Ways To Overcome Anxiety

  • Time to read: 5 min.

Everybody knows what it feels like to be anxious. Even if you are one of the calmest individuals in the entire world, there have been certain times or specific situations where you felt a certain amount of anxiety. If you think back to that time, you probably remember how unpleasant that feeling was.

It is indeed a constant battle daily to function. It’s crucial to know the vital tools that you can use to help you deal with these feelings. That way, you can take control of your anxiety instead of allowing it to control you.

What Is Anxiety?

Anxiety is a feeling of impending doom; in some cases, it causes intense fear that becomes so strong that it’s almost impossible to control your impulses. When you suffer from anxiety, you might worry that things will happen that are entirely out of your control. On the other end of the spectrum, you may feel such panic that you have an overpowering need to run away from something, even though you can’t immediately identify what that something might be.

Types Of Anxiety

Most people have the misconception that anxiety is just a general term that people have when they worry a lot. In reality, there are several different types of anxiety, and the type likely determines the way you feel at any given moment.

It’ is possible to suffer from more than one type of anxiety. In most cases, it’s even likely. For example, you may have social anxiety, becoming nervous whenever you have to go into any social situation. You may suffer from specific phobias such as a fear of heights or fear of the dark. You might suffer intense anxiety attacks that make you feel like you are entirely out of control.

Those who have obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) also experience anxiety. For those who always feel anxious, even when there isn’t a specific reason, it’s known as a generalized anxiety disorder.

How Anxiety Affects The Body

When you suffer from anxiety, your body goes through many physical changes that can come on rather rapidly. As your tension ramps up, your heart rate and breathing also speed up, and your blood pressure rises. Large quantities of hormones such as adrenaline and cortisol release into your bloodstream.

It then becomes hard to sleep. If you struggle with these feelings on a routine basis, it can harm your health and lead to chronic problems such as high blood pressure and even heart disease, according to the American Psychological Association.

Tools That Help You Deal With Anxiety

There are a few things that you can do to help you better deal with the feelings that you’re experiencing. It’s not likely to eliminate your anxiety, so don’t be disappointed if you find yourself still feeling anxious from time to time. Doing these seven things can help you feel a lot better than you might be feeling right now.

1. Practice mindfulness

You have probably heard of the term mindful meditation. It means focusing on something specific. Changing your focus can help you during an anxiety attack if you force your mind to think about something that makes you happy or relaxed.

It also goes hand-in-hand with controlling your breath. By forcing yourself to focus and breathe in deeply, hold that breath for just a few seconds, and then breathe out slowly, you are essentially forcing your body to calm down.

Repeat and say positive thoughts out loud and in your head

When you feel anxious, negative thoughts are creeping in. When you force yourself to think about something more positive, many negative thoughts let go of the power they have on you.  It is not easy at first, but with practice, you can learn how to use this to your advantage. As you think more positive thoughts, you start to feel more positive as well.

2. Deal with negative emotions

Everyone has negative emotions. Unfortunately, it’s just a part of life. It’s how you deal with them that makes the difference. It’s important to feel those emotions and acknowledge them, but be careful not to sit with them for too long. Your practice with other tools; mindfulness, focusing on the positive help. 

As you practice, your ability to sit with negative emotions becomes stronger. If you can only sit with your negative feelings for one minute today, that is ok.  You will see that when you keep practicing, you can relax with the negative emotions for two minutes next week. 

Overdoing or believing you must be self-disciplined and sit with your feelings longer than you are able will not be helpful in your ability to handle anxiety. Acknowledge those feelings and then let them go.

3. Don’t let your thoughts run away

Sometimes it’s easy to allow our thoughts to go to the worst possible scenario that could happen.  In response, the body reacts as if that scenario has happened, even when it hasn’t.

It all goes back to being mindful of what you allow yourself to think and feel.  When you notice these negative thoughts, practice mindfulness and purposefully acknowledge and thank the negative thoughts and place your energy on the positive.

4. Meditate

The great thing about meditation is that you can do it in a manner that benefits you the most, and you can do it practically anywhere. Even if you only have a few moments, simply closing your eyes and focusing on your breath can help you stay calm.

5. Exercise

When you exercise, your brain automatically releases a chemical called dopamine, which produces a euphoric feeling. It’s like being on a natural high.

It also works quite effectively in helping you combat anxiety because of that euphoric feeling. The more you exercise, the less prone you will likely be to feelings of anxiety.

Final Thoughts

Carve out time for yourself. Whether you’re taking time to read or participating in your favourite hobby, make time for yourself. Many busy people think this is counterproductive but, you’ll be more productive in other areas of your life if you take time to do something just for you.

All of these tools are easy to implement daily, and they only take a few minutes of your time. By working to employ these tools effectively, you can start to take control of your anxiety. Doing so makes it likely that you’ll feel anxious less often, putting you back in control of your own life.

Focus on the positive, practice and breathe.

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