Anxiety is something that impacts so many people, from young to old. Unfortunately, the majority of patients with an anxiety disorder have symptoms for a long period before seeking professional assistance. Anxiety symptoms can vary, from unease, dread, horror, or an illogical sense of impending disaster to something as serious as all-body tension, a queasy stomach, heart palpitations, or even a panic attack!
But, regardless of how much you are impacted by your anxiety, it doesn’t have to control you. Here are a few ways to find peace, even when it feels impossible.
1. Start With Grounding Breaths
When we are anxious, our breathing becomes rapid and shallow. Deep belly breathing lowers anxiety by triggering the body’s relaxation response and lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. This method works because we can’t be nervous and deep breathing at the same time. There are various variations to try, including this simple exercise:
Breathe deeply and count to four. Hold your breath for four counts. When you exhale, count to four. Repeat several times.
2. Go For A Re-Centering Walk
Doing some exercise is one of the best anxiety remedies, both temporarily and permanently. Walking helps to decrease stress and shift attention from issues. On the way out, grab your headphones or earphones because, per research, listening to music has a calming impact of its own.
The brain produces feel-good neurochemicals as a result of sustained, regular exercise, enhancing mental toughness in the presence of challenging emotions. It boosts our confidence and happiness, and we don’t have to run a marathon to enjoy its benefits. Anything that gets us moving, like car washing, hiking, gardening, or pick-up games, is okay.
Even 10 minutes can make an impact, and 30 minutes, three to five days a week, can significantly lessen anxiety symptoms.
3. Distract Yourself
Any activity, such as running your fingers over the edge of your phone, putting your hands under cool running water, or coloring or doodling on paper, might help you concentrate your attention away from painful thoughts or feelings. Distractions work because doing anything else will interrupt a stream of fast racing thoughts because the brain can’t be in two places at once.
4. Head Outside
Most people instinctively feel calmer and less anxious when they are outside, but there is research to back that. Our heart rate, blood pressure, and level of the stress hormone cortisol all decrease when we spend time in a natural setting. People who lived adjacent to more green spaces exhibited less emotional anguish.
Japan is clearly at the forefront of people who believe in the therapeutic advantages of nature often known as “forest bathing” or “taking in the forest environment.” It entails paying attention to the beauty, sounds, fragrances, and light of your surroundings while being mindful and in the moment. It also entails visiting nearby forests or going on vacation so you may experience nature with all of your senses.
5. Tap Into Outside Resources
Other methods, such as prescription drugs from your doctor or a more natural approach like CBD, are available to aid with anxiety. The likes of CBD oil, tea, and even vape products like Delta 8 THC Vape Carts are available.
6. Stop Your Negative Self-Talk
Your emotions and thoughts are intertwined. It’s possible to overestimate how dangerous something is and underestimate your own ability to handle it when you’re feeling worried. When faced with an ambiguous situation, attempt to think about other interpretations rather than automatically assuming the worst. Think about the evidence supporting and refuting the validity of your idea.
7. Take into Account What You Can Change
Worrying about things that might never happen or that haven’t even happened yet can frequently lead to anxiety. Even if everything is OK, for instance, you could still be worried about potential issues like losing your job, being sick, or making sure your loved ones are protected.
Despite your best efforts, life can be unpredictable and many things are beyond your control. However, you can decide how you will face the unknown. You can use your worry as a source of power by letting go of fear and focusing on gratitude. To overcome your fears, alter how you view them. Consider how grateful you are that you still have a job as an example, rather than worrying about it. Commit to giving everything you have at work.
Featured Image Credit: Cody Black
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