Can anxiety affect breathing

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

On this page we explain how anxiety can affect you and the symptoms you might experience. You can also read more about ways to manage anxiety and possible treatments.

On this page:

  • How does breathlessness link to anxiety?
  • What are the physical symptoms of anxiety?
  • How can anxiety affect your thoughts and feelings?
  • Panic attacks

How does breathlessness link to anxiety?

Anxiety can affect our body, thoughts, and feelings in different ways. But our thoughts, feelings and behaviour are linked, and can create a vicious circle:

What are the physical symptoms of anxiety?

Anxiety feels different for everyone and can affect our bodies in different ways. These are some of the physical symptoms of anxiety you might experience:

  • faster, shallower breathing
  • feeling sick
  • tightness or pain in the chest
  • pins and needles in toes or fingers
  • feeling faint or dizzy
  • tense muscles and headaches
  • sweating 
  • fast, thumping or irregular heartbeat
  • raised blood pressure
  • difficulty sleeping
  • needing the toilet more frequently
  • churning in the pit of the stomach.

How can anxiety affect your thoughts and feelings?

How anxiety affects how you feel varies for everyone. You might:

  • fear the worst
  • feel tense, nervous and on edge
  • feel worried there is something wrong with your lungs or heart
  • dwell on negative experiences or thinking over a situation again and again
  • feel numb
  • feel restless
  • feel unable to concentrate.

Panic attacks

Panic attacks are when your body’s normal response to fear, stress or excitement is exaggerated, and you get a rapid build-up of physical responses. Your breathing quickens and your body also releases hormones so your heart beats faster and your muscles tense.

During a panic attack, you might feel you can’t breathe and you:

  • have a pounding heart
  • feel faint
  • sweat
  • feel sick
  • have shaky limbs
  • feel you’re not connected to your body.

Panic attacks can happen regularly or can happen once and never again. They can be very frightening if you feel you can’t breathe. You might also panic if a flare-up of your symptoms includes feeling a lot more breathless than usual. Your anxiety will, in turn, make you feel even more breathless.

During a panic attack, people often over-breathe or hyperventilate.  If you start to breathe too quickly in response to a panic attack, you may breathe in more oxygen than your body needs. When you do this, the delicate balance of the gases in your lungs is upset. An amount of carbon dioxide normally stays in the blood. If you breathe in too much air too often, the carbon dioxide is pushed out through the lungs and this affects the messages the brain receives to tell you to breathe.

Mind has useful information on panic attacks and things that help to manage them.

Download our mental health information (PDF, 474KB)

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Is My Shortness of Breath from Anxiety?

Anxiety can cause shortness of breath due to changes in heart rate. There are medications, breathing techniques, and mindfulness practices that can help.

Experiencing shortness of breath (dyspnea) or other breathing difficulties can feel scary. But it’s a common symptom of anxiety.

Many people worry that a symptom affecting their breathing must come from a physical issue. In fact, your mental health affects your physical health in a number of ways.

While anxiety can cause shortness of breath and other physical symptoms, it’s important to acknowledge that experiencing shortness of breath for other reasons may also create anxiety.

Here’s what you need to know about this symptom and when to see your doctor.

Anxiety is your body’s natural fear response. This is known as the fight-or-flight response. Your body reacts in physical and mental ways to prepare you to either fight or run from a threatening situation.

Shortness of breath is one of those responses. You may feel like you can’t catch your breath, tightness in your chest, or like you’re suffocating or hungry for air.

Studies have shown a strong association between anxiety and respiratory symptoms, including shortness of breath.

Other symptoms that can occur during this response and as a result of anxiety include:

  • faster breathing (hyperventilation)
  • chest tightness
  • breathlessness or a feeling of suffocation
  • feeling like you have a lump in your throat
  • muscle tension
  • heart palpitations (feels like a stronger, faster heartbeat)
  • feeling faint, dizzy, or unsteady
  • nausea or stomach discomfort
  • restlessness, irritability, or feeling on edge

Shortness of breath and other physical symptoms happen in the fight-or-flight response to protect you. With anxiety, you may not be running for your life. But your body still responds as if you are.

