Tips to help you release worry and anxiety
December 20, 2016
December 20, 2016
How many times have you caught yourself in bed, staring at the ceiling, ruminating over the day’s events. Maybe you’re worrying about the next big meeting you have, asking that new person out or stressed that you won’t be able to retire until you’re 99 years old.
If this sounds familiar, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world suffer from anxiety in one way or another. The only difference is the severity of the anxiety and the related symptoms.
Here is some science backed ways for you to help alleviate your own anxiety issues. I have used some of these myself and with my clients. They really work, but only if you do the work and use them daily.
- Don’t fight your thoughts. You may catch yourself thinking some horrible things or wondering if you’re legitimately crazy. Remember, our brain is constantly at work and we can’t control the thoughts that pop into our head, but we can control how we respond to them. Don’t judge yourself, but just observe your thoughts as if you were at a movie. You could say, “oh, that is interesting, I’m thinking about slapping Sally.” We all have ‘crazy’ thoughts from time to time. Don’t judge yourself and just observe and then allow them to pass by like floating clouds.
- Breathe. Yes, just breathe. When you become anxious you begin to take very shallow breaths, causing your body to tense up. I want you to imagine you’re blowing bubbles when you feel anxiety coming on. Just take a nice deep breath in through the nose and exhale through the mouth, pretending that you have that little wand in your hand and you’re blowing bubbles. This is an effective technique to not only calm your nerves but your mind as well. I want you to focus on the sound of your breathing each time your mind wants to go back to whatever it was you were anxious about. Stay in the moment and be present!
- Look for the evidence. Those things that you’re anxious about or fearful of happening, most likely never will. I want you to look back at all those times you worked yourself into a tizzy over something you thought would happen. How many times did those things come true? Very seldom if at all, right? By “looking for the evidence” you will be able to remind yourself that this thing I’m worried about most likely won’t come true and I know this based upon past events.
- Schedule time to have a meltdown. Yep, you read that right. Set a specific time every day to allow yourself to obsess over everything you think will go wrong; after that you must go about your day. So, set aside 30 minutes to allow yourself to ruminate over those things you are anxious about and after that go about your day. If you find yourself beginning to go back to those things you are anxious over, remind yourself that you already did that for today and you’ll have your 30 minutes tomorrow to be able to think about it. Overtime you’ll find that you stop wanting to think about it at all.
- Pray. Take it to the Lord and cast all your cares on Him. The problem is most Christians ask God to take these things from them, but often take them back. You must pray, believe that God has taken these things from you and leave them at the foot of the cross.
- Valerian root. This little herb has been around for a long time and has been used to treat insomnia as well as anxiety. Valerian root has been shown to increase the amount of a chemical called gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA helps regulate nerve cells and calms anxiety.
- Get up and get moving! Research has shown that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people. Exercise may also improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress. A recent study showed that those who got regular vigorous exercise were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder over the next five years.
What are some ways that you have been successful in dealing with anxiety? Share them with me in the comments section.