Anxiety relief strategies
Anxiety management strategies - Beyond BlueAnxiety management strategies - Beyond Blue
When you’re anxious, your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Try this exercise to slow down your breathing:
- Count to three as you breathe in slowly.
- Count to three as you breathe out slowly.
Progressive muscle relaxation
This exercise can help reduce the feelings of muscle tension that often comes with anxiety:
- Find a quiet location.
- Close your eyes and slowly tense and then relax each of your muscle groups from your toes to your head.
- Hold the tension for three seconds and then release quickly.
Stay in the present moment
Anxiety can make your thoughts live in a terrible future that hasn’t happened yet. Try to bring yourself back to where you are. Practising meditation can help.
Find more relaxation exercises
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
A healthy lifestyle can help reduce anxiety and improving your wellbeing. Healthy habits include:
- Keeping active
- Eating well
- Spending time outdoors in nature
- Spending time with family and friends
- Reducing stress
- Doing activities you enjoy.
Learn more about how a healthy lifestyle can help you stay mentally well.
Small acts of bravery
Try doing something that makes you anxious, even in a small way. For example, if public speaking makes you anxious, put together a small presentation for your friends or family.
Success with small acts of bravery can help you manage your anxious feelings for bigger acts of bravery.
Avoiding anxiety triggers can make you feel better in the short term, but it can make you more anxious in the long term.
Challenge your self-talk
What you think affects how you feel. To change your thinking:
- find new, positive ways to look at a situation that’s making you anxious
- look at the facts – is your thought true?
Anxiety can make you overestimate the danger in a situation and underestimate your ability to handle it.
Be kind to yourself
Practising self-compassion can help reduce your anxiety. We all deserve to be nurtured, even by ourselves.
Find out how to develop a stay well plan.
Plan worry time
It’s hard to stop worrying entirely so try planning regular worry time. This can help to stop your worries from taking over at other times.
Set aside 10 minutes each day to think about your anxieties or write them down.
Get to know your anxiety
Keep a diary of when you feel calm or anxious. Try to identify what works to reduce your anxiety and what makes it worse. This can help you manage your anxiety.
Learn about anxiety symptoms and treatments.
Connect with our online peer support community
Anonymously read, share and learn from people who are also living with anxiety.
The Beyond Blue Forums is a welcoming peer support community. Posts are moderated by qualified counsellors.
Visit the Beyond Blue Forum anxiety discussions
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- Treatments for anxiety
- Types of anxiety
- Signs and symptoms of anxiety
- Maintain wellbeing
Tips and Strategies to Manage Anxiety and Stress
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At some point, anxiety and stress affect everyone. They can manifest differently in different people, and the level of anxiety one experiences can vary, but there is one thing for certain: there are ways to manage anxiety, even if it feels out of control.
Of course, if anxiety is affecting your everyday life and getting in the way of your daily productivity for an extended period, please seek assistance. Find Help
Information about causes and treatment goes a long way in helping to understand anxiety and stress, but there are also some physical and mental things you can do when feeling anxious or stressed. Some coping strategies from ADAA’s experts include:
Try these when you're feeling anxious or stressed:
- Take a time-out. Practice yoga, listen to music, meditate, get a massage, or learn relaxation techniques. Stepping back from the problem helps clear your head.
- Eat well-balanced meals. Do not skip any meals. Do keep healthful, energy-boosting snacks on hand.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine, which can aggravate anxiety and trigger panic attacks.
- Get enough sleep. When stressed, your body needs additional sleep and rest.
- Exercise daily to help you feel good and maintain your health. Check out the fitness tips below.
- Take deep breaths. Inhale and exhale slowly.
- Count to 10 slowly. Repeat, and count to 20 if necessary.
- Do your best. Instead of aiming for perfection, which isn't possible, be proud of however close you get.
- Accept that you cannot control everything. Put your stress in perspective: Is it really as bad as you think?
- Welcome humor. A good laugh goes a long way.
- Maintain a positive attitude. Make an effort to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
- Get involved. Volunteer or find another way to be active in your community, which creates a support network and gives you a break from everyday stress.
- Learn what triggers your anxiety. Is it work, family, school, or something else you can identify? Write in a journal when you’re feeling stressed or anxious, and look for a pattern.
- Talk to someone. Tell friends and family you’re feeling overwhelmed, and let them know how they can help you. Talk to a physician or therapist for professional help.
Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Anxiety and Stress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity (e.g. brisk walking) each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity (such as jogging or swimming laps), or a combination of the two.
- 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
- Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It's better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
- Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
- Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find it’s more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
- Recruit an “exercise buddy.” It's often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
- Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
Learn about some common anxiety myths and misconceptions
Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)
- Understanding GAD
- Myths & Realities
- Book Conversations - 3 Part Series on Overcoming Anxiety
- Calming the Inner-Chatter of Your Mind
- Thriving with Anxiety and Depression
- What Are Intrusive Thoughts and How Can You Deal with Them?
- Outsmart Your Anxious Brain
- The Mindful Way Through Anxiety
- Get Unstuck from Depression and Anxiety with Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Building the Confidence to Manage Anxiety, ADHD, and Executive Function
- Learning to Live Well with Worry
- Why Anxiety Should Not Be Feared
- SSRIs and Benzodiazepines for General Anxiety Disorders (GAD)
- 11/09/2022 Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction vs Escitalopram for the Treatment of Adults With Anxiety Disorders, JAMA Psychiatry, Elizabeth Hoge, MD
- 11/09/2022 Mindfulness meditation reduces anxiety as much as a common antidepressant drug, study finds, CNBC, Elizabeth Hoge, MD
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Let's talk about three ways to deal with stress.
1. Consider anxiety as normal
It may seem strange, but anxiety divides people into individuals with high and low levels of stress. Research by Adrian Wells in Journal of Cogitive Therapy and Research showed that meta-anxiety was one of the clearest signs of fighter-non-fighter differentiation.
Wells and other researchers have found that negative interpretations of anxiety, such as "If I don't stop being nervous, I'm going to have an emotional breakdown," contribute to the increase and persistence of anxiety.
A similar study by W. Munsell and DM Clark of the British Institute of Psychiatry found that people who suffer from high social anxiety are more likely to believe that others notice their anxiety and interpret it negatively.
Perhaps the most important step in coping with entrepreneurial stress is accepting that anxiety is normal. AT Cognitive Therapy of Anxiety Disorders psychologists David Clarke and Aaron Beck wrote, based on empirical research, that “the largest differences between clinical and non-clinical anxiety are obvious ... and they are processes that contribute to the maintenance of anxiety ".
The authors state that people who focus on their personal strengths successfully manage anxiety, while people who interpret their anxiety as a weakness automatically increase their anxiety levels.
And in the business world? You will never meet an entrepreneur whose job is not stressful. So, stress reduction starts with acceptance.
Furthermore, if you think anxiety is abnormal, consider what Mark Andreesen, co-founder of Netscape, once wrote on his blog: “A startup puts you on an emotional roller coaster. You quickly turn over from day to day - either you own the world, or you feel completely destroyed. And so again and again.”
Andreesen added: “I'm talking about what happens to established entrepreneurs,” who tend to suffer from uncertainty and risk.
2. Connect with your colleagues
The financial benefits of interacting with colleagues in the business community are undeniable, but in a culture that focuses on the business motivation of interaction, we often forget to mention how important interaction is to ensure our emotional well-being.
According to a Rhr International CEO Snapshot poll, half of the executives surveyed admitted they felt lonely, and 61% thought the isolation was interfering with work.
Pretty grim stuff, but BuildDirect CEO Jeff Booth has come up with a solution. Entrepreneurs, he says, can address loneliness by reaching out to other executives. “Fear and ambition are the main reasons for this kind of isolation,” says Booth. "Many executives experience similar problems... I just had to look outside my company and my immediate environment to find them."
Debbie Carro, CEO of Insired HR, meanwhile, in an article in Entrepreneur, stressed the need to find a place for unfiltered discussions. “For me, being the CEO has been the main reason for isolation,” she said. “Many CEOs feel they need to look bulletproof… They also need to find an environment where they can be vulnerable, learn and grow in a safe, trusting environment.”
Christy Hedges, a coach who works with the CEO, recommended in a Forbes article to join "the CEO's professional development organization...[forming] your own informal advisory group...[and] finding a coach or mentor."
Entrepreneurs who view all potential colleagues as competitors, who see everything through the lens of what their company can profit from, are ultimately less likely to build strong business relationships. They are also more likely to suffer from stress.