You experience chest tightening, shortness of breath, and faster breathing because your body is trying to get more oxygen to your muscles, preparing you to run. Your heart rate increases and you may feel hot as more blood pumps into your muscles, preparing you to fight.

All of these symptoms are normal body responses designed to save your life.

Of course, you probably aren’t often running or fighting for your life — from wild bear attacks or men with chain saws. But your body still reacts to your trip to the crowded grocery store, your work presentation, and other anxiety-provoking events as if you were.

When you’re experiencing shortness of breath from an anxiety attack, it may seem counterintuitive that your breathing is what you should focus on.

But by focusing on your breathing, you can get it under control and the right amount of oxygen into your lungs.

Experts recommend practicing diaphragmatic breathing. This is a type of breathing technique that uses your diaphragm — the most efficient breathing muscle we have.

When you’re experiencing shortness of breath, you’re generally breathing from your mouth or chest. But diaphragmatic breathing can:

  • slow your breathing rate
  • decrease your demand for oxygen
  • use less effort and energy to breathe

Here’s how to practice diaphragmatic breathing:

  1. Sit up comfortably in a chair or lie back on a flat surface, like your bed, with your head supported.
  2. Place one hand on your upper chest and the other below your rib cage. This will allow you to better feel your diaphragm as you breathe.
  3. Breathe in slowly through your nose so your stomach moves out against your hand.
  4. Tighten your stomach muscles. Let them fall inward as you exhale through your nose or your mouth (depending on what’s easier for you).
  5. Continue to take deep breaths in and out, feeling your stomach rise in and out. Do this for 5 to 10 minutes a day.

Tips: You’re less likely to experience shortness of breath or hyperventilation while breathing in and out through your nose. It’s also normal to get tired or feel like it’s a lot of effort when you first begin this breathing practice. With more practice, this breathing technique will become automatic and easy.

“The more you can slow down the physical sensations during periods of high anxiety, the more you can use your rational mind to assess what is going on.”

  • Elke Zuercher-White in “An End to Panic”

You can also try these anxiety-relieving techniques:

  • Grounding techniques. One type of grounding technique (progressive muscle relaxation) involves clenching muscles and slowly releasing them. Focus entirely on these sensations.
  • Mindful distractions. Find something to distract your mind from panicking to help you calm down. Try describing things around you to keep your focus on something else. What color is your couch? What is its texture?
  • Talk with yourself. Now that you know these symptoms are a part of your body’s automatic response, remind yourself of this. In the moment of panic or anxiety, tell yourself “I can’t breathe because my body is trying to get more oxygen” or “I’ve been evaluated and my heart is fine.” Talking with yourself rationally can pull you out of the anxiety.
  • Exercise. It may seem strange to exercise in the midst of an anxiety attack, but going for a quick run or expending some of that built-up energy may actually work for you. Your body is preparing itself to run anyway — you might as well take advantage of it.
  • Self-care. You can practice self-care in simple ways. Drink herbal tea (but avoid caffeinated tea, as it can increase anxiety). Light candles with a pleasant aroma. Write down your feelings. Turn on some soothing music.
  • Shock yourself. Shocking your system by dipping your face in a bowl of ice water is actually a technique recommended by therapists to help pull you out of a thought spiral.

If you notice shortness of breath before experiencing a full-blown panic attack, learn to recognize it and don’t ignore it. Start focusing on your breathing before the anxiety escalates.

For long-term strategies, consider seeing a mental health professional. They can evaluate your needs and help teach you coping mechanisms that’ll work for you.

Practicing your breathing daily, other forms of mindfulness, and taking up relaxing yoga may also help.

The main way to prevent shortness of breath and other physical symptoms of anxiety is to practice techniques and learn your triggers when you’re not experiencing them.

You don’t prepare for an earthquake during an earthquake; you prepare beforehand. Anxiety is the same.

