Anxiety is a broad term encompassing an array of emotions like nervousness, dread, and apprehension, which can impact your cognitive, emotional, and physical faculties. Having some degree of anxiety is unavoidable because it is the body’s natural response to a stressful situation or real or imagined peril. Since it is impossible to go through life without having to encounter stressful situations, every person deals with anxiety at one point or another. However, severe anxiety can stimulate negative thoughts and make people depressed and out of control. It can curtail their ability to interact with others and perform daily tasks, forcing them to become reclusive. Severe anxiety can also result in symptoms like excessive sweating, difficulty breathing, and tremors. Although most people use anxiety as a generalized term to describe nervousness, uneasiness, and fear, there is a vast difference between anxiety and having an anxiety disorder.
Hence, it is vital to understand the difference between feeling uneasy and nervous and having an anxiety disorder to address the situation and help yourself cope best. The most appropriate person who can help you decipher if you have an anxiety disorder is a behavioral expert. People’s lives improve when they seek guidance and assistance concerning their feelings and problems. This way, they learn to calm themselves down and navigate troubling situations much better. If you or your loved ones frequently face crippling anxiety, consider seeking professional help. You can consult a behavioral specialist who has completed an online applied behavior analysis program or an on-campus program. Those with relevant education can help people effectively cope with such strong emotions.
Besides, some basic techniques that everyone should know to cope with anxiety are detailed as under:
When you feel a rise in your anxiety level, stop what you are doing and question yourself. Try to decipher what it is that is making you feel uneasy and worried. Feelings of anxiety typically arise when you think about the future and things that are beyond your control. For instance, you may be concerned about an event in the future or feel upset about something in the past. Once you identify the factor triggering your apprehension, you can focus on being mindful of the present. Your anxiety will lessen once you channel your thoughts on the current moment.
Practice Deep Breathing
Next time you feel an overwhelming sense of uneasiness, practice breathing exercises that effectively relax your mind and soul. Taking deep breaths will slow your heart rate and help eliminate sudden feelings of anxiety. As soon as you feel yourself spiraling into worry, look for a comfortable seat, close your eyes, and breathe deeply through your nose, followed by deep exhalation. Practice deep breathing in and out four times for five minutes total. Doing so will help calm you down. You can also use a mantra to channel yourself to the present. Every time you breathe in, tell yourself “be,” and every time you breathe out, ask yourself to be “present.”
Sometimes, the most effective way to prevent anxious thoughts from gaining control of you is to do some physical exertion. Working on your body and not focusing on your mind will relieve your anxiety. Exercise causes the release of endorphins in the body to increase. These hormones trigger feelings of happiness and immediately boost your mood. Hence next time you feel anxious or sad, try performing low-impact exercises like yoga, tai-chi, or walking.
Aromatherapy is a part of ancient medicine and has been around for a long time. It involves using natural plant extracts to boost physical health and mental well-being. It is a holistic healing approach to ensure positive mental well-being. Aromatherapy can be done using essential oils, diffusers, bathing salts, and plant-based creams to enhance physical, mental, and spiritual health. Moreover, natural scents can help in relieving anxiety. For instance, sandalwood, lavender, and jasmine have a very relaxing impact on your senses, whether in the form of a candle, incense, or essential oil.
Some people find it calming when they write down how they feel. Regularly journaling about your emotions reduces stress, sadness, and feelings of distress. Writing about your emotions is also helpful in the long run because it helps you identify the factors that trigger your anxiety or panic attacks. Doing so will also help you realize early signs indicating the onset of a panic attack.
You can also write about things that make you happy because living with anxiety means you overthink about factors you cannot control. Hence, it is important to focus on the good and be kind and forgiving to yourself as well.
Although everyone has a different way of coping with anxiety, some people genuinely feel better interacting with others. Socializing serves as a source of distraction, fostering feelings of togetherness, thereby reducing stress. Spending quality time and talking about several things with family and friends is an excellent way to cope with your anxiety. Socializing with people reduces loneliness and helps you become stronger in the long run because you realize that everyone faces stress from time to time, and if they can learn to cope, so can you. However, some people suffer from social anxiety and are uncomfortable interacting with people. Socializing makes them feel more anxious and uneasy. For such people, staying home or mingling with those they know well is more helpful.
Some feelings of anxiety will always be a part of your life because it keeps you motivated and determined to do better. However, your apprehension should not hinder you from effectively performing your everyday tasks. You can adopt several habits to manage your uneasiness and cope with stressors.
While home remedies are enough to help most people, others may require the guidance of a mental health professional. A therapist can help you process your thought pattern and identify the factors that trigger your anxiety. Doing so will help you realize the long-term strategies that you must adopt to lead a stable life, including behavioral therapy, medications, and more.