If you find yourself plagued with anxiety, watching it get in the way of allowing you to do the things you want to do, and always standing as a barrier in front of your goals, it’s time to take it in your own hands and work on reducing its impact.
Here are 4 practical, “start right now” activities you can do to reduce your anxiety symptoms:
Write Your Worries Down
If most of your anxiety comes courtesy of worrying about things, one of the best things you can do to relieve this is to get those thoughts out of your head! In new research, doctors have revealed that writing down your worries or thoughts and feelings about a particular event frees up space in your mind and allows you to tackle other tasks or daily activities without the added distraction and with full, committed energy. If you aren’t much for writing, simply start by writing down the first thing that pops in your head – how you feel, what you did today etc. – and the rest will flow as it needs to!
Despite the fact that breathing is a subconscious activity and that we don’t need to think about doing it in order to make sure we breathe, that doesn’t mean that we are doing it properly. So often our breathing is shallow and incomplete, similar to how it is in stressful situations when we are breathing heavy, or out of breath. This perpetuates the stress-induced fight or flight response within our body, which further promotes anxiety. Practice consciously breathing and being aware of taking complete breaths such that you can shut off the fight or flight response within your body and reduce your anxiety.
Find a Distraction
Most times, anxiety is made worse by the innocuous ruminating we do over things, making them far severer in our head than what they are in real life. We build it up in our minds until it is a huge anxiety inducing issue, when really, it was never that big of a deal to start with. Fix this by finding something to distract you and take your mind off whatever that big looming thing is that is occupying your thoughts. You could try immersing yourself in a challenging task or activity, surrounding yourself with friends, co-workers or people who bring you up, or head to a fitness class or yoga class, where you are forced to be present and do activities with other people.
Use a Mantra
A mantra is a positive statement that you repeat over and over to yourself to distract your mind from the anxiety inducing tendencies, to help you focus on the goal or task at hand and to promote positive self-talk and self-belief. It might be something like “you’ve got this,” or “I believe in you,” or you may cater it to be more relevant to a certain task that is always causing you anxiety. Whatever it is, have it at the ready to call on whenever the anxiety strikes and start using it right away. The more you are able to integrate it into your life, the more it will become normalized and you will indeed believe it and have it as a belief that you support.