One of the most helpful preventive techniques is to maintain a thought log. In a thought log, you write down the automatic thoughts you had in your last moment of anxiety or panic. It’s helpful for discovering triggers as well as helping you reflect on your anxiety in a calmer state.

You can also write down what sensations you’re experiencing while you’re experiencing them. This can help your doctor understand what’s going on.

There are several types of thought logs. Check out this one focusing on dysfunctional thinking or a general anxiety tracker. You can even make your own by recording:

  • the date
  • the specific trigger (the situation or physical symptom, such as shortness of breath)
  • the automatic thought (what you think will happen due to this physical symptom or situation)
  • how strongly you believe this thought (1 to 100 percent)

If you’re experiencing shortness of breath, your automatic thought may be that you must have a serious health condition. At the moment, you may have believed it — almost 100 percent.

However, after challenging this thought now in your recording, you only believe it 20 percent. Recording, reviewing, and challenging these thoughts is an essential way to prevent future anxiety.

You can also use an app to track your anxiety.

Practicing regular meditation may also help you reduce your anxiety. Numerous studies have shown that meditation can reduce anxiety symptoms and help treat anxiety.

You can also practice mindfulness in everyday activities to help you become more aware of your body and what makes you anxious. Try a mindful eating exercise or a mindful walk around the block.

Finally, consider working with a mental health professional to come up with more strategies. They can help you work out negative thought processes that occur when you’re experiencing anxiety, especially if this anxiety is severe or causing you great distress.

Various forms of psychotherapy may be recommended to ease anxiety and reduce symptoms like shortness of breath, including cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT).

Certain medications may also be beneficial, including:

  • Antidepressants. These medications affect levels of certain neurotransmitters to treat anxiety and depression. They are often used as a long-term solution, as it may take several weeks before you notice any benefits.
  • Benzodiazepines. This class of medication includes drugs like Xanax and Valium, which act as a sedative to calm you down when you’re feeling anxious. However, they are only recommended for short-term use, as they can also cause side effects like drowsiness.
  • Beta-blockers. Though typically used to treat high blood pressure, beta-blockers like propranolol can also reduce short-term physical symptoms of anxiety.
  • Buspirone. This medication is sometimes used to treat anxiety when antidepressants don’t work. Though buspirone is as effective as benzodiazepines and is associated with fewer risks and side effects, it may take 2–4 weeks to take effect.

Shortness of breath and other symptoms of anxiety can mimic other conditions. So, it’s a good idea to monitor your symptoms and get a checkup with your doctor to rule out any other conditions.

Getting a physical to ensure you don’t have any other issues can also alleviate some of your anxiety. For instance, in a panic attack, many people believe they’re having a heart attack. This fear only increases their panic.

Other causes of shortness of breath include:

  • exercise
  • altitude changes
  • tight clothing
  • a sedentary lifestyle

Other conditions where you may experience shortness of breath include:

  • asthma
  • chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • heart failure or heart attack
  • pneumonia
  • low blood pressure
  • upper airway obstruction

If you experience shortness of breath consistently, or when unconnected to anxiety, see your doctor.

Seek emergency medical attention if you experience symptoms of a heart attack, including:

  • tightness or pain in the chest, neck, jaw, back, or arms
  • fatigue
  • lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting
  • discomfort in your arm or shoulder
  • sweating more than usual without a logical reason

When is shortness of breath serious?

If shortness of breath is accompanied by other symptoms like pain or discomfort, tightness in the chest, lightheadedness, nausea, or vomiting, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately.

You should also talk with a doctor if you have experienced shortness of breath for over 1 month or if other symptoms like persistent coughing or swollen ankles are present, as it could be a sign of a more serious condition.

Is my shortness of breath an anxiety attack or Coronavirus?

Shortness of breath caused by an anxiety attack typically peaks within a few minutes and may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as nausea, heart palpitations, and sweating.

