You may not know what you can do to feel better anytime you feel anxious. You may even end up doing things that only increases your anxiety. You might over-focus on life and the result becomes a lot of what ifs. How therefore can you reduce your anxiety at the moment?
You might blame yourself for your own anxiety and believe that those negative and bad thoughts are facts that cannot be disputed.
The good news is there are many techniques and tools that can be used to effectively manage anxiety.
Here are healthy ways on how to deal with anxiety:
- Take a deep breath
This is the first thing you should do when you get anxious.
This is a powerful anxiety-reducing technique since it catalyzes the body’s relaxation response of the nervous system.
- Accept the fact that you are anxious
Do not forget that anxiety just like any other feeling is just a feeling. By doing so, you’ll begin accepting it.
Acceptance is very important. This is because anxiety is frequently worsened by wrangling or elimination. However, accepting your anxiety doesn’t mean you start living miserably, it means that you’ll see its significance by accepting the reality just as it is.
- Know that your brain is tricking you
Your brain might play tricks on you. This doesn’t mean you are dying. This helps you do away with the shame and guilt and gives you that confidence to fix yourself and not judge yourself.
- Question your thoughts
The brain usually comes up with ideas that are very unrealistic when individuals are anxious. The aim of these thoughts is to heighten a person’s already existing anxious state. You should ask yourself the following questions when challenging your thoughts;
- Is what I’m worrying about realistic?
- Is it likely to happen?
- What will be so bad about the worst possible outcome?
- Can I handle that?
- What will I do?
- If something bad happens, what will that say about me?
- Is this true or it just looks that way?
- What do I need to do to prepare for what might happen?
- Your visualization should be calm
Practice the following mediation every day so that it will be easy for you to access it when you are anxious.
“Picture yourself on a river bank or outside in a favorite park, field or beach. Watch leaves pass by on the river or clouds pass by in the sky. Assign your emotions, thoughts, and sensations to the clouds and leaves, and just watch them float by”
This is distinct from what individuals usually do.
- Observe without judging
Having a 3 by 5 card written “practice observing with compassion or without judgment” helps a lot. Many of my patients usually came back after months and tell me they still have that card.
- Positively have a self-talk
A lot of negative chatter can be produced by anxiety. Always compliment yourself positively.
- Focus on the moment
People who are anxious are usually obsessed with what the future holds. They should rather focus on what’s happening at the moment. Regardless of anything serious that might be happening, just focus on the present and you will overcome.
- Engage in meaningful activities
Anytime you are feeling anxious, engage in activities that are meaningful. Do things that you had initially planned to do. The worst way you can deal with anxiety is to focus on it. In short, all you need to do is be busy doing something. Do not sit around paying attention to anxiety, you won’t benefit from that.