Ways to lessen anxiety
Tips to help ease anxiety
Speaking of Health
Topics in this Post
- Balance your mental and emotional health
- Family Medicine
- Behavioral Health
Anxiety often is described as sustained and excessive worry that a person cannot control, and is related many times to the anticipation of a future threat, such as COVD-19 or a traumatic event. At times, anxiety can have a large and negative affect on our daily lives, work, relationships and overall happiness. Anxiety also can manifest as an irritable, worried, restless and debilitating stress response which can last for minutes to days. Most everyone has had anxiety surrounding a stressful situation.
Anxiety becomes an obstacle for a happy, healthy life when it affects our day-to-day lives in these ways:
Emotionally, anxiety can appear as:
- Excessive worry
- Panic attacks
- Poor concentration
- Sleep disturbances
Physically, anxiety can appear as:
- Chest pain
- Diarrhea, stool pattern changes or upset stomach
- Increased heart rate
- Muscle aches
- Shortness of breath
The negative effects of anxiety
Left unchecked, anxiety can negatively affect our lives in these ways:
- Interrupting daily life — Causing issues at home, school, work and socially
- Isolating us — Not wanting to participate in normal daily activities or take new steps in life due to fear
- Emotionally — Increasing our risk for depression, suicide and failure to progress in life
- Physically — Increasing our risk for physical distress, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, chest pain and tremors
- Mentally — Increasing our risk for financial complications, poor decision-making and poor communication
Tips to help combat anxiety
There are a number of things you can try to help combat anxiety, including:
- Behavioral therapy
- Deep breathing
- Socializing, following pandemic guidelines of social distancing, masking and hand hygiene)
- Speaking with your health care provider
- Thought reframing
When to seek advice or treatment from a medical professional
It's recommended you speak to a health care provider about your anxiety should any of these situations occur:
- Your anxiety becomes an obstacle — In any aspect of everyday living, often causing difficulties for six or more months
- Your anxiety becomes a negative influence in relationships — Creating barriers in life
- Your anxiety leads to isolation — Producing thoughts of hopelessness or helplessness
- Your anxiety controls your life — When your emotional or physical response to excessive worry is controlling your life in some aspect or another
A person with anxiety can seek support from a therapist, medical provider, family member, friend, community support person, crisis line resource or a crisis center. Depending on the severity of your anxiety, a behavioral therapy plan, anti-anxiety medication and/or coping mechanisms may be directed to your personal situation.
Recognition of anxiety is a key factor in dealing with excessive worry and moving forward in life. If you have any of the above symptoms or have difficulty controlling worry in your life, ask yourself if it could be anxiety you're experiencing. It's important to share any concerns of excessive worry with your health care provider so we can help you identify ways to address your anxiety and move past the debilitation of excessive worry.
If COVID-19 has increased your anxiety, learn ways to tame anxiety during the pandemic, and get tips for mindfulness and coping.
Jill Christensen is a Family Medicine nurse practitioner in Waterville, Minnesota.
For the safety of our patients, staff and visitors, Mayo Clinic has strict masking policies in place. Anyone shown without a mask was either recorded prior to COVID-19 or recorded in a non-patient care area where social distancing and other safety protocols were followed.
Topics in this Post
- Balance your mental and emotional health
- Family Medicine
- Behavioral Health
Self-care tips during the COVID-19 pandemic
Anxiety disorders: Is it really all in your head?
COVID-19 during winter: 8 things you can do to mentally prepare
15 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety
Stress and anxiety are common experiences for many people. In fact, millions of adults in the United States say they feel stress or anxiety daily.
Many people deal with stress every day. Work, family issues, health concerns, and financial obligations are parts of everyday life that commonly contribute to heightened stress levels.
What’s more, factors such as genetics, level of social support, coping style, and personality type influence a person’s vulnerability to stress, meaning that some people are more likely to become stressed than others (1, 2, 3).
Plus, research shows that parents, people in professions such as healthcare and social work, People of Color, and LGBTQIA+ individuals are more likely to have higher stress levels (4, 5, 6, 7).
Minimizing the chronic stress of daily life as much as possible is important for overall health. That’s because chronic stress harms health and increases your risk of health conditions such as heart disease, anxiety disorders, and depression (8, 9, 10).