On the other hand, shortness of breath caused by COVID-19 lasts for a longer period of time and may be tied to additional symptoms, including fever, dry cough, chills, muscle pain, and a sore throat.

Why do I have shortness of breath and anxiety at night?

Many people experience panic or anxiety attacks at night, which can cause shortness of breath and may occur without any obvious triggers. Similar to daytime anxiety attacks, there’s no known cause, but a variety of factors could contribute, including stress and genetics.

It’s important to remember that anxiety attacks can’t kill you. You won’t suffocate, won’t stop breathing, and won’t die from an anxiety attack. An anxiety or panic attack won’t turn into a heart attack, either.

If you’re worried about your physical health, get checked out. Once you’ve been cleared of any physical reasons for your shortness of breath, hold onto that clean bill of health as a reminder when you’re back in an anxious moment.

See a mental health professional for further help and assistance with coping techniques.

How anxiety distorts reality

  • Bobby Azarian
  • BBC Future

Image copyright Thinkstock

Anxiety tendencies can have a profound effect on how we perceive the world. BBC Future 's columnist wondered if a new treatment would help relieve constant anxiety. nine0018

All sorts of disturbing thoughts rush through your head, your pulse quickens and your breathing gets out of hand. Anxiety gives way to fear, and then you suddenly panic.

You feel confused and overexcited. If these symptoms are familiar to you, then know that you are not alone.

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Actresses Jennifer Lawrence and Emma Stone, musician Brian Wilson of the Beach Boys and singer Taylor Swift, artist Vincent van Gogh and poet Emily Dickinson suffered from paralyzing anxiety attacks.

Everyone knows that anxiety affects the emotional state of a person and prevents him from interacting with the outside world.

However, few people know about the impact that anxiety has on our attention in everyday life. Because of it, the priorities of attention are shifted, which entails a change in the information entering the brain and, consequently, our perception of reality. nine0011

This can have far-reaching consequences. By influencing attention, anxiety can shape a person's worldview and value system in a certain and predictable way. It can also affect our beliefs without our knowledge.

To avoid the distortion of reality caused by anxiety, you first need to understand the mechanisms that regulate attention and how to control them.

According to a metaphor inspired by the work of a talented and progressive American psychologist 19century William James, our visual attention system is much like a searchlight "scanning" the world around us.

This "spotlight of attention" is a limited area of ​​space that is the focus of attention at a certain moment. What gets into it, the brain consciously processes, but what remains outside it does not.

Looking at the world around, a person focuses his attention on the subject that he would like to examine better. Our brain is not able to process in detail an object, text or environment if they are not in the center of attention. nine0011

Image copyright, iStock

Image caption,

Our mind works like a searchlight, helping us notice important details

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The way this works can be seen in the example of a man reading a book in a crowded train car. His eyes move across the page from left to right, line by line. At the same time, the "spotlight of attention" moves from word to word. nine0011

The word on which a person focuses attention is clearly perceived by his consciousness, while the words that lie outside the "spotlight of attention" seem blurry and mostly illegible.

Such localization is necessary because the simultaneous perception of all visual information about the environment would lead to "overload" of the brain, which is a system with limited resources, like a computer.

"Spotlight" allows the brain to focus only on the important, ignoring all unnecessary information. Thanks to this, we are able to perceive the reality around us. nine0011

In most cases, we consciously choose where to focus our attention, but this process is not always under our voluntary control.

At the same time, not all objects and phenomena around us are perceived by us in the same way. So, for example, a bright flash of light or a sharp movement where it should not be, automatically attracts our attention, and it moves to the point where they arose.

Few people like it when something abruptly distracts their attention, but this does not happen by chance. The involuntary switching of attention is necessary in order to immediately notify a person about what is vital for his survival. nine0011

For an ancient man, the reason for the automatic switching of attention could be a prey running by, or, if less lucky, an approaching danger - a predator or a dangerous enemy, for example.

