Millions of Americans are affected by chronic anxiety. Anxiety affects from people of all walks of life, from young to old, rich to poor, and everyone in-between. Anxiety can have severe impacts on your quality of life. Thus, intentional action to help you manage your anxiety is a crucial step in overall improvement in your quality of life.
Anxiety can show up in lots of ways. Maybe your thoughts are racing, maybe your chest feels tight and your heart is beating fast, perhaps you’re just feeling a sense of worry. Whatever it is, you want it to go away.
Here are a few things to try when you feel Anxiety creeping in…
This may sound simple, but stopping and focusing on your breaths, all while slowing them down can be super effective in calming anxieties. Try this:
Breathe in for four seconds, hold that breath for four seconds, breathe out for four seconds, hold for four seconds, and repeat!
According to the National Health Service, Relaxed, focused breath is one of the most effective things you can do.
2- Engage All Your Senses!
Oftentimes, anxiety can disconnect us from our bodies and from our environment. By engaging our senses, we can get out of our head and back into reality! This can really help turn the dial down on anxiety. Try this:
First, notice all the things you can see in your environment (Ex. There is a rug on the floor, there is a lamp on the table). Next, notice all the things you can touch (Ex. The text of my blue jeans, the soft blanket on my couch, this warm mug). Next, notice all the things you can hear (Ex. Cars driving down the street outside, the music playing on the radio, the sound of my hands clapping).
Then, notice all the things you can smell (Ex. The detergent on my clothes, the tea I’m drinking, or if you can’t find something to smell then take a deep breath!). Finally, notice things you can taste (If you’re not around food or beverage, then this one can be skipped. Or drink a sip of water!). Repeat until anxiety symptoms have decreased.
Engaging your senses has been proven to be an effective coping tool for anxiety.
3-Talk To Someone!
Sometimes the simplest trick for minimizing anxiety is asking someone else how they’re doing! This gets us “out of our own heads” and into someone else’s! This can be as easy as asking a coworker what they ate for dinner last night, or asking your partner how they’re feeling right now. It’s also important to talk to your healthcare professional.
4-Find The Positives!
Anxiety can happen when we’re focused on the negatives, or dealing with tough stuff. Try reframing some of those thoughts in a positive light. Say things to yourself like, “I’m doing a great job at dealing with this stress right now.” or “I’ve handled stuff like this before!” or “I may be unsure about what’s next, but I know I have support!” It’s not just self-talk, it actually works.