Everyone feels anxious now and then. This is especially true when faced with a major life change. This post will discuss how to get rid of anxiety and other tips to help you.
Anxiety is defined as worrying over a threat that is still in the future. For instance, thinking about a conversation you fear can cause your stomach to twist even before it happens.
In other instances, some people can feel their hearts racing before a presentation or an important examination.
Like most people, you have likely asked yourself how to stop anxiety or at least relieve it.
If you experience anxiety often, you are likely constantly looking for ways to calm your anxious feeling or relieve your anxiety effectively.
Understandably, it is normal to want to get rid of the pit-of-the-stomach and uncomfortable feeling as quickly as possible.
However, this approach is counterproductive.
This is not common knowledge, but when you worry about getting rid of anxiety, you signal to your nervous system that you have more things to be nervous about.
This can worsen your anxiety.
It is important to remember that if your anxiety is long-lasting and it starts to interfere with your daily life, you can develop an anxiety disorder. You will need treatment to overcome the condition.
Around 40 million adults in the United States have an anxiety disorder.
Surprisingly, anxiety disorder is the most prevalent mental health problem in the United States, and most people begin experiencing the symptoms before they turn 21.
While various anxiety disorders have distinct symptoms, they also share many common ones.
Symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder can include:
- Frequent sleep problems
- Uncontrolled or excessive worry
- Feeling edgy or restless
- Difficulty focusing or concentrating on a task
- Unusual fatigue
- Headaches or muscle tension
Treatment of anxiety disorder can also include a combination of medication and cognitive behavioral therapy.
If you are in the midst of an anxiety attack, you’d be happy to know many proven techniques can help you manage your anxiety and worries.
Do you have a creative streak?
It can come in handy when you are feeling anxious.
If you are feeling artistic, consider painting or drawing how you feel.
You can also keep a relaxing and soothing picture or image that you can look at if you want to take a mental vacation.
Expressive writing has also been known to help with depression and anxiety.
Keeping a gratitude journal can also help minimize negative and intrusive thoughts and can help you focus on all the good things instead.
Keeping a gratitude journal at bedtime will not only help ease your anxiety, it can also help you sleep better.
Akin to deep breathing and laughing can help your muscles relax and increase your oxygen levels.
Laughter also feels good and can help lighten and shift your focus.
Call a friend who makes you laugh, watch a comedy with friends and loved ones, and watch how your mood changes.
Amazingly, you will feel much better when you do something for yourself.
Whether getting a soothing facial or a relaxing massage, do whatever you make feel happy and relaxed.
You can also wrap warm heat around your shoulders and neck to feel more relaxed.
If you feel overwhelmed, it will help if you disconnect from the world’s noise.
Turning your phone, TV, or computer off for at least an hour can make a massive difference in your demeanor and mindset.
A 2015 study revealed that individuals with mild to severe anxiety could benefit from listening to music.
Music has also been proven to lower both blood pressure and heart rate.
Ensure you always have access to relaxing music so you can easily listen to your favorite songs when you feel on edge.
It would also be a good idea to create a playlist that you can easily listen to to get quick relief from any symptoms you are feeling.
Some research also indicates that singing can help release oxytocin and endorphins to alleviate your anxious feelings.
Doing something physical is considered one of the best anxiety fixes.
You don’t have to run a marathon or do anything strenuous or extreme to benefit from exercise.
When it comes to exercise, it is reassuring to know that all forms of exercise can be great for you and can help ease anxiety symptoms dramatically.
Even gentle exercises such as tai chi, yoga, or walking can already help release those feel-good chemicals.
If you are at work and feel anxious, you can also do some stretching while at your desk or take a quick walk during lunch.
Sharing your anxiety and fears with a trusted family member or friend is a personal decision.
However, those you trust and who sincerely care about you can help ease your anxious feelings tremendously.
In addition, talking to someone on the phone or in person can also help you gain a new perspective on your situation.
It will also help if you don’t think twice about asking for help when needed.
If you need someone to accompany you for a walk or movie, or you just want someone who will listen, don’t hesitate to ask.
Many researchers have indicated that mindful meditation can help minimize anxiety and other psychological stress.
Thankfully, everyone is capable of mindfulness.
However, being mindful is much easier when you have made it a habit.
If you are new to the meditation practice, you can try guided meditations at first.
Contrary to popular belief, meditating is not as difficult as many people perceive.
However, if you want to meditate, one primary requirement would be to pay attention to the present.
Sit straight with your feet on the floor, close your eyes, and recite a mantra (either out loud or to yourself).
The mantra can be any sound or positive statement of your liking.
It is also ideal if you would sync the mantra with your breath.
Fight the urge to get frustrated or upset if your mind shifts to intrusive or distracting thoughts.
Just continue and refocus.
Make it a point to set aside a few daily minutes to meditate.
With determination and practice, meditation can become an accessible tool in your anti-anxiety toolkit.
Mental Step Back
When you are anxious, you tend to focus on the future rather than the present.
To counter this, it would make sense to do the opposite.
Psychologist and author of Freeing Yourself from Anxiety, Tamar Chansky, Ph.D., recommends that if you are feeling anxious, you refocus by asking yourself what is happening and what you can do about it.
If there is nothing you can do that can change things, it is ideal that you make a conscious decision to revisit the situation when you are calmer.
If you feel extremely anxious, stop and calm yourself down by focusing on your breathing.
Sit up straight and breathe deeply.
Take a long, deep breath through your nose and hold it for 3 seconds.
Exhale slowly while feeling the muscles in your jaw, face, shoulders, and abdominal area relax completely.
This technique has been proven to help slow heart rate and lower blood pressure.
It would also help to practice deep breathing from time to time, so it becomes second nature to you.
This can become especially beneficial if you are under extreme stress.
Anxiety can be similar in some ways to a motor revving.
As such, you can take control of your anxiety by taking control of the anxious energy and directing it someplace else.
For instance, if you are sitting there and feeling all worried, try getting up or walking and pacing.
You can also go outside for a few minutes or call and talk to someone.
Bursts of activity, no matter how short, can help release and redirect anxious energy.
Final Thoughts on How to Get Rid of Anxiety
While there is no shortage of techniques you can try to effectively relieve anxiety, there are instances when you will need professional help. Signs you need professional intervention include panic attacks and anxiety about things that are not threatening. Make sure you also find a mental health professional you can trust and someone with years of experience treating anxiety disorders.