Image copyright, iStock

Image caption,

Without the "attention spotlight" we wouldn't be able to read, because it helps us focus on a few words while ignoring the rest

Evolved, our visual attention system automatically responds to various kinds of dangers. nine0011

Snakes, spiders, angry or frightening faces, threatening postures, and weapon-like objects are all capable of drawing our attention. We can say that visual attention prioritizes threats in the interests of self-defense.

Undoubtedly, this function helps a person to survive, but anxiety can make a system for quickly and effectively detecting threats hypersensitive, as a result of which the "spotlight of attention" begins to work to the detriment of a person.

So, for example, you can lose some control over your own attention, because it focuses too quickly on what the brain perceives as a danger, regardless of whether it really is or not. nine0011

And when a person focuses only on danger, negative information takes over his consciousness.

To understand exactly how anxiety can completely change a person's worldview, changing the priorities of attention, think about what it is like for a person with a high level of anxiety to travel by train through a densely populated metropolitan area.

Imagine that you are standing on a crowded subway platform, looking out into the crowd around you. Your attention is automatically attracted to people with an unfriendly expression, while you simply ignore cheerful faces. nine0011

As a result, you feel that everyone around you is a little upset, and your mood deteriorates.

While you are waiting for your stop on the train, you suddenly notice that a large man in a hooded sweatshirt sitting next to you is suddenly putting his hand into his pocket, as if trying to get a weapon.

Luckily, he pulls out a mobile phone from his pocket, but the whole situation makes you wonder what would happen if it was a gun.

As a result, you become even more convinced that the subway is a dangerous place, full of dubious characters and irritated people. nine0011

Image copyright, iStock

Image caption,

Over the course of our evolution, we have developed the ability to spot potentially dangerous objects in our environment, such as spiders, which can be poisonous

Now imagine that this happens all the time. Due to the fact that the threat is a priority, we filter out all the good and perceive only the bad. The cognitive system is overwhelmed with excitement and fear.

This causes anxiety to have too much of an effect on how we evaluate our environment. In fact, to anxious people, the world literally seems to be a frightening and dysfunctional place. nine0011

These radical changes in perception can shape a person's worldview, including their political and ideological beliefs.

For example, a 2009 study showed that anxiety can affect a person's attention in such a way that all people from the Middle East begin to seem dangerous to him. This undoubtedly influences his political views regarding immigration.

As part of the experiment, the researchers asked participants from Western countries with different levels of anxiety to take a computer test. It consisted of pressing a key in response to visual stimuli appearing on the screen. nine0011

First, the subjects saw a word flashing on the screen, and then two faces - an Arab and a European, on each of which a dot from the sight could appear.

The results showed that people with high anxiety responded more quickly to the dots that appeared on the faces of people with an Arab appearance if they were previously shown a word associated with terrorism - for example, "bomb".

This means that when the anxious person was made to think about terrorism, the faces of people from the Middle East were at the center of his visual attention, which indicates the expectation of danger. nine0011

Research findings explain why people with high levels of anxiety often side with politicians who promise to protect the country by banning immigration and imposing tough national security measures.

This is confirmed by the results of another study conducted in 2012 by a group of scientists from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln.

They found that people who pay more attention to negative images tend to lean towards the right politically. nine0011

In one experiment, researchers showed liberal and conservative participants computer-generated collages of pictures with positive and negative connotations.

At the same time, they tracked the subjects' eye movements to see what they were paying attention to.

Image copyright, iStock

Image caption,

If a person is prone to anxiety, the whole world can seem dangerous to him

They found that those whose attention was immediately and permanently attracted to unpleasant and repulsive images - for example, traffic accidents, dead bodies and open wounds - more often identified themselves as conservatives. nine0011

The authors of the study find it logical that people who are more alert and receptive to threats often support center-right politicians who promise to protect society from external threats by strengthening military power and national security, introducing tougher penalties for criminals and discouraging immigration.

In its extreme manifestations, anxiety can have a serious negative impact on human health, but you can change the situation by training your attention. nine0011

What's more, today this can be done with convenient computer programs and even smartphone apps.

