5 Simple Ways to Cope With Anxiety
If you have ever experienced anxiety, you know all too well how feelings can boil up and overwhelm you. If left unchecked, anxiety can elicit very powerful emotions and even a physical reaction. That being said, because anxiety is such a prevalent condition throughout the population, there have been countless studies, therapies, treatments, and practices dedicated to the management and treatment of anxiety. In this article, you will learn about 5 simple things you can do during your day to help subdue anxiety when it begins to rear its head.
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Anxiety Coping Tools
Does your anxiety always occur at the worst time? Unfortunately, that’s how it works, but that doesn’t mean you can’t do something about it. In the same way that anxiety builds due to changes or deadlines, there are simple steps and actions you can take to reduce the intensity of the anxious feelings you have.
Notice Your Thoughts
Anxiety is a condition of the mind. The physical response is orchestrated by an over-active, worrying mind. So, if you can control, identify or stop these problematic thought processes, you can calm the mind and relax the body.
How can you do that? It takes some practice, and it will get more effective over time; but you need to identify, acknowledge and choose to think positive thoughts. Here is an example:
“The big meeting is today. I’m giving an update in front of all of my bosses. What if I can’t remember the numbers from last quarter? If I mess up I’m fired, and I can’t afford to lose this job..”
This demonstrates how anxious thoughts can spiral out of control, starting with nerves about a meeting and ending with fear of being unemployed. Instead, learn to catch your thoughts and stop this spiral.
“The big meeting is today. I’m giving an update in front of all of my bosses. What if I can’t remember… It’s fine, I’ve practiced this speech 10 times. It’s just nerves, everything will be just fine.”
Practice Controlled Breathing for Anxiety
Studies have shown that controlling your breath is an excellent way to synchronize the body and the mind, calm anxiety, along with a long list of psychological and behavioral outputs. Try breathing in counts of 4. Breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and one final hold for 4 seconds.
This practice works in two ways. Firstly, it distracts the mind from other negative or invasive thoughts by preoccupying your mind with the 4 counts. Secondly, it slows down your breathing, reducing your heart rate and helping to subside anxious feelings. Once you are calm, you can think more rationally and approach the situation from a relaxed state of mind.
Design A Relaxing Environment
Did you know that certain scents can have a calming effect on the body and the mind? It’s true, scents such as lavender, chamomile, and lemon have demonstrated their ability to reduce overactive thinking and calm the body and mind.
If there are places where you frequently experience high levels of anxiety, consider designing the space with calming surroundings. This can reduce your baseline anxiety and give you a better chance at stopping episodes before they advance into an anxiety attack.
Move Around, Walk Away To Reduce Anxiety
They say not to run away from your problems, but in this case, actually going for a walk can be remarkably helpful. Removing yourself from the location where anxiety started to build can be very relieving and can give you a sense of control. There may be situations that don’t allow you to up and walk away, but if you do have this option, take it!
Plus, being mobile and using your body is a great way to let some of your pent-up energy out. As your mind builds up tension in the body, walking or being active allows that tension to be released and for things to settle down.
Taking that one step further, research suggests that people who are more physically active or engage in routine exercise are less likely to suffer from anxiety disorders.
Write Down Your Thoughts
Writing is a great way to index your thoughts and ‘remove’ them from your mind. Oftentimes with anxiety, thoughts will just swirl around in your mind, repeating themselves and creating a compounding effect as you think you have a never-ending list of problems.
When you take a moment to write them down, you might be surprised about how few ‘problems’ you are actually facing. When you write your thoughts, you can organize them neatly in a list and face them much more strategically, one by one.
Writing is also a form of expression. If you have ever felt the urge to tell someone something, writing can offer a similar effect. By getting the thought out of your mind and onto paper, it brings a sense of relief.
Anxiety Treatment and Management Available in Reston & Falls Church, VA
If you or a loved one are experiencing frequent or generalized anxiety, don’t hesitate to seek treatment. Early intervention will help you manage and overcome anxiety with greater success. Don’t let anxiety control your life and prevent you from doing the things you love.
The professionals at Hello My Psychiatrist can offer you a multifaceted approach to learn to cope with anxiety as well as therapeutic and psychiatric assistance for more advanced cases. We have an incredible team of specialists standing by to help you, call or book an appointment online to speak with a professional today!