Anxiety can be crippling. Anyone who has ever suffered from anxiety can attest to that. Finding effective ways to combat anxiety can be a challenge, creating its own anxiety. So, what can you do when anxiety has you in its grip? The following are four tips for coping with your daily anxiety.
Regular, deep breaths are the first step in regaining control. Many practice what is called “square breathing.” This is done by slowly inhaling while counting to four, holding the breath for a count of four, slowly exhaling for a count of four being sure to empty the lungs, and holding that exhaled breath for four. Do this for 5 minutes. Regular breathing will lower the heart rate.
Sometimes we find ourselves holding our breath or breathing fast when we are anxious. Sustained shallow, fast breathing brings less air into the lungs, which means less oxygen gets to the brain, which itself can cause confusion, compounding anxiety. Do check-ins with yourself throughout the day. If you catch yourself holding your breath or shallow breathing, take a minute to do some deep breathing exercises. This will help you get in the habit of always breathing deeply.
Question Your Fears
Anxiety is often born of fear about a situation. When that fear takes control, we are no longer in the realm of a reasonable level of stress. When this happens, remind yourself that stress and anxiety are natural. Then question if that fear is rational. Even if it is, the questioning may produce ideas and strategies on how to regain control of your anxiety. Getting to the root cause of your anxiety will be the most helpful way to heal and break the cycle.
Write Down Your Thoughts
The activity of writing offers a few benefits in tackling anxiety. It helps us “get out of our own head” by getting those thoughts down on paper. It often helps clarify what it is we are afraid of. Seeing it helps us put our fear into perspective, making it less threatening.
You may have tried prescription medications and achieved less than the desired level of relief or may be apprehensive about seeing a mental health professional. Whatever the reason, prescriptions are not doing it. Getting bloodwork may indicate deficiencies in vitamins or other natural body chemistry. For instance, try getting more direct sunlight to improve vitamin D levels. Whether in the form of exercise or a visit to the local medical marijuana dispensary, other natural remedies may exist.
Creating a routine with some or all these suggestions is a bonus tip. Getting into the regular habit of breathing regulation, introspection, and expression of anxiety will help relax the hold anxiety can have on you. Taking medications or supplements at the same time every day also helps create a routine. Whatever you do, keep your focus on the desired result, not on the anxiety you are trying to cope with. A positive mental attitude goes a long way in freeing yourself from anxiety.