The most popular form of training is Attention Bias Modification Training (ABMT for short), also commonly known as Cognitive Bias Modification (CBM for short).

It can include different tasks united by one goal. In standard training, patients see pictures with positive and negative images on the computer screen. As a rule, these are happy and gloomy faces, replacing each other hundreds of times. nine0011

Since anxiety is related to focusing on negative stimuli, patients are asked to select positive images by pressing a key or screen.

By doing this again and again, and ideally for several days or weeks in a row, they get into the habit of paying attention not to the threat and negative information, but to what carries positive information.

Image copyright, iStock

Image caption,

Can we find a way to correct this warped perception of threat and anxiety? nine0011

Dozens of studies have confirmed the effectiveness of this method. Of particular interest is one published in the Journal of the Association for Psychological Sciences, Clinical Psychological Science.

It showed that a 25-45 minute session of ABMT therapy played on a mobile phone reduced threat alertness, subjective anxiety, and observed stress sensitivity.

Patients suffering from anxiety disorders who are unable to receive treatment at the clinic can now also receive psychological help with just a few minutes of an exciting mobile game on the way to work. nine0011

However, some scientists are skeptical about ABMT. In some recent studies, the effectiveness of this type of therapy has been called into question.

Scientists have proven that single sessions of ABMT are no more beneficial than other cognitive-based treatments for anxiety disorders, such as cognitive behavioral therapy, and in some cases even placebo.

Scientist, professor, and licensed psychologist Per Carlbring of Stockholm University admits that these criticisms are valid, but notes that mindfulness training should not be abandoned entirely. nine0011

He explains that according to a meta-analysis, attentional priority adjustment works very well for patients under 37 years of age, especially when it is done in a clinic or laboratory rather than remotely.

Carlbring noticed that the only time ABMT did not reduce anxiety levels was if it failed to adjust the attentional priorities associated with danger.

Therefore, to increase the effectiveness of this treatment method, he suggested using more dynamic tasks with realistic stimuli. nine0011

Carlbring wanted to improve the reliability of this treatment and received a grant to develop and test a new method of attention training using virtual reality. This method works in a more natural way and provides a sense of presence.

"I think moving training into real-life conditions could help us take things to a whole new level," says Carlbring. "I wouldn't be surprised if attention training becomes commonplace by 2020. " nine0011

By doing exercises that help us get rid of the constant search for threats and being aware of the effect of anxiety on our attention, we can avoid the consequences of anxiety, such as distorting reality, constantly feeling fear and changing the belief system.

Read the original of this article in English at BBC Future .

Experts told Tomsk residents how to cope with anxiety

Life in the modern world is filled with countless information flow, a lot of socio-political, economic situations that replace each other and sometimes negatively affect the mental processes of a person. Tomsk experts talked about how you can cope with anxiety, and what methods can help you not drive yourself into a deep depression. nine0011

“Certainly, in the life of every person there are periods of crisis, actual psychotraumatic situations. These are the processes that every conscious person goes through. But in certain time periods, the whole society is faced with global world crises, and now another difficult historical period has begun for the population of the whole world and our country,

, the Health Region telegram channel reports.

The global pandemic has affected, to one degree or another, the life of every member of society: people have either directly faced the disease or tragic events associated with the death of loved ones and relatives. Large-scale changes in public life, caused by various quarantine measures, changing working conditions, job loss, have already led to powerful social stress, the prolongation of which was military challenges as a result of the global crisis. nine0011

“Society has gone through similar situations many times in the process of historical development, especially for the Russian population, which is systematically exposed to such global stressful events that in a certain way affect the psyche of each person. The above events can cause anxiety, feelings of hopelessness, loss of the meaning of life and further development”,

, the article says.

Anxiety is a psychological phenomenon and can manifest itself in various forms. A form of anxiety is a special combination of the nature of experiences, verbal and non-verbal manifestations in behavior, communication and human activity. Long-term anxiety states can gradually lead to a structural change in personality as negative attitudes are consolidated and a tendency to perceive a wide range of situations as threatening and respond to them with a state of anxiety. nine0011

“Continuously experiencing a feeling of anxiety, the individual focuses his attention on negative emotions and experiences. This can manifest itself both directly in behavior and in the subjective ill-being of the individual, which depresses the psyche,

- experts say.

