You are having an anxiety attack. You can’t stop worrying about money, how you look, your relationship, your future, what other people think of you and etc… the list goes on and on. It’s like there’s a little demon sitting on top of your shoulder whispering terrible things into your ear.
What do you do? You try to ignore it but these little voices won’t go away; they are persistent. So now what?
When anxiety strikes it usually gets progressively worse over time if left unchecked. The more anxiety builds up in your body, the harder it becomes to calm down. This leads to what psychologists call ‘exponential anxiety building’ or ‘feed forward anxiety spirals’. In these spirals anxiety feeds upon itself until it becomes a veritable anxiety monster.
At this stage anxiety becomes so intense that it begins controlling your behavior and sabotaging your life in ways you never imagined. If anxiety goes unchecked, eventually it can even lead to depression, panic disorder and agoraphobia or the fear of being outside alone.
So how do we stop anxieties from getting out of control?
There are a few management techniques that we can learn and incorporate into our lives to help deal with anxiety.
Below is a rundown of short tips on how to reduce anxiety or help us manage anxiety.
Tip 1 – Get active. When you get physically active, anxiety goes down because it decreases muscle tension. Exercising also improves your focus and divert you from the things you’re worried and anxious of.
Tip 2 – Go for a walk outside to get rid of anxiety. Anxiety is related to stress hormones in your body. when you’re walking outside and immersing in nature, this activity releases these excess hormones that causes stress and anxiety.
Tip 3 – Pour out all your thoughts on paper so that they don’t build up. Try anxiety management goal planning or journaling your thoughts to get anxiety out of your mind by writing it down instead.
Tip 4 – Ensure a better sleep. Anxiety can be related to lack of sleep, which then makes it worse if you don’t get enough sleep. Try breathing and relaxation exercises before bedtime. You can also listen to relaxing and stress-releasing music (often called Delta waves) before bedtime to calm your mind. And if you can, lessen screen time at least an hour before bedtime.
Tip 5 – Learn anxiety conversations skills so that anxiety doesn’t control what you say or do when talking with other people.
Tip 6 – Visualize yourself overcoming your anxiety problems (e.g., think about how great it will feel to overcome social anxiety ). Then take active steps towards getting there (and journal anxiety away! – Anxiety management tip 3 ).
Tip 7 – Try some anxiety management techniques like calming visualization (e.g., visualize anxiety melting away) or mindfulness meditation . It may also help to try thought stopping, progressive muscle relaxation , or anxiety breathing exercises for anxiety attacks.
Tip 8 – Anxiety is feedback about your stress levels , so practice reducing anxiety only when it comes up instead of trying to get rid of anxiety forever.
Tip 9 – Think about what’s causing your anxiety before doing anything else. Write them down one by one and find ways how you can work through them.
Tip 10 – Worrying about anxiety is anxiety in itself which can make anxiety worse, so try to let go of worrying about anxiety or controlling what your brain does when anxious .
Anxiety will always be part of our human lives. It arises almost everytime we are faced with stressful, difficult and challenging situations in our daily lives. It is most helpful that we accept and acknowledge the fact that at certain points in our lives, we will always experience them. But the most important thing is to know how to manage anxiety when they happen and address it before it spirals into something worse and control our lives instead.
See also: Anxiety and the Endocannabinoid System, Hypnosis for Anxiety