It’s important to understand that stress isn’t the same as mental health disorders such as anxiety and depression, which require treatment from medical professionals. Although the tips below may relieve many types of stress, they may not help people with these conditions (11).
Here are 15 evidence-based ways to relieve stress.
If you’re feeling stressed, moving your body on a consistent basis may help.
A 6-week study in 185 university students found that participating in aerobic exercise 2 days per week significantly reduced overall perceived stress and perceived stress due to uncertainty. Plus, the exercise routine significantly improved self-reported depression (12).
Many other studies have shown that engaging in physical activity helps reduce stress levels and improve mood, while sedentary behavior may lead to increased stress, poor mood, and sleep disturbances (13, 14).
What’s more, regular exercise has been shown to improve symptoms of common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression (15, 16).
If you’re currently inactive, start with gentle activities such as walking or biking. Choosing an activity that you enjoy may help increase your chances of sticking to it in the long term.
Regular exercise may help reduce stress and improve symptoms related to common mental health conditions such as anxiety and depression.
Your diet affects every aspect of your health, including your mental health.
Studies show that people who follow a diet high in ultra-processed foods and added sugar are more likely to experience higher perceived stress levels (17, 18, 19).
Being chronically stressed may lead you to overeat and reach for highly palatable foods, which may harm your overall health and mood.
Plus, not eating enough nutrient-dense whole foods may increase your risk of deficiencies in nutrients that are essential for regulating stress and mood, such as magnesium and B vitamins (20).
Minimizing your intake of highly processed foods and beverages and eating more whole foods such as vegetables, fruits, beans, fish, nuts, and seeds can help ensure that your body is properly nourished. In turn, this may improve your resilience to stress.
Following a nutrient-dense diet and limiting ultra-processed foods may provide your body with the nutrients it needs for optimal health and decrease your risk of deficiencies in nutrients that help regulate stress.
Smartphones, computers, and tablets are an unavoidable part of everyday life for many people.
While these devices are often necessary, using them too often may increase stress levels.
A number of studies have linked excessive smartphone use and “iPhone addiction” with increased levels of stress and mental health disorders (21, 22, 23, 24).
Spending too much time in front of screens in general is associated with lower psychological well-being and increased stress levels in both adults and kids (25, 26, 27).
Furthermore, screen time may negatively affect sleep, which may also lead to increased stress levels (28).
Minimizing screen time may help reduce stress and improve sleep in both children and adults.
Several vitamins and minerals play an important role in your body’s stress response and mood regulation. As such, a deficiency in one or more nutrients may affect your mental health and ability to cope with stress.
Plus, some studies show that certain dietary supplements may help reduce stress and improve mood.
For example, when you’re chronically stressed, your magnesium levels may become depleted.
Since this mineral plays an important role in your body’s stress response, it’s important to make sure you’re getting enough each day. Supplementing with magnesium has been shown to improve stress in chronically stressed people (20, 29).
An 8-week study in 264 people with low magnesium found that taking 300 mg of this mineral daily helped reduce stress levels. Combining this dose of magnesium with vitamin B6 was even more effective (30).
Other supplements, including rhodiola, ashwagandha, B vitamins, and L-theanine, have been shown to help reduce stress as well (31, 32, 33, 34).
However, dietary supplements may not be appropriate or safe for everyone. Consult a healthcare professional if you’re interested in using supplements to help relieve stress.
Certain supplements may reduce stress levels, including magnesium, L-theanine, rhodiola, and B vitamins.
Setting aside time to practice self-care may help reduce your stress levels. Practical examples include:
- going for a walk outside
- taking a bath
- lighting candles
- reading a good book
- preparing a healthy meal
- stretching before bed
- getting a massage
- practicing a hobby
- using a diffuser with calming scents
- practicing yoga
Studies show that people who engage in self-care report lower levels of stress and improved quality of life, while a lack of self-care is associated with higher risk of stress and burnout (35, 36, 37).
Taking time for yourself is essential in order to live a healthy life. This is especially important for people who tend to be highly stressed, including nurses, doctors, teachers, and caretakers.
Self-care doesn’t have to be elaborate or complicated. It simply means tending to your well-being and happiness.
