We all deal with some form of anxiety now and then. This is seems to be more apparent when we have an event or a holiday approaching – which means we can get overwhelmed with planning, hosting, and just making sure everything goes the way we envision it to.
Whether it keeps us up at night or keeps us away from doing the things we enjoy – it is unpleasant and can become frustrating after a while.
I’ve recently started to research a lot about how I am feeling, how it is triggered, and what to do to prevent it. I’ve also created my own list of helpful go-to’s that help decrease anxiety and overtime decrease the intensity – often times I don’t even feel anxious at all. Anxiety-free life? Yeah, that’s the goal! 🙂
I wanted to share these techniques to help others that may face the same feeling(s).
Our minds are very powerful and have the ability to process thoughts at a faster pace than we can articulate. Often times our thoughts jump around and create more chaos by multitasking thoughts in the mind which often times lead to mental fatigue. All of our thoughts are important because they’re triggered by an emotion, memory, ambition, desire, or passion. These thoughts should be collected outside of the mind because they help us eliminate mental clutter that can cause mental fatigue.
Now what? Grab any notebook and start journaling. Yes, that’s right! Just start writing whatever you’re feeling, thinking, or life events – no need to worry about grammar or structure.. just start!
2. The 4 – 7 – 8 – 3 breathing exercises
Breathing is crucial for mindfulness and often times when we are anxious we start to breathe abnormally – which increases the symptoms of anxiety. I learned a deep breathing technique at a stress management training seminar called “4-7-8”. This is where you exhale completely through your mouth and inhale through your nose – counting to four in your mind. You hold your breath for seven seconds then exhale for seven seconds. Repeat this 3 times. This technique helps to reset your nervous system and trust me..you will notice a difference!
Meditation is not hard to do and is actually very simple. The definition for meditation is also pretty self-explanatory –
Meditation is a practice where an individual uses a technique – such as mindfulness, or focusing their mind on a particular object, thought or activity – to train attention and awareness, and achieve a mentally clear and emotionally calm and stable state
You can start off by sitting on a chair, the floor, or laying down comfortably. I like to lie down and get into a comfortable position. Then, I close my eyes and make no effort to control my breath – just breathe normally. Bring your focus to your breath and how your body moves with each inhalation and exhalation.
Don’t worry about the distractions around you or if you find that your mind is wondering off again. Re-focus your attention back to your breaths and continue focusing on your body.
4. Stop & ask
Stop and ask yourself what is causing you to feel so anxious? Often times, you won’t have the answer but do this anyway because you start gaining insight into what built up to the uneasy feeling and become more aware of your emotions and reactions. Are you trying to do something out of your comfort zone? Are you ignoring something that you didn’t think was of importance? Are you over committing? Are you worried about someone? Are you scared or fearful of something happening?
By identifying the “what” you can help understand the”how” and work towards steps to help prevent or resolve the feeling.
5. Don’t analyze
Overanalyzing is something that is taught to us from a young age (either negatively or positively) and is not something we can easily shake off. We must remind ourselves to look at what is in front of us, leverage the facts, and not to read too far into things. Again, the mind is a powerful tool and can often times be used against ourselves. We must discipline the mind to embrace facts and remind ourselves to stay present in the moment. By doing this, we stay in control of our emotions regularly and can prevent chaotic thoughts from running wild!
6. Get outdoors and exercise
Have you ever walked outside and just felt great? That fresh air helps your digestive system, blood pressure, heart rate, strengthens your immune system, cleans your lungs, and simply makes your mind sharper …resulting in a much happier YOU. That’s just by stepping outside! Now, add in a walk (nothing too drastic) for starters and build your way up to a regular exercise schedule that happens outdoors.
7. Identify the feeling and research it more…
Learning about ourselves is so interesting because we are always evolving and trying to become better individuals. Sometimes we dive too deep without fully understanding what we are trying to become or grow into. It’s like our emotions haven’t caught up, right? Educating ourselves whenever negative emotions surface is the key. Identify how you are feeling and try researching about it to help you learn about your self even more.
Now, it’s your turn! I’d love to hear from you on what other techniques you use to decrease anxiety. Leave comments below and I will reply to all of them 🙂