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Racing heart? Can’t breathe? Constantly worrying about every bad thing that could possibly happen? All of it feels lousy; all of it is a state you race to escape – which only makes it worse, right?
First of all, some clarifications. Everyone deals with feelings of anxiety at some point – whether it’s related to the underlying sense of dread that might be resulting from the “global pandemic thing” or concerns about how much work you have going on. No one can live a life untouched by anxiety but people with General Anxiety Disorder feel anxious most days. So yes, it’s okay to worry. The secret is to not let it get the one up.
Oprah Winfrey said in a 2013 interview that anxiety nearly caused her to have a nervous breakdown. However, things have changed in Oprah Winfrey’s world, and the outlook is 100% delicious. Oprah describes the managing of anxiety as a process in which you take ownership of your life. You don’t just wake up one morning and you have it all together; it’s about learning how to live a fulfilling life, where you’re able to feel anxious and still be productive.
The good news is that even the most extreme anxiety disorders can be treated so that the symptoms aren’t overwhelming. Anxiety is manageable, in fact, there are a plethora of tools to help lessen its impact.
These tips can help to calm your worried mind:
- Stand up straight. When we’re anxious we protect our upper body – where our heart and lungs are located – by hunching over. For an immediate physical antidote, put your shoulders back, stand with your feet apart and open your chest. This helps your body to sense that you’re back in control.
- Sounds almost too simple, but mastering the art of breathing can make a huge difference. People with anxiety tend to hyperventilate. So breathe through your nose for a count of three, hold for three, then breathe out through your mouth for a count of five.
- The University of Georgia found that workouts over 30 minutes can reduce anxiety by about 20%. Just do something. Stand up, take a walk or throw away a piece of trash from your desk – any action that interrupts your train of thought is useful.
- Use aromatherapy. Aromatherapy is thought to help activate certain receptors in the brain, potentially easing anxiety. Whether they’re in oil form, incense, or a candle; scents like lavender, chamomile and sandalwood can be very soothing.
- Create a “worry period”. It should be at the same time every day. Schedule it early enough so that it won’t make you anxious before bedtime. Allow yourself to worry about whatever is on your mind. The rest of the day, however, is a worry-free zone.
- Recognize negative thought patterns. Just because you think something doesn’t mean it’s true. Anxious thoughts are often irrational and distorted So, call or text a friend or a family member and run through your worries with them. Then, relabel what is happening.
- Meditate or find ways to find stillness. Anxiety is a form of living in the future – so choose an activity that makes you focus on the present moment instead. Go for a walk, listen to an audio-book, stroke a pet, or sketch.
If anxiety is interfering with your ability to lead a happy life, speak to your GP and get the help you need.
Source: webmd.com, helpguide.org, time.com, healthline.com, menshealth.com, ct.counseling.org, womanshealthmag.com
DISCLAIMER: The information on this website is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. If you are experiencing symptoms or need health advice, please consult a healthcare professional.