Exposure to certain scents via candles or essential oils may be especially calming. Here are a few relaxing scents:
- Roman chamomile
- orange or orange blossom
Using scents to boost your mood is called aromatherapy. Several studies suggest that aromatherapy can decrease anxiety and improve sleep (38, 39).
Self-care is an important part of managing stress. A few simple strategies you may want to try are yoga, lighting candles, taking baths, and reading a good book.
Caffeine is a chemical found in coffee, tea, chocolate, and energy drinks that stimulates your central nervous system.
Consuming too much may worsen and increase feelings of anxiety (40, 41).
Plus, overconsumption may harm your sleep. In turn, this may increase stress and anxiety symptoms (42).
People have different thresholds for how much caffeine they can tolerate. If you notice that caffeine makes you jittery or anxious, consider cutting back by replacing coffee or energy drinks with decaffeinated herbal tea or water.
Although many studies show that coffee is healthy in moderation, it’s recommended to keep caffeine intake under 400 mg per day, which equals 4–5 cups (0. 9–1.2 L) of coffee (43).
Still, people who are sensitive to caffeine may experience increased anxiety and stress after consuming much less caffeine than this, so it’s important to consider your individual tolerance.
Large amounts of caffeine may increase stress and anxiety, although people’s sensitivity to caffeine varies greatly.
Social support from friends and family may help you get through stressful times and cope with stress (44).
A study that in 163 Latinx young adults in college associated lower levels of support from friends, family, and romantic partners with loneliness, depressive symptoms, and perceived stress (44).
Having a social support system is important for your overall mental health. If you’re feeling alone and don’t have friends or family to depend on, social support groups may help. Consider joining a club or sports team or volunteering for a cause that’s important to you.
Having strong social ties may help you get through stressful times and is important for overall mental well-being.
Not all stressors are within your control, but some are. Putting too much on your plate may increase your stress load and limit the amount of time you can spend on self-care.
Taking control over your personal life may help reduce stress and protect your mental health.
One way to do this may be to say “no” more often. This is especially true if you find yourself taking on more than you can handle, because juggling many responsibilities may leave you feeling overwhelmed.
Being selective about what you take on — and saying “no” to things that will unnecessarily add to your load — can reduce your stress levels.
Plus, creating boundaries — especially with people who add to your stress levels — is a healthy way to protect your well-being. This can be as simple as asking a friend or family member not to stop by unannounced or canceling standing plans with a friend who tends to create drama.
It’s important to create healthy boundaries in your life by declining to take on more than you can handle. Saying “no” is one way to control your stressors.
Another way to take control of your stress is to stay on top of your priorities and avoid procrastinating.
Procrastination may harm your productivity and leave you scrambling to catch up. This can cause stress, which negatively affects your health and sleep quality (45, 46).
A study in 140 medical students in China linked procrastination to increased stress levels. The study also associated procrastination and delayed stress reactions with more negative parenting styles, including punishment and rejection (46).
If you find yourself procrastinating regularly, it may be helpful to get in the habit of making a to-do list organized by priority. Give yourself realistic deadlines and work your way down the list.
Work on the things that need to get done today and give yourself chunks of uninterrupted time. Switching between tasks or multitasking can be stressful in itself.
If you find yourself regularly procrastinating, staying on top of your to-do list may help ward off related stress.
Yoga has become a popular method of stress relief and exercise among all age groups.
While yoga styles differ, most share a common goal — to join your body and mind by increasing body and breath awareness.
Several studies show that yoga helps reduce stress and symptoms of anxiety and depression. Plus, it can promote psychological well-being (47, 48, 49).
These benefits seem to be related to its effect on your nervous system and stress response.
Yoga may help lower cortisol levels, blood pressure, and heart rate while increasing levels of gamma aminobutyric acid, a neurotransmitter that’s low in people with mood disorders (49, 50).
Yoga is widely used for stress reduction. It may help lower stress hormone levels and blood pressure.
Mindfulness describes practices that anchor you to the present moment.
Stress reduction techniques that utilize mindfulness include meditation and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT), a type of cognitive behavioral therapy (51).
Meditating on a consistent basis, even for short periods, may help boost your mood and decrease symptoms of stress and anxiety (52).
