It’s normal to feel apprehensive, uneasy, worried, anxious, or nervous about certain circumstances. But if these very emotions get out of control, life can become complicated.
An onslaught of what-if questions with a hyper focus on the future can inadvertently fuel your anxiety. Unfortunately, this can adversely affect a person’s ability to go through daily activities.
There’s good news.
With effective ways to manage and cope with anxiety in the comfort of your own home, you can be on the road to taking better care of yourself in no time at all. Here are a few tips and techniques that you should definitely look into.
1. Stay in the moment.
Anxiety occurs because the brain continuously worries about the future. First off, stop your mind from racing ahead. Accept that you’re anxious and that it’s just a feeling. So focus on the now. Your distant worries should not throw you off track from your current situation.
2. Take a deep breath.
We’ve all heard it before, but sometimes the most fundamental things escape our minds the moment we encounter stress. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is a successful anxiety-reducing technique. It is one of the most basic relaxation strategies that allow the body to transition from a fight-or-flight response to a relaxed mode.
Marla Deibler, the director of The Center for Emotional Health of Greater Philadelphia, suggests the following exercise:
Inhale slowly to the count of 4, filling the belly first and then the chest. Hold in your breath to a count of 4 and exhale slowly to the count of 4. Repeat these steps several times.
3. Stand up straight.
Anxious people have a tendency to hunch over. It’s the body’s normal reaction to a fearful condition to protect upper organs such as the heart and lungs. An immediate remedy to this natural response is to pull your shoulders back and stand or sit with your feet apart. The body immediately starts to gather a sense of control.
4. Assess the reality of the situation.
In an anxious state, the mind can play tricks on you by coming up with all sorts of unrealistic ideas. And these notions further heighten your level of anxiety.
Take a step back and question your thoughts. Challenge the negative self-talk and noise inside your head.
Ask yourself the following:
- Is the worry realistic?
- What’s the worst that can happen?
- Is it really that bad?
- Is it real, or does it just seem that way?
- If something terrible happens, what might that mean about me?
You’ll soon realize the situation is not as bad as you’re making it out to be. Many times it’s only a matter of thinking that you can handle this situation, figuring out an alternative course of action, or preparing for whatever may happen.
5. Ask for help.
It’s okay to reach out for help. Call or text anyone, whether it’s a family member or friend. Often just saying your thoughts out loud can help make sense of it all.
But there are also community resources that are dedicated to providing support for your health care needs and maintaining the quality of your life. For instance, a CDPAP representative is available to help you or family members with several diseases, including depression and anxiety. Talking to people who get what you’re going through can make it easier to relate to your feelings.
6. Watch something funny.
Watching a short video can help get your mind off of things while you realign your focus. But a funny one is a win-win situation. That’s because we all know laughter is one of the best medicines for stress and anxiety. In fact, the United States National Library of Medicine suggests that it can have a substantial positive impact on overall mental health and well-being.
The increased intake of air during laughing stimulates the heart and lungs. Moreover, the brain increases the release of endorphins, the feel-good hormone. As the muscles relax, it soothes tension and relieves stress.
7. Mind what you eat and drink.
People often don’t think twice about what they eat when they’re stressed. Many impulsively grab a candy bar or a cup of coffee. But that may well be the worst thing you do. It’ll only make you more anxious.
Diet can play a vital role in improving both your physical and mental health. Snack on healthier foods such as fruits and nuts. A nice cup of chamomile can help make you feel calm and relaxed.
And while you’re at it, drink plenty of water. Dehydration can make anxiety symptoms worse and harder to manage. Consider avoiding alcohol and caffeinated soft drinks as well.
8. Use a fragrance.
Breathing in a scent with calming properties can help you relax. The following have shown to be quite effective in letting go of anxious feelings:
- Lemon- promotes concentration as well as soothing properties that are especially beneficial when feeling angry, anxious, or run down.
- Lavender- soothes nerves, relaxes the body, and relieves nervous tension. Also suitable for treating headaches and migraines.
- Vanilla- aids in relaxation.
- Peppermint- invigorates the mind and boosts concentration.
- Jasmine- bolsters a feeling of confidence and optimism while revitalizing your energy.
Keep a small bottle of your favorite fragrance to uplift your mood instantly.
9. Practice mindfulness meditation.
The ideology underlying mindfulness meditation is the ability to train the brain to stay in the moment. So regular meditation can make it easier to calm down during an anxious moment. In fact, using a calming scent during meditation can make it more effective.
10. Take a hot bath.
Soaking in a steaming bath with a few drops of essential oils is the perfect way to unwind. Let go of all your worries and head off to a good night’s sleep, another easy way to manage anxiety. A rested mind thinks more clearly, and everyday obstacles don’t become so overwhelming.
Almost everyone experiences anxiety. In fact, it’s a normal part of life. But it’s how you cope with your emotions that matter. The worst thing you can do is sit around obsessing about how you feel. So instead of focusing on the source of your anxiety, control your mind to think positively about the condition.
Even if something you don’t approve of is happening, concentrate on utilizing your energy to improve the situation. Your positive outlook of a scenario can significantly raise your ability to manage everything around you as well as your response to them. Remember, controlling your anxiety is the first step in taking care of yourself, and others too.
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