Just like everything else, anxiety comes in different forms.
I Personally, find that anxiety is a totally normal feeling since its definition is concluded in feeling worried and/or fearing something.
Just like that feeling we get the night before the exam or while we’re anticipating a text back or a call. In its mild form, anxiety is transient just like any other feeling. However, in its severe form, anxiety requires so much more effort from us and sometimes requires help from a psychiatrist, a therapist, and/or a life coach depending on the severity of the case.
In this article, I have gathered some of the information I’ve learnt through researching and throughout my journey as a life coach to offer you some tips on how to best deal with anxiety.
Breathe in and Out
Deep breathing works like magic!!
Some breathing exercises require counting seconds for inhaling and exhaling; however, my advice is concluded in simply focusing on inhaling and exhaling – enjoy feeling the air filling up your lungs and cleansing your body. Do that, and everything might fall into place sooner than expected.
Follow the 3×3 Rule
We may have seen it in movies and thought it was just “part of an act”, but it truly helps in real life as well. Name three things you see, three sounds you hear, and move three parts of your body (ex: fingers, ankle, leg, arm, neck, anything you can move). The reason behind this mental trick is to bring us back to the present and help our minds get centered and focused again.
Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and sugar.
Caffeine mainly stimulates the fight or flight responses which trigger anxiety and may lead to anxiety attacks.
Alcohol consumption interferes in the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain and makes the symptoms of anxiety worse by leading to us feeling more anxious even when sober. As for sugar, it has been proven to also contribute to worsening anxiety.
All these can easily be solved by the next step.
Dehydration may be a main cause of many diseases in the body, such as increased heart palpitations, which can result in triggering anxiety attacks and increase the overall feeling of panic.
So yes, drinking water is pretty important even in fighting anxiety.
Write It All Down
Not having a clear idea on the reasons or main source or our anxiety can be really frustrating and cause more anxiety – to the point that it even may hit you in the most unexpected places and situations.
Having control over our anxiety is exactly why writing can help us since it is all about getting to know ourselves and what triggers our anxiety in order to treat it. Also, studies show that writing helps in releasing negative emotions and reduce stress.
Exercise is always a good idea, especially when done with the intention of reducing anxiety.
When we exercise, we help our bodies in exerting the effort required to get rid of that extra adrenaline build-up which can lead to getting anxious for no specific reason. Exercising or walking in the open air improves our overall well-being, health, and plays an important role in boosting our overall mood.
So yes, you may need to take a walk, exercise, or interrupt your thoughts by moving to regain your control and find your center.
Yes, we may need to learn how to call things as they are, without exaggerating or mislabeling. For example; instead of feeling like dying or having a heart attack due to a panic or anxiety attack, we could say to ourselves “I may be having a panic attack but it’s harmless and it won’t last forever”.
Panic attacks means that your body is activating its fight or flight response, which sounds pretty lively, right?
Clear Your Head Out
How do we actually get to clear our heads out? – we might think…
Well, taking time out to practice self care is really important for us to relax. Everyone has their own way in doing that. However; yoga, music, meditation or even taking a trip may help you clear out your mind and relax.
Enough with the worst case scenarios we are creating in our heads, right?
So let’s check some facts about what’s really going on. For example saying ‘ I am worried, some things may not get well, but other things will, and i know i am doing the best i can ‘, which are facts and help us realize that it’s not as bad as we may think by assuming the worst.
By waking up early at least 15 minutes to get ready for the day and help ourselves relax instead of rushing around and increasing stress, which also brings us to the next tip.
Stating the things were grateful for every morning helps us in maintaining a positive attitude and highlight the positives in our lives.
This doesn’t have to necessarily mean we create an enormous list of things, we can just remind ourselves of the 3 things we’re grateful for the most. They can be events or states of being that occurred on the previous day, oh and our will-power to do that may be one of them.
Talk To Someone
Like I mentioned earlier, we may need to seek professional help, which is something that I personally perceive as a brave and wise decision. However, talking to friends for the sake of venting can also be helpful.
The most important thing is that we do not let someone else decide for us how our feelings should be.
It’s okay if we struggle with anxiety, it’s okay to feel however we’re feeling right now. We just need to accept our emotions, no matter how hard they may seem at times, in order to deal with them.
Also, Consistency is key, never forget that.