If you’d like to try out meditation, countless books, apps, and websites can teach you the basics. There may also be therapists in your area who specialize in MBCT.
Mindfulness practices such as meditation and MBCT may help reduce stress levels and improve mood.
Human touch may have a calming effect and help you better cope with stress (53).
For example, studies show that positive physical contact and sex may help relieve stress and loneliness (54, 55).
These types of contact may help release oxytocin and lower cortisol. In turn, these effects help lower blood pressure and heart rate. Both high blood pressure and increased heart rate are physical symptoms of stress (56).
Interestingly, humans aren’t the only animals that cuddle for stress relief. Chimpanzees also cuddle friends that are stressed (57).
Positive touch from cuddling, hugging, kissing, and sex may help lower stress by releasing oxytocin and lowering blood pressure.
Spending more time outside may help reduce stress.
Studies show that spending time in green spaces such as parks and forests and being immersed in nature are healthy ways to manage stress (58, 59).
A review of 14 studies found that spending as little as 10 minutes in a natural setting may help improve psychological and physiological markers of mental well-being, including perceived stress and happiness, in college-aged people (59).
Hiking and camping are great options, but some people don’t enjoy — or have access to — these activities. Even if you live in an urban area, you can seek out green spaces such as local parks, arboretums, and botanical gardens.
Spending more time outside — whether at your local park or atop a mountain — may help reduce levels of stress and boost your mood.
Mental stress activates your sympathetic nervous system, sending your body into fight-or-flight mode.
During this reaction, stress hormones trigger physical symptoms such as a faster heartbeat, quicker breathing, and constricted blood vessels.
Deep breathing exercises may help activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which controls the relaxation response (60, 61).
Deep breathing exercises include diaphragmatic breathing, abdominal breathing, belly breathing, and paced respiration.
The goal of deep breathing is to focus your awareness on your breath, making it slower and deeper. When you breathe in deeply through your nose, your lungs fully expand and your belly rises. This helps slow your heart rate, allowing you to feel at peace.
Deep breathing activates your body’s relaxation response, thereby counteracting some of the physical sensations of stress.
Having a pet may help reduce stress and improve your mood.
When you cuddle or touch your pet, your body releases oxytocin — a hormone that’s linked to positive mood (62).
Plus, studies show that pet owners — especially those who have dogs — tend to have greater life satisfaction, better self-esteem, reduced levels of loneliness and anxiety, and more positive moods (63).
Having a pet may also help relieve stress by giving you purpose, keeping you active, and providing companionship.
Spending time with your pet is a relaxing, enjoyable way to reduce stress.
Although stress is an unavoidable part of life, being chronically stressed takes a toll on your physical and mental health.
Fortunately, several evidence-based strategies can help you reduce stress and improve your overall psychological well-being.
Exercise, mindfulness, spending time with a pet, minimizing screen time, and getting outside more often are all effective methods.
Just one thing
Try this today: Although there are many ways to reduce stress on your own, it’s important to get help when you need it.
If you’re experiencing overwhelming stress or symptoms of anxiety and depression, consider making an appointment with a therapist or visiting a trusted healthcare professional to discuss ways to improve your mental health.
Read this article in Spanish.
How to cope with anxiety: 7 ways to help ‹ GO Blog
Anxiety is an emotional state caused by the expectation of danger or threat. While fear is a basic human emotion associated with the instinct of self-preservation, and appears directly at the moment of danger.
The terms "fear" and "anxiety" are not synonymous, but they can be used interchangeably when it comes to situational anxiety (state at a given moment in time).
In the normal state, the self-preservation function encourages action, but there are also moments of apathy when anxiety intensifies.
We will tell you how to cope with anxiety on your own and determine its level in yourself.
Read more: "9 Proven Ways to Beat Procrastination"
How to Measure Anxiety
American psychologist Charles Spielberger studied more than 117 signs of human anxiety and created a scale to determine its level. His "assessment of the level of anxiety" is divided into situational and personal. Situational is responsible for the state at a given moment in time and the influence of external circumstances - for example, self-isolation. Personal - character of a person.
To determine “your level” of anxiety, you can take a test of 40 short questions.
What causes anxiety
The main factors that provoke increased anxiety in us are loneliness, problems at work, problems in relationships, health, environment and all sorts of conflicts.
