Most of us know what it takes to have a healthy body: eating well, getting the right nourishment, and exercise are the best combination for your body’s wellbeing. But mental wellbeing is still a bit of a taboo. Anxiety can be crippling, even in the healthiest body. Let’s look at what it is and our top tips for reducing it.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety can come in many forms. Whether you’re apprehensive about an upcoming event or struggling to cope with the day’s events, anxiety can make you feel like you’re stuck in quicksand. But the anticipation and predictions of these events can often be much worse that the reality.
Anxiety displays both physical and emotional symptoms. These include an increased heart rate, lack of concentration, irritable demeanour, and sleeping problems.
Anxiety and stress are your body’s reaction to perceived dangers. Understandably, this can cause you to feel on edge. We’ve compiled our top 10 tips to help you reduce your anxiety.
Top Ten Tips to Reduce Anxiety
There are a whole range of options available to manage your symptoms. These top 10 tips should help you reduce your daily anxiety and get you feeling more like yourself again.
1. Take Deep Breaths
Deep breathing is an effective relaxation technique. It helps loosen up your muscles and gives you a sense of calm. Simply sitting in a chair that supports your head, lying on the floor or bed, and concentrating on your breathing can work wonders.
Focus on each individual breath. It can be tempting to take short, sharp gasps but you should try to breathe in and out slowly. Concentrate on the rhythm and the rise and fall of your chest. This will distract your mind and help you calm down.
2. Acknowledge That You’re Anxious
Unless you personally suffer from anxiety, it can be hard to understand the condition, what is causing it, and how to help. Having someone who knows about your condition is invaluable. Let people help you by acknowledging how you’re feeling. That way they can talk you through your panic attacks and be there to look after you once they subside. It’s equally important to have someone who can spot the warning signs.
Everyone needs a good support network in place. Remember: suffering from anxiety doesn’t make you weak; it just makes you human.
3. Realize That Your Brain Is Playing Tricks on You
Panic attacks cause an awful amount of distress. When you suffer from anxiety, a panic attack can make it feel as though you’re having a heart attack. Remind yourself that you are not in any danger and that the feeling will pass. It can help to sit down, place your head between your legs and take deep breaths.
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4. Question Your Thought Processes
When you feel anxious, your thought processes may be rather erratic and your decision-making skills may be affected. Ask yourself, “Are these worries and scenarios realistic?” This will help you to rationalize your thoughts.
One example is worrying about completing a task because you fear you will fail at it. In reality, you won’t know until you try, and even if you do fail, you will no doubt learn something from the experience. Remember, things are seldom as bad as you may think.
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5. Calm Yourself With Visualizations
Visualizations can be an extremely effective way of easing your anxiety. Picturing yourself on a sunny beach or in one of your favourite places can help relax you. Imagine your thoughts floating away and focus your attention on that special place. This will help you to concentrate on your breathing and enable you to calm down.
Meditation apps like Headspace are readily available and are ideal for when you notice your anxiety symptoms coming on.
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6. Establish What Is Making You Anxious
By pinpointing what is making you anxious you can learn to notice the triggers and identify the scenarios that you are struggling to cope with. Then put steps in place to avoid feeling that way again. If you can’t help but encounter whatever is making you anxious, try to get to the core of why it triggers your symptoms.
Confiding in a friend, family member or colleague gives you the support network you need and will make it easier to tackle the situation head-on.
By being proactive about your anxiety and its triggers, you are taking control of the situation. Move away from that internal monologue telling you that you can’t do or cope with certain things. Instead, use positive self-talk. Tell yourself positive coping statements like “My anxiety feels bad, but I can cope with it.”
7. Focus On The Positives
It may sound strange, but focussing on the positives in your life can have a wonderful effect when you’re struggling with anxiety. Akin to depression, anxiety can make you feel like you’re being dragged down.
By taking a moment to mentally or physically list the positives in your life, you’re not only taking your mind off how you’re feeling but you also give yourself something to smile about. Smiling releases endorphins that can help to reduce stress levels. So it’s a win-win situation.
8. Aim For A Goal
A task, no matter how small, can help give you a second train of thought to distract you from the tightness in your chest. Everyday tasks like washing pots or ironing can help to relax your mind. Even better, once you’ve finished the task you will feel a sense of achievement, helping to make you feel more positive.
But it’s important not to put too much pressure on yourself. Only do what you feel you can physically cope with and take it from there. Anxiety doesn’t come with an instruction manual, so just take it at your own pace.
9. Take Time To Relax
Whether you set time aside for taking a nice warm bath, reading your favourite book or catching up on your TV shows, it’s important to put time aside to relax. This will give your mind and body the chance to calm down.
A good night’s sleep can make the world of difference. Research shows that if you get less than five hours sleep a night it has the same effect on the brain as being drunk.
Getting a restful sleep may be easier said than done so you may want to use some herbal or holistic tablets to help relax you enough to be able to drift off into a natural slumber. When you are fully rested you will see everything in a whole new light.
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10.De-Clutter Your Mind
If you’re struggling to unwind after a stressful day or event, making a list of everything that you feel anxious about can help declutter your mind.
Writing it down can be rather cathartic. Next, mark the things that you can control and those that you can’t. This will help to give you a fresh perspective on the situation. You can then put steps in place to do something about the issues that you do have control of. Yoga and meditation can also help to reduce your anxiety and put you in a more relaxed state.
Reduce Your Anxiety Today
Antiaging Nutrition provides a whole host of products designed to help you feel more like yourself again. Shop online today and discover how easy it is to manage your stress and anxiety.
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For more information on dealing with an anxiety disorder, please talk to a medical professional.