Your heart is beating fast, the sweat is pouring off you, and you may be feeling anxious from any of the following: money, work, family, health, or love. You imagine all sorts of scenarios – none of which end well, and you find yourself wishing you could just forget about it all for a while and unwind.
Regardless of whether you are just having an isolated session of freaking out, or you suffer from an anxiety disorder, the following tips may help you to reduce your level of anxiety so you can at least get a little peace:
If you feel your anxiety levels rising to take a deep breath, close your eyes, and imagine you have been transported to an undisturbed paradise such as a tropical beach with waves gently lapping the shore and a cool breeze caressing your face. Or envision yourself in a field of lush green grass while enjoying the sun’s gentle warmth on your face. You should soon start to feel your anxiety slip away.
2. Hang Out
People who get out a lot socially tend to be able to deal more positively with the effects of stress than those of us who are somewhat more recluse. It may have a lot to do with the effect socializing has on the production of oxytocin, a hormone that reduces the effects of anxiety.
When you next feel the onset of an anxiety attack, call up some of your best mates to have a quick chat, or organize a visit for dinner and a movie.
3. Eliminate The Clutter In Your Life
Putting up with clutter in your life both at home and at work can increase your stress levels. Getting rid of the stuff you don’t need or use will help reduce confusion and stress.
Do a full inventory and if you haven’t used something in 6 months, either sell it, give it away, or bin it. Keep your surroundings in an orderly state, and you’ll be able to curb your levels of anxiety.
4. Deep Breathing Exercises
Deep breaths which fully extend the diaphragm trigger the body’s relaxation mode. If your body is undergoing the sympathetic nervous system’s fight-or-flight response due to a stressful situation, deep breathing will transfer your bodily function to the more relaxed symptoms of the parasympathetic nervous system.
Slowly inhale to a count of 4, making sure you fill the belly first and then your chest. Hold the breath to a count of 4, but be sure not to strain. Then slowly exhale to another count of 4. Repeat this process several times.
Healthy individuals who regularly exercise have fewer occurrences of anxiousness or depression. Anxiousness has the unfortunate effect of causing immediate symptoms.
A study undertaken by researchers at the Maryland University concluded that as little as 30 minutes of moderate exercise helped a subject reduce their levels of anxiety, and also keep it low during the stress test that followed.
So if you’re feeling the pressure and it’s starting to affect you, try taking a break and go for a bike ride, enjoy a round of tennis, or just go for a walk in the park for some quick relief.
6. Explore Healthy Pastimes
Healthy pastimes can create a distraction. Some examples of a healthy distraction are watching a comedy, listening to a few upbeat tunes, or playing a sport such as a game of tennis or baseball – all of which can significantly reduce your anxiety levels.
7. Get Plenty Of Sleep
An irregular sleeping pattern can prove disastrous to your anxiety levels.
Lack of sleep has compounding effects on both our physical health and our mental health, with an increase in stress and anxiety being a common occurrence. Anxiety often creates a vicious circle as anxious individuals often have trouble getting a good night’s sleep – with the subsequent tiredness creating a further sense of anxiety.
However, you must leave yourself enough time during the day to get at least 8 to 9 hours of sleep. Try it for a few nights and see if you don’t notice a drop in your anxiety levels during the day.