The main negative manifestations of anxiety are decreased mood, slowed motor activity, difficulty concentrating and memory, sleep disturbance, progressive fatigue, loss of energy, acute irritability, intense anxiety, increased tearfulness, pessimism, feelings of hopelessness and low self-esteem, increased vigilance and premonition of danger. These manifestations cause significant clinical discomfort, deterioration of social labor activity. nine0011

“In some cases, anxiety can be accompanied by somatic manifestations, loss of appetite, headaches, pain in the body, abdomen and internal organs, sudden weight loss, reduced immune defense”,

– says the article.

It has been noted that in childhood and adolescence, anxiety experiences lead to a decrease in academic performance, a persistent decrease in mood, irritability, apathy, social isolation, a decrease in the ability to enjoy, self-accusation, rejection, a decrease in self-esteem, as well as the appearance of thoughts about death, attempts to cause harm to yourself. nine0011

While all psychological and psychiatric disorders are best treated by qualified doctors, there are methods that can be used at home.

If you feel an anxiety attack coming on, try the following :

1. Try to relax and feel your body. List the signs of your anxiety, do not run away from this feeling, but accept it.

2. Do some breathing exercises to help you calm down quickly. Take a few deep breaths, the exhalations should be as relaxed as possible. Breathing is better with holding your breath in a row. Several cycles of such exercises normalize the condition. nine0011

3. Learn to enter into a resourceful state. By this term, experts mean a sense of one's own strength. You should feel that you have enough internal resources to solve the problems that confront you at the moment. Try to remember the last time you experienced this feeling. Go back to that moment mentally or reproduce the situation in life. Each person has his own source of strength and joy: it can be meetings with loved ones, doing a favorite activity or sports, communicating with animals, walking in the forest, visiting a bathhouse and much more. Be sure to make time for activities that give you pleasure. This will reduce the feeling of anxiety. nine0011

4. Try to visualize your body and identify the location of the anxiety. Take a pencil in your hand, and then mentally draw a line from your anxiety to it. Then draw your feeling. No need to control or analyze what is happening, just let the hand move on its own. The drawing must be torn or burned. This exercise allows you to relieve tension at a particular moment.

5. Be sure to review your work schedule. It is necessary to allocate time for proper rest and sleep. Particular attention should be paid to the diet. nine0011

6. Try to protect yourself from negative information. Avoid watching TV shows and movies with dark negative overtones.

7. It is necessary to realize and accept the fact that a person cannot fully control everything that happens around. You need to learn to trust the people around you. If anxiety is caused by situations that you cannot influence, then you need to change your attitude towards them.

8. Break the habit of always expecting the worst. As soon as negative thoughts start to appear in your head, you need to tell yourself: “Stop!”. But you do not need to protect yourself from these thoughts, but you need to rethink them. It is necessary to separate reality and frightening fantasies. nine0011

“Often anxiety has a secondary benefit, but it is not recognized by the person. As a rule, such states occur in people who have not realized themselves in life. It is more convenient for them to be in a state of anxiety. In their opinion, in this way they will be able to prevent negative events. But in reality, they are only protecting themselves from feeling guilty about what might happen. After all, you can always say: “I told you that it would happen, and I was worried about it, so it’s not my fault in what happened””,

- say experts.

Being in a state of anxiety and taking real steps to prevent a tragic situation are two different things. To identify the secondary benefit of your anxiety, you need to honestly tell yourself what negative things can happen or what positive things will not happen if anxiety disappears. After that, you will be able to understand what anxiety gives you, whether it is possible to get rid of something bad or prevent negative events with its help.

It is added that by following these recommendations, you can manage anxiety on your own. But this requires sufficient willpower and a desire to change your life for the better.

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