Anxiety is one of our primal human traits. You can think of it as our body’s natural alarm system that goes off whenever there is a threat or unfamiliar situation ahead of you. Some form of anxiety is normal and even necessary for us to make the right decisions and evade danger. But if it exceeds a healthy limit, it can take a life of its own and stand in our way of well-being.
1. Identify your triggers
To solve a problem, you must first identify it. Take a pen and paper and write down the list of all the things that make you anxious. What are the major stressors in your life? Is it your job, relationship, bad habits, or distractions? Having the main culprits in front of you will make it easier for you to assess your situation better and better understand where you are going in the wrong direction. When you have the main roots of your anxiety identified, you can directly start working on minimizing or eliminating these stressors completely.
2. Learn relaxation techniques.
There are tons of tried and tested methods that can help you get a grip over your situation. These techniques help oppose your body’s stress response and allow you to enter a state of calmness whenever and wherever you need. Breathing focus, meditation, tai chi, yoga, repetitive prayers, body scans, etc. can help your mind and body relax in a short period. Try using each one of these techniques and see what works best for you.
3. Question your thought patterns.
If left unmonitored, negative thoughts can distort the severity of your situation and make a mole out of a molehill. Pay attention to how you react during stressful times. Instead of focusing on the most negative outcome of a situation, make a conscious effort to consider the different possible outcomes of a situation. Anxiety will often narrow your focus on the most dangerous parts of a scenario while making you completely ignore the good things that can follow too. Also, learn to question the validity of your thoughts and whether what you are thinking is fact-based and in accordance with reality or not.
Exercise is one of the most effective natural anxiety remedies. When you exercise, it not only clears your mind off of worries but also releases endorphins (also known as the “feel good” hormones) in the body. Instead of resorting to alcohol or smoking, exercise is a healthy coping mechanism. Other than that, regular exercise may also have psychological and emotional benefits, such as boosting confidence, getting more social interaction, and improving overall well-being.
5. Practice Self-Care.
In today’s fast-paced world, we often start burning both ends of the candle without realizing it. We encumber ourselves under loads of tasks that are sooner or later bound to exhaust us. Once in a while, take a break and treat yourself. Keep active, eat well, spend time in nature, Get a massage, go to a spa, take a small vacation, and hang out with your friends whenever you get the time. Practicing self-care will keep your life balanced and excessive anxiety at bay.
6. Talk it Out.
Journaling, talking to close people, attending talk therapy, etc are all effective ways to let it all out and come up with valid solutions. When we engage our language centers, we tend to calm our anxiety and reduce our psychological reactivity. Looking at our experiences from a broader perspective can also help us better understand our choices and different options we have so we can steer towards a solution sooner.