Anxiety is a common affliction, and that’s not surprising. The modern world is much more demanding and complex than our brains were designed to handle. Pain is a symptom of a broken body. Anxiety is a symptom of a broken mind.
Consider all you ask your mind to do. You want everyone to like you. You don’t ever want to be embarrassed. You want everyone to like everything you say and do. You don’t want anyone to hurt you in any way. You don’t want anything to happen that you don’t like.
That’s a lot to ask of your mind. No wonder you feel anxious.
Reduce the intensity of your anxiety with these strategies:
Go for a run. Actually, it doesn’t have to be a run. It could be a yoga class, tennis match, long walk, or some good old-fashioned calisthenics. Exercise is an effective way to burn off that extra stress.
Declutter your life. Clutter adds to anxiety. Tidy up your environment and notice how much better you feel. Start with the rooms and areas in which you spend the most time. Include your personal space at work, too.
Declutter your brain. Take care of the things that are on your mind. Procrastination creates mental clutter and stress. Trying to remember things is challenging for your brain too. Make lists and use a calendar and alarms to ease the load on your poor brain.
Spend time with your pet. Pets are great for reducing anxiety. Play on the floor with your cat. Take the dog for a walk. Sit and watch your fish.
Think about something positive. You’re only anxious because you’re thinking about something that makes you anxious. Give yourself a break and think about something else for a while.
Change your diet. Your diet can have a negative impact on your stress levels. Play around with your food choices and find out what works for you.
Give yourself something to look forward to. It can be a great relief to have something positive to look forward to. No matter how stressed you are about work, knowing that you’re heading out of town for a couple of days next weekend can take the edge off.
Distract yourself. This is what bad habits are, distractions. However, not all distractions are bad habits. Read a good book. Re-watch your favorite movie. Try a new restaurant.
Find a solution. Maybe you can solve the issue that’s creating your anxiety. If there’s something you can do to resolve the situation, get busy and do it!
Take slow, deep breaths. Your breathing naturally becomes shallow and faster when you’re stressed. You can counteract a lot of the physical symptoms of anxiety by just slowing down your breaths and increasing the depth.
Play the “Name Five Things” game. Bring your mind back to the present. Look around your environment and name five things you see. Now, name five things you feel. For example, “I feel the pencil in my hand. It feels smooth and warm.”
Try to name five things you hear. Smell the air and describe what you smell. Smell nearby objects until you’ve described five smells.
Dance. Or sing. Or jump around. Do something you don’t normally do. Anything out of the ordinary can break your pattern and relieve some of your anxiety.
Get help. If nothing seems to work, seek professional help.
Give your mind and body a break by minimizing your anxiety. Avoid the belief that you just have to suffer with the discomfort of anxiety. Do everything you can to find relief without making your challenges worse. If you’re unable to find a suitable solution, get help from a professional.