If stress is becoming a major problem for you, chances are your colleagues have something to do with it. Research by Annette Greca and Hannah Harrison found that among those surveyed, feeling part of a group (even as a low-status member), having the support of close friends, and having romantic relationships dramatically reduced feelings of social anxiety. Meanwhile, opposition to groups and unsupported friendships contributed to social anxiety.
Look at any successful person and chances are you'll find something along the lines of "surround yourself with people who make you stronger." This is an Oprah Winfrey quote, but this feeling is common among successful people and posted on a lot of Facebook pages.
It's unfortunate because it's so true, but it's so often neglected.
The above advice can be helpful as long as a big contract doesn't break, debts pile up, or incomes drop. Ultimately, while "entrepreneurship" implies stress, we all have a tendency to create most of that stress ourselves, taking on more than we can handle.
To be successful in your business, you must prioritize correctly. However, there is a need to master these skills on a personal level.
Delegate more and avoid micromanaging. Hire new employees if the work is not done well.
Learn to say no to an extra 10% of work because it can add up to an extra 50%.
Track how much time you spend on certain tasks. You will quickly find that certain things eat up too much of your time for very little benefit.
Take a fresh look at your business and ask what you would do right now if you were starting from scratch. Or look at your business from an outsider's point of view. What would you change to make the environment less stressful?
Embrace stress, connect with your colleagues, and refocus your business objectives. Do this and you will likely see a dramatic change in your life as an entrepreneur.
Stress and anxiety
Stress and anxiety are part of the body's natural response to danger, fight, flight. When someone feels threatened, their body releases stress hormones.
The purpose of this response is to keep the person alert, focused and ready to face the threat.
Both stress and anxiety are a natural reaction of the body, but almost always they significantly impair the quality of life.
Stress hormones cause the heart to beat faster, resulting in increased pumping of blood to organs and limbs.
This response allows a person to be ready to respond to a stressful situation and act quickly. People begin to breathe faster and blood pressure increases.
At the same time, the person's senses become more acute, and their body releases nutrients into the bloodstream to provide the entire body with the necessary energy.
This process is very fast - our body is an intelligent mechanism for self-defense.
In turn, anxiety is the body's response to stress, and this is a logical cascade of events.
Many people recognize anxiety as a feeling of irritability, anxiety or fear that someone experiences before an important event.
There are many similarities between the symptoms of stress and anxiety.
When you are in a stressful state, you can feel:
- Charp heartbeat,
- Far Breathing,
- Alarming Thoughts,
- irritability or anger,
- a sense of universal misfortune,
- a person may experience diarrhea or congestion, nausea or vomiting.
When you are worried, you can feel:
- Charp heart,
- Far breath,
- Sensation of anxiety or fear,
- Diana or constipation,
- nervous ,
- the need to run / go to do something, but it is not known where, what and why.
In order to support your mental well-being and the health of your loved ones during this difficult time, you should try to switch from negative moments, pause for yourself and be distracted by pleasant moments, no matter how difficult and impossible it may sound.
If you feel that your stress level reaches a maximum for a long period, you should seek help from a specialist. Online consultations of specialists are absolutely effective and sometimes more convenient than offline mode.
How to tell stress from anxiety
Stress and anxiety are part of the same body reaction and have similar symptoms. This means that they are difficult to distinguish.
Stress is usually short-lived and is a reaction to a recognized danger. Anxiety can last for a long time, and sometimes it may seem that nothing causes it, and this state of irritation, panic and anxiety can last for months.
There are several ways to treat or manage stress and anxiety, including: Relaxation/reversal/cognitive behavioral therapy strategies can help people cope with stress and anxiety.
Sometimes you need medicines, which a qualified specialist will advise you.
Common aids for so-called stress relief are:
- exercise, running,
- breathing exercises,
- focusing on a soothing word, such as "peace" or "calm",- visualization calm scene, such as a beach or meadow,
- yoga class.
It is also very helpful to review your habits:
- recognize that you can't control everything
- settle for your best rather than striving for perfection
- learn what causes you stress and anxiety
- limit caffeine and alcohol
- eat a well-balanced diet,
get enough sleep,
exercise every day.
Stress and anxiety are not always bad. These are natural short-term reactions that people need to stay safe.
If someone begins to experience stress or anxiety all the time or for a long period of time, a doctor should be consulted.