiety though there are some typical symptoms.
People manifest fear and anxiety in different ways such as sweating on the palms when
confronted with an overwhelming event or task. Others don’t show outward signs but their brains are racing down the track at full speed. Something I personally call “Train Brain”.
The key is to not let that train derail off the tracks right?
The fact is almost all of us have probably felt anxious at some point and find it challenging to overcome when it does. If you’ve found yourself in such scenarios in the past, know that you’re not alone. In fact you’re in the norm.
In any given year 40 million Americans deal with some form of anxiety and odds are that at some point pretty much everyone has faces it.
The primary tip to overcome anxiety is to identify what triggers it and take some time to self-reflect. That may sound simplistic and in some ways it is but the sooner you can identify the issue causing the anxiety and face it the sooner you can put it behind you or deal with it.
But most people struggle to face it or downright do anything they can to avoid facing it and thus just keep prolonging it.
Once you do identify it, you can then use the following proven strategies to help you stay calm.
· Take A Deep Breath;
· Steer Away Negative Thoughts; Look for the positives no matter how small (and yes there ARE positives!)
· Go On A 15 Minutes’ Walk Or Yoga Session;
· Aromatherapy Can Be A Great Reliever Of Anxiety;
· Jot Down Your Anxiety Triggers;
· Eat A Healthy Diet;
· Reduce Caffeine And Alcohol;
· Do Regular Exercise.
Let’s go a bit further into these shall we?
1.Take a deep breath
This is so simple that people often dismiss it. Critics claim that this never works but practicing focused deep breathing can absolutely help you a lot when faced with a challenging situation.
Simply close your eyes and take 5 deep breaths breathing in through your nose, bringing it down into your belly and they slowly exhaling it through your mouth.
Just 5 really deep breaths done this way is proven to help slow down your heart beat and relax your body and mind.
Need a bit more? Continue on. Personally I do this almost every day for up to 5 minutes at a time.
Struggle to clear your mind? Guided mediation can do wonders…We offer guided mediations on our You Tube Channel – some as short as 2-3 minutes! Check them out!
2.Steer away negative thoughts
Let’s be honest this one is easier said than done but it can have a powerful effect on your anxiety. Sometimes it is useful to learn to question your thought pattern. Try to avoid negative thoughts as they can distort the severity of your situation.
The best way to achieve this is by challenging your fears, question their authenticity and determine how you can take control of your mind. Ask yourself is it really as bad as I’m thinking it is or am I projecting the worst on a situation and ignoring all the other possibilities?
3.Go on a 15 minutes’ walk or yoga session
You may never be able to get rid of anxious thoughts until you get engrossed in something else. The situation may be there to stay but you can choose to walk away from it. Like literally walk away from it by distracting yourself.
Take some time and do what you like doing for a hobby. Take time to explore your body and not your mind. Do something, anything that will get your mind off the issue at hand even if only for a few minutes. This is an excellent way to relieve your anxiety.
4.Aromatherapy can be a great reliever of anxiety
It comes in various forms such as candles, oils, incenses and scents like sandalwood and chamomile. These scents are very soothing, and can help shift your mind from troubling events or situations.
Aromatherapy helps in the activation of certain receptors in the brain thus relieving anxiety.
5.Jot down your anxiety triggers
It is well documented that simply jotting down what makes you anxious helps to get it out of your mind thus making it less tormenting. Don’t worry about fixing the issue, just write it down and then walk away.
This strategy is particularly relevant for people with sporadic anxiety.
People with Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) can also achieve great results with this strategy. People suffering from GAD shouldn’t focus on simple coping methods alone.
They should also adopt other long-term strategies that will help lessen the symptoms severity and eventually wipe out the negative thoughts.
6.Eat a healthy diet
When your give your body the nutrients it needs you will reduce the amount of internal or physical stress on your body. This in turn will enable you to be better able to cope with external stresses
Don’t skip any meals and eat a well-balanced diet with enough nutritious foods to keep healthy and have energy boosts.
7.Reduce caffeine and alcohol
One of the first thing people who are stressed do is reach for the wine glass or whatever form of alcohol they prefer. This is actually one of the worst ways to cope with stress & anxiety especially if you do so regularly. Excess alcohol and caffeine are known to trigger panic attacks and aggravate anxiety.
8.Do regular exercise
Daily exercise helps you feel good and maintain good mental health. When we exercise one of the things that happens is out body releases hormones like serotonin and oxytocin also known as the “feel good” hormones.
This is why so many people report they feel better after they workout even if it’s just a simple walk. The key is to make it as stress-less as you can. You can achieve this through the following exercise tips:
· Set specific and realistic goals- Aim at daily consistency instead of perfect workouts. Instead of waiting to go for a 4-hour marathon during the weekend, try a 20-minutes’ walk every day. Frequency and consistency are more important than the quantity of a workout.
· 5×30- walk, jog, bike or dance at least five times a week, for at least 30 minutes.
· Get the best exercise for your group - there are different forms of exercise, all fun and enjoyable. If you are an extrovert, enroll in a class or group activity like we have here at FCF. Introverts often prefer solo pursuits.
· Listen to some cool music - distract your mind with an iPod or any other device to download music, podcasts or audiobooks. Some people will find it easier to get rid of negative thoughts if they listen to something else they find interesting or entertaining.
· Most of all…Be patient - a new exercise program requires you to be patient. It may take you anywhere between 4-8 weeks to get relief from your anxiety.
Remember, it is perfectly normal to feel anxious from time to time. For the most part anxiety tends to be fairly low level and short lived but we must also be mindful that it can develop into a disorder and become extremely damaging to our lives.
If you find that it is becoming more commonplace or that the techniques mentioned above aren’t working we highly recommend you reach out to a medical professional rather than ignore it.
There is nothing to be ashamed about if you do and there are plenty of options to help you available.