When anxiety starts to creep in, you might feel baffled and unsure about what to do to make you feel better. “Your body could react to both stress and anxiety in similar ways, with mood swings, feelings of worthlessness, rapid heartbeat, and changes in appetite,” Aarti Gupta, PsyD, says. Instead of finding ways to alleviate yourself from being anxious, you might even add more anxiety than what you already have. You’ll tend to over-concentrate get caught up with all the what-ifs inside your head. But what if you’re in the middle of a crowd that you’re just starting to know or you’re at a great party where you’re crush is standing a few feet apart from you? How do you tell yourself to calm down and get rid of the anxiety right here right now?
A lot of questions will run through your mind that will make your armpits sweat, and your eyes feel hot and watery. What if I look pale and creepy? Will my knees wiggle if I attempt to walk towards him?
Your mind and body will be loaded with all the negativity that you can think of at the moment, and if you don’t try to get rid of it, it’ll consume you, and you’ll feel worse than ever.
Fortunately, there are several strategies that you can do to handle anxiety effectively. These are a collection of ways that were gathered from experts and individuals who have claimed to find these strategies work for them.
Reducing Your Anxious Symptoms Right Now
- Acknowledge That You’re Anxious. Anxiety is a feeling, just like any other emotion that you feel when you’re worried or scared of something or someone. You can simply accept it, and that is the first step to reducing the anxious feeling. It doesn’t mean that you give in to it. You just accept and believe that it is a tolerable feeling that you can overcome. According to Asha Bauer, PsyD, “For those who experience significant anxiety, the idea of being mindful when in the middle of a panic attack may seem a little absurd, and there is good reason for this. When we become severely anxious, our brain goes offline as a means of protecting itself. This is why people sometimes don’t remember details of traumatic events or dissociate when overwhelmed.”
- Learn Deep Breathing. When you get the feeling that you’re anxious, take one deep breath, and then another, and another. Continue taking slow, deep breaths and notice how your heartbeat slows down and you feel calmer. The diaphragmatic breathing technique is very potent in reducing stress and anxiety, as it stimulates the body’s relaxation responses. The anxiety arises from the sympathetic nervous system and then goes to the parasympathetic nervous system by way of calming technique. You can try it by inhaling and counting 1 to 4, holding your breath for a few seconds, and then slowly breathing out to a count of 1 to 4.
- Remember That Your Mind Is Tricking You. Psychiatrists are the professionals who can testify that a person’s brain can make you think that you are in the brink of death due to heart attack instead of just having a bout of panic attack. It’s because panic symptoms are similar to those having a heart attack. An experienced psychiatrist will comfort her patient and gently tell her that he is not dying and that her mind is only tricking her – that’s how powerful the mind can be. This almost always produces positive results, calming the patient and eliminating the panic attack.
- Create A Visualization That You Can Visit. Visualize yourself on a clean, flowing river or the clear blue sky. Then choose a favorite positive emotion that you can assign for each picture. Finally, just wait for the effect – the feeling of freedom from the anxiety and the happiness from the beautiful visions.
- Try To Talk Positive Sense Into Yourself. It’s one of the oldest tricks in the book, saying something good to yourself. For instance, convince yourself that you can get rid of the debilitating feeling that’s tagging along with your life right at this moment. You can say, “I feel bad because of my anxiety, but I’ll overcome this after a few minutes. I am armed with effective strategies.”
- Concentrate On Doing Worthwhile Activities. When you have anxiety, think about doing an activity that is goal-directed and worth doing – activities that you would be doing when you are not anxious. According to Alicia H. Clark, PsyD, “Science shows us that anxiety can stimulate a drive to do something with it. Because anxiety tends to be an uncomfortable physical state of restlessness and unused energy, channeling its energy into solutions immediately relieves it. Use anxiety’s energy to fuel productive action, and you will find yourself using anxiety to be your best self.” If you were planning to watch a movie, go ahead. If you were about to do the laundry, do it still. Don’t sit around and nurture your anxiety. You’ll feel much better if you do things that will help you forget about your negative feelings – plus, you’ll get things done.
Anxiety is part of anyone’s life – whether you’re a kid or an adult. There’s always something to be worried or nervous about. But once you get to learn these simple yet effective strategies, you’ll cope better, and you’ll know how to get busy with promoting productivity and positivity.