While we can all feel anxious from time to time, some people feel overwhelming anxiety daily that can be emotionally and physically taxing. For that, professional help could be needed to deal with the anxiety in a healthy manner, and to help mitigate symptoms. On the other hand, if you find that you experience anxiety from time to time, try to utilize the tips below to overcome your feelings of worry and get your emotions back in check by recalibrating and centering yourself. While a little bit of anxiety can be a good tool to help motivate a person, and it is a part of our natural flight or fight response, severe and uncontrolled anxiety can undermine one’s ability to function. While the line between normal worrying, and an anxiety disorder could be hard to discern, if your life is solely restricted by anxiety, it is important to receive the right professional help.
Some individuals can worry more than others because innately they are that way. Chronic worriers on the other hand are able to function from day to day, but the anxiety eats away at their emotional and physical health. Excessive worry or anxiety is associated with an increased risk for depression, heart disease, and other medical conditions. Here are some tips for getting a handle on excessive worry, even if you have not been diagnosed with a full blown anxiety disorder-all the more so if you struggle with an anxiety condition.
- Take slow deep breaths. When you are anxious, you hold your breath in too rapidly, or shallowly. To overcome this, simply inhale through your nose holding one nostril, then hold your breath for about 10 seconds, and finally slowly exhale through your mouth. Practice this technique throughout the day for about a minute at a time, or any time you are feeling anxious.
- Establish contact. The more isolated you feel, the more likely you are to ruminate and worry. Go to a restaurant, eat with colleagues at work, or call a friend. Feeling connected reduces anxiety, and quells symptoms.
- Stay in the present. Pay attention to what is happening now, not to the past or the future. Take 1 day, 1 hour, or even 1 minute at time.
- Squash Passivity. Aim to not become a victim of circumstance, or a passive victim. Some anxiety sufferers develop a sense of calm and comfort in their troubles. Most of this takes place on a subconscious level. If you are worried about your health, your job, or finances, create an actual plan to solve potential problems so you can feel more in control. Taking action reduces anxiety, even if the problem is not immediately solvable.
- Don’t take things too personally. Get the facts straight. Exaggerated worry often stems from a lack of information. If your boss snubs you in the hallway, you may come to the conclusion that you are going to get fired, or that you are not doing a good job. In reality, maybe your boss was pondering a personal matter, and was unaware of your presence.
- Stop the stimulus in its tracks. People who have a natural propensity to worry excessively need to decrease stimulation. For example turn off your car radio, don’t answer your cell phone, take a lunch break away from your office. Do whatever you need to do to decompress.
- Share your worry if you can. Try not to worry alone. When we naturally talk about our worries, the toxicity starts to dissipate. Talking it through helps us find solutions, and makes us realize that our concerns aren’t so overwhelming.
- Write it Down. Get your worry down on paper. Journaling can help put them into perspective, as you may come to think of possible solutions to your problems.
- Let it go. Chronic worriers have a hard time letting go, as if worrying will fix the problem at hand. So train yourself to let go, and meditate or visualize your worries melting away. You can imagine your worries all located at the palm of your hand, and then you blow them away. Use whatever silly visualizations you need to see that your worries are not, and will not last forever.
- Exercise. Exercising vigorously when you are feeling anxious. This will help to banish the anxiety from your system. The more vigorous the exercise, the better the anxiety riddled symptoms get cleared out, or at the very least reduced.
When you are feeling anxious about something, it is easy to think that you will stay that way indefinitely. The tips above can help to restore a sense of balance and calm within yourself so that you can begin to see things a bit more logically, while searching for reasonable solutions to the problem(s) at hand. Shifting your emotionally hijacked brain away from your flight and flight response and into a clearer state of mind will enable you to realize that your problems are quite transient in the long run.