10 Ways to beat anxiety
Fear is a natural feeling and it is there so that we avoid dangerous situations and we react quickly to threats. In today’s modern world, that natural fight or fight response can be triggered as stress, worries about an uncertain future or even dangers that don’t really exist at all. In very extreme cases, anxiety can be so much of a problem that people become virtually housebound, because they simply cannot control that fear. If that is the case, then they will need to seek specialist help. For many people, anxiety is a problem that they can live with, but it can lead to sleepless nights and eventually it will have an impact on their health. If you know that you worry too much, but you don’t know how to stop, here are ten tips on how you can beat anxiety.
If you do suffer with anxiety, then you will be all too familiar with panic attacks. When you start to feel panic rising in your body, the best way to get it under control is to concentrate on your breathing. Take slow, deep breaths, and you will find that your heart will slow and your body will relax. Conversely, if you take quick, shallow breaths, you will make the feeling of panic get worse.
2. Visualise something positive
If you are an anxious type of person, you will probably always worry a bit more than other people do, but you can learn techniques that will get your anxiety under control. When you feel your anxiety is getting the better of you, force yourself to think about something positive. Visualise in your mind a peaceful place or something that makes you feel happy, and crowd the anxiety out of your thoughts.
3. Try to get more sleep
Unfortunately, anxiety and lack of sleep tend to go hand in hand and one just feeds the other. If you are having trouble sleeping, try to make more time available for sleep by going to bed earlier or, if you can, set aside some snoozing time during the day. It can be difficult to sleep if you are worrying about something, but you need to recognise that not sleeping will only make you feel more anxious, so get as much sleep as you possibly can.
4. Take control of your imagination
For many people who suffer with anxiety, their own imagination is their worst enemy. You need to recognise the difference between what is really likely to happen and what you are imagining might happen. If you practice, you can teach yourself to stop worrying and get your imagination under control. When you start to feel your imagination running away with you, bring yourself back to the present and concentrate on what is going on around you right now.
5. Cut down on stimulants
Avoid anything that has caffeine in it, like coffee and some sodas, because that will increase the amount of adrenaline in your blood, which will make your anxiety worse and make it harder for you to get to sleep. Avoid alcohol too, because, while that may calm you down in the short term, when it wears off, your anxiety is very likely to be even worse.
6. Get yourself organised
You can help reduce your anxiety levels by getting yourself more organised. When you suffer with anxiety, even little things, like not being able to find your keys or losing an important piece of paper, can set you off into a spin. Declutter your home and your mind and then you’ll have fewer things to worry about in a day-to-day basis.
7. Make more time for play
You would be able to relax more if you made more time to have fun and do things that will take your mind off your worries. Children and animals have an amazing calming effect on the mind so, if you have neither, offer to babysit for a friend or take someone’s dog out for a walk. When you see how carefree animals and kids are, it will help you to be less anxious too.
8. Plan ahead
Anxiety feeds off feeling out of control, so the more you plan ahead, the less anxious you will feel. Write up a to-do a list for each day and schedule out your tasks. Become a creature of habit too by doing things like always getting your clothes for the next day ready the night before. The more of routine you can create for yourself, the less there will be to feel anxious about.
9. Go crazy once in a while
A lot of people find that just letting off steam, in private of course, reduces their anxiety levels. Have a good shout and scream and throw a few pillows around. Letting yourself go wild for a few moments will release all those pent up emotions that are bubbling away inside you and will probably feel a lot better after you have let them out.
10. Grab some silent moments
If going crazy doesn’t work for you, then try the opposite and set aside some time each day to relax and think about nothing at all. Switch off all electronic devices, including your phone, close the curtains and just get away from it all for half an hour. Take a snooze, meditate; do whatever you like, but make it your time and your time alone. Even just a short amount of time doing absolutely nothing will reduce your stress and anxiety levels.
What are your favorite ways to beat anxiety?
Stay happy and healthy!