Do you worry excessively, and does it sometimes become uncontrollable?
Does stressing affect your daily life, like your work, school, or social life?
Having a sense of impending danger or panic, dealing with anxiety can interfere with your everyday life activities and can be debilitating.
There are numerous anxiety disorders that cause worry and stress due to various reasons, like work, health, or any kind of phobia. Most of you could be familiar with these terms – panic disorders, agoraphobia, generalised anxiety disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobia, post-traumatic stress disorder, and separation anxiety disorder, which are some types of anxiety.
Following are some general anxiety triggers:
- Stressful work environment
- Travelling or driving
- Chronic illnesses like heart disease or asthma
- Withdrawal from certain medications
- Having another mental illness like depression
Sometimes, anxiety can cause intense fear due to some situation or object and can reach its extremes in minutes.
Does Everyone Have Anxiety?
Yes, everyone experiences bouts of anxiety. Sonali Gupta, the author of Anxiety: How to Overcome It, says that “anxiety is an invisible emotion that people carry around with them.”
Whether you are nervous about switching jobs or meeting somebody new, it is the uneasiness that one feels when facing unknown situations. Experts say that anxiety is a common reaction to stress.
In this article, we will point down five effective ways to deal with anxiety and free yourself.
1. Practice Gratitude Meditation
Associated with well-being and happiness, gratitude meditation works wonders! Being thankful basically unshackles you from pessimism.
During gratitude meditation, we concentrate on the objects and people we are thankful for. Gratitude activates dopamine, which is responsible for making you feel good. This instant happiness keeps us engaged, making us repeat the process repeatedly.
By relieving the stress hormones and controlling the functioning of the autonomic nervous system, gratitude reduces the symptoms of anxiety. Thus, people who maintain a gratitude journal are more positive-minded and empathetic in nature.
“Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never ever have enough.”
– Oprah Winfrey
2. Don’t Fight It But Let It Be
It may sound crazy at first, but that’s how it works. Don’t try to avoid feeling anxious but face it. This is the most basic and essential thing you can do. The more you try to stop feeling anxious, the more anxious you will be. And this does not help in the long run.
The best way to deal with anxiety is to accept it instead of fighting it. Anxiety is a part of life, but that doesn’t mean you will let it get the best of you. To deal with anxiety, all you have to do is be patient, accept it, and it will lift on its own.
“Our anxiety does not come from thinking about the future, but from wanting to control it.”
– Kahlil Gibran
3. Breathe Slowly
Whenever you start feeling panicky, the best thing you can do is to breathe. Breathing is a great way to deal with anxiety.
By breathing deep and slow you signal your nervous system to calm down. It’s helpful when you focus your thoughts on breathing only. This helps the thoughts that trigger anxiety control our heart rate also slows, and we start to calm down.
Several individuals try the 4-7-8 way, i.e., breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 7 seconds, and slowly exhale for 8 seconds. You can repeat this method until you feel calmer and better.
“Breathe. Let go. And remind yourself that this very moment is the only one you know you have for sure.”
– Oprah Winfrey
4. Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Practising progressive muscle relaxation teaches you to relax your muscle in two steps. First, you tense the neck and shoulder. By doing this, you release the tension and witness your muscles relax.
This exercise helps release the overall muscle tension and lessens the feeling of anxiety. Further, it also reduces physical issues like headaches or stomach aches and improves sleep.
“An anxious mind cannot exist in a relaxed body.”
– Edmund Jacobson
5. Create Artwork
Unlike little ones who enjoy colouring and artwork, adults have convinced themselves that they are not good artists. Adults feel and think that art is best for professional artists and fail to try out the benefit that art provides. However, research shows that the act of art relieves stress.
Bringing out your creative side, like colouring, is a great stress reliever. One study shows that people colouring geometric patterns experience feeling less anxious since it’s a perfect outlet.
“Art can permeate the very deepest part of us, where no words exist.”
– Eileen Miller
Dealing with Anxiety
Some other methods and techniques to deal with anxiety include:
- Right breathing techniques
- Learning about anxiety
- Appropriate diet
- cognitive therapy
- Behaviour therapy
- Learning to be assertive
- Building self-esteem
- Problem solving
- Support groups and education
Identifying what type of anxiety you are dealing with can be difficult because it can be entirely different compared to another person. Every person deals with anxiety at some point in their life since it’s a brain’s response to some impending danger. Practise these above-mentioned techniques and be patient for a positive outcome.
Banner Photo by Engin Akyurt
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