Anxiety saps our mental strength. After all, it is the most prevalent mental health issue in our society today. Anxiety affected over 284 million people worldwide in 2017, making it the most common mental health problem on the planet.
This post is for you if you’re asking yourself, “How can I get over my anxiety?” I’ve put together a list of my favorite anxiety-relieving techniques.
In general, anxiety is defined as a feeling of unease or concern about an unknown consequence. This anxiety and worry can become extreme at times, and it transitions from something we can handle on our own to requiring expert assistance. Consider seeking professional help from a therapist or a doctor if your anxiety or fear includes panic attacks or compulsive habits.
Anxiety, in my opinion, is information—it’s a signal that something isn’t quite right in your life. It might be a worldwide pandemic, a workplace struggle, interpersonal instability, or a symptom of a more serious mental health problem. Whatever the case may be, it’s important to consider it and ask pertinent questions.
Again, even if just for a short time, talking to a therapist or counselor can help you figure out some of these issues. And if you want to try it on your own, here are five anxiety-busting strategies.
The power of journaling and the path of self-discovery it may lead you down will astound you. The nicest part about journaling is that there are no rules to follow. It’s a private space where you may sort through your thoughts and come up with solutions.
There are many different methods for journaling, and depending on what was going on and what I was looking for, I modified my approach multiple times. It might be a day-by-day account, or bullet points with highlights or musings.
To get the most out of your journaling, I recommend pushing yourself to go beyond a simple recital of the day’s events. What you actually want to do here is get inside your head and figure out what’s going on inside your head. Timelines can also help you comprehend your connections and the events that have occurred in your life. It is, once again, a matter of personal preference.
Isn’t it true that the pen is mightier than… the meds?!?
2. The 5 Senses Exercise
When we have heightened worry, I imagine physical energy rising like a thermometer from our feet to our heads. This energy can sometimes make us feel as if we are separated from our bodies. The five senses exercise can help you re-connect with your body and reduce your anxiety to a more bearable level.
The 5 senses exercise is a mindfulness practice that involves connecting your five senses to your current surroundings. This is an excellent method to center yourself and focus your attention and energy on the present moment. This exercise is one of my favorites because it can be done anywhere and at any time. If you’re starting to feel anxious, this could be a helpful method to help you calm down and avoid a panic attack or extended anxiety.
The procedure is straightforward:
- Begin by taking a few deep breaths while counting to three. Inhale as you count to three, then exhale as you count to three.
- After that, write down five things you see, four things you hear, three things you can touch and feel, two things you can smell, and one item you can taste.
- Allow yourself a few minutes to absorb it.
- If necessary, repeat the process and go on.
3. Make a schedule for self-care
What are some of the ways you take care of yourself? When life demands get more intense, self-care is one of the first things to fall by the wayside. However, it is vital that you schedule “you time” since as stress levels rise, so does anxiety.
If self-care isn’t something you’re used to thinking about, I’ve put up a list of suggestions for you to consider. It’s worth noting that scheduling it with someone else may help with accountability.
Consider working smaller amounts of time during the week and then doing something more elaborate on the weekend, such as going on a hike, going on an expedition, doing a creative home project, or even going on a weekend getaway.
Ideas for self-care:
- Get out of the office for a walk or join a coworker for some informal chit-chat during your lunch break.
- Plan a massage or a trip to the spa or hairdresser.
- Watch a favorite film or television show alone or with your favorite person or persons.
- Work out, whether inside or outside—do something that raises your heart rate.
- Take a walk in the evening or afternoon.
- Break out your knitting, woodworking, artwork, or instrument to tap into your creative side.
- Dancing can be done at home with your children, with a partner, or on your own. Play your favorite music and go about your business!
4. Be Mindful
This is a significant one. Anxiety fluctuates a lot depending on how we think about something. Maintain control over your negative self-talk by being aware of it and attempting to incorporate perspective. If you know you’re going to face a difficult situation, mentally prepare yourself for it and allow yourself to accept the challenge. After all, the struggle allows us to learn and grow.
Also, keep in mind that life is full of options—even if the ones in front of us aren’t ideal—remember that they exist. Using some of the above tactics could be one of the first steps toward making a change in your life and overcoming anxiety.
Recognize the things for which you are grateful for a quick and easy technique to get perspective (this is also a mindfulness practice). One approach to do this is to keep a thankfulness diary, in which you write down three to five things you are glad for each day. Try it for a week and see how it makes you feel. Of course, the more you practice this, the greater the benefits will be.
5. Listen to Music
Music reaches out to our souls. Many of us turn to it when we need a pick-me-up or just want to let off steam. But, as life gets busy, we don’t always incorporate music into our lives the way we used to, and we end ourselves in a music rut, listening to the same dull music on the radio.
Let this serve as a reminder to listen to new music. Streaming services have changed the way we listen to music and made it more accessible than ever before. It’s worth a look to see what you can find.
Furthermore, music therapy is a rising form of therapy based on studies that show it can help reduce pain, blood pressure, and—you guessed it—anxiety, as well as improve mood, healing, and overall optimism.
Medical doctors are increasingly adopting it into their professions and utilizing it in operating rooms. If you have a Spotify or Apple Music subscription, simply type in “relaxing music” and you will be sure to find something that will help you relax and focus. I stumbled discovered some wonderful ones while researching for this piece, and they are now part of my everyday routine.
To Sum It Up
Anxiety is something that we all encounter from time to time, and figuring out what’s causing your anxiety can help you figure out the best techniques for you. However, there are certain specific best practices you can adopt into your life to help you manage your anxiety and continue to live the productive and meaningful life you desire.
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