Our way of life also has a great influence. For example, we are more likely to experience anxiety states if we are constantly on the phone or watching the news on TV. Digital progress has certainly made our life faster and better, but we pay for this comfort with an additional level of stress, new fears and complexes due to the large flow of news.
Try to minimize the number of hours spent on the Internet. Go outdoors, read, do yoga, cook, cross-stitch, build LEGOs – there are so many more options than you might think.
Stages of anxiety
– Waiting alarm. People who foresee the most unfavorable of all possible situations suffer. Such anxiety can appear at certain moments or haunt a person constantly.
– Anxiety in the form of phobias is associated with certain situations and objects. For example, fear of loneliness, spiders or darkness. May be a clinical case if expressed in the form of panic attacks.
- Neurotic anxiety. This form of anxiety is the most serious and is found in many psychological diseases: hysterical, schizoid. There is a pathological level of fear here that destroys a person's mental health.
The whole planet is now in fear of waiting due to the incessant flow of news and uncertainty. "Fear of waiting" or "free fear" is formed due to the information flow in which we are constantly immersed. The tools that help to cope with situational anxiety, which has no connection with clinical cases, will be described below.
Feelings of fear are easily confused, so before we talk about how to get rid of anxiety, we will learn how to identify it.
There are situations when we do not distinguish between emotions, so the so-called "false alarm" is formed. In this case, the first thing psychologists can advise is to learn how to isolate anxiety from a large stream of other emotions. Observe for yourself - in what situations you are overcome by anxiety. Divide these situations into those in which anxiety is justified and those where it is not.
For example, you are on a bus and as you approach the bus stop, you are overtaken by a feeling of anxiety. On the one hand, this may be due to fear that you will miss your stop, or a sense of shame, as it is embarrassing to ask the driver to stop the car.
Another example is when you want to ask the teacher in class, but you are afraid to raise your hand. This fear may arise from self-doubt and the expectation that classmates will laugh at you.
Sometimes anxiety is born from some other feelings, such as shame or insecurity. Realizing this and overcoming it, you no longer have a reason for concern, and with it the state of anxiety disappears.
Read more: “How to stop being shy and get rid of the language barrier”
How to cope with anxiety
Alarm often occurs due to uncertainty in actions and feelings. First, try to find out what causes anxiety. For example, you are worried about being fired from your job. Before you panic, look at the facts: look at the state of the market and the area in which your company operates, evaluate the workload at work now and predict the task plan for the next month. And this applies not only to work, but to any area in which you feel anxiety.
Usually such an exercise helps to see the true picture. If you understand that while everything is under control, you can exhale, if not, proceed to your detailing. Write out a detailed plan of action that will help you avoid uncertainty and tell you how to act in any situation:
Write down what skills you have and where they can be useful. For example, being an illustrator or photoshop, having a driver's license and owning a car, copywriting skills, etc.
Edit your resume and prepare some cover letters to the employer about yourself.
Build your own range of services, from the most preferred activities to the least interesting.
Leave a list of potential employers to whom you can offer your services. The bigger, the better.
Write to them!
The work done will help you feel more confident and have a plan to get out of a crisis situation.
Sometimes anxiety arises from the conviction that we will not cope with this or that action. A visual picture of your skills will always help to believe in yourself. When you read your list, you will realize that you can achieve a lot, despite the circumstances.
Read more: “4 things on your resume that will help the employer to choose you”
Use exposure therapy
A complex combination of words with a simple meaning - a meeting with your problem "on the forehead. " It is important to understand that this is NOT a fight against a problem. The point is to acknowledge the existence of anxiety, not to get rid of it completely.
Don't ignore things that make you feel anxious. For example, to move up the career ladder, you need to learn English, but you haven’t opened your textbook for three days and you constantly scold yourself for it. This lowers your self-esteem and increases your anxiety about your success at work and in life.
Give yourself a full day of rest without worries or self-criticism. Imagine that this is an official vacation or vacation. And then gradually get down to business: you can start with one page of English text per day or a five-minute video. Gradually, you will accustom your body to the load and develop a habit.
Keep a sleep schedule
It is during sleep that growth hormone is produced, which is responsible for the restoration of our body, including the nervous system. Especially if we go to bed before 12 o'clock at night.
The BBC TV show Trust Me I'm a Doctor, in collaboration with the University of Oxford, did a little experiment on how sleep affects our psychological state. The study involved people who are distinguished by "strong sleep". During the experiment, the participants were given conditions: in the first three nights they had to sleep for 8 hours, which is the norm, and the next three nights - for 4 hours. Every day, the subjects answered questions that helped determine changes in their psychological state, behavior and emotions. The results showed that after two nights of sleep deprivation, negative emotions began to predominate in the subjects, as well as an increase in distrust of others and aggression.
The study also shows that insomnia is not always the result of mental disorders, sometimes it is lack of sleep that provokes the appearance of psychological problems.
It is important to periodically switch from one activity to another - for example, from physical activity to mental activity. So, when you go in for sports, there is a restoration of brain functions due to the supply of oxygen. And with mental stress, the muscular system is restored by improving blood flow in the muscles.
A simple alternation of work and study with a little physical activity will improve the functioning of the body's metabolic processes, and at the same time speed up the restoration of the nervous system, contributing to its strengthening.
Meditate and breathe
Meditation and breathing are sure helpers in overcoming psychological instability. A Johns Hopkins University study found a relationship between meditation practice and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. The team of researchers found that the effect of meditation is comparable to the effect of depressants - in this case, being a more useful solution to the problem, as it does not cause side effects. Meditation also helps to switch the work of the brain and focus on yourself, and not on the "noise" around.
Breathing techniques are equally beneficial: they improve blood circulation and help to speed up the overall metabolism. Also, the deep breathing technique, combined with relaxation exercises, reduces nervous tension well.
Routine helps reduce anxiety. Engage in hobbies, watch movies, clean up, play sports - try to periodically disconnect from the news flow and take time for yourself and your body.
Read more: "What to do with a child at home at any age"
If your anxiety does not go away, consult a doctor - this way, you can quickly understand yourself and solve internal problems! Do not forget that your health is the most valuable thing and going to a specialist is an act that you do primarily for yourself.
How to reduce anxiety
The reasons for anxiety can be the fast pace of life, worries about the future, endless notifications in instant messengers. Anxiety over insignificant things leads to mental disorders.Therefore, it is necessary to recognize these states and learn to manage them independently. T&P tells what can be the cause of anxiety and how to get out of it.
Why do we worry?
In order to get out of an uncomfortable state, you must first understand how it is characterized, what is happening to a person at this moment and what are its causes. This is not about a certain emotion, such as the excitement that occurs before a speech or an important conversation, but about a state. You cannot get out of it in two minutes by taking a deep breath and exhaling. It needs to be worked out on a psychological level. Most often, anxiety is associated with cognitive attitudes that we create ourselves.
Anxiety is an active agitated state, unlike depression, during which there is no counteraction to stress allows a person to react and adapt in a dangerous situation. American psychologist Charles Spielberger identifies two forms of anxiety: as a state and as a property. In the first case, this is a temporary reaction to external circumstances, in the second - a character trait, a person constantly reacts sharply even to minor interference.
Russian psychologist Yevgeny Ilyin in his book "Psychophysiology of human states" defines anxiety as a prediction of failures in a state of uncertainty. Most often, the cause of this state is the experience and thinking of negative scenarios for the future. However, this can be used for good and not just worry about failure, but think over and draw up a plan of action that you will take in this case.
It's normal to feel anxious about moving to a new place, starting a new job, or taking a test. This type of anxiety can motivate you to work harder. Ordinary anxiety is a feeling that comes and goes but does not interfere with your daily life.
If you have an anxiety disorder, fear can be with you all the time. This type of anxiety can make you stop doing what you enjoy. In extreme cases, it can prevent you from getting on an elevator, crossing a street, or even leaving your home.
Anxiety disorders are the most common form of emotional disorder and can affect anyone at any age. According to the American Psychiatric Association, women are more likely than men to suffer from anxiety disorders.
Clinical psychologist Michael Tomek
Treatment of generalized anxiety disorder requires psychotherapy and medication. GAD may be accompanied by depression. If you notice for several months frequent excessive anxiety over minor things that is beyond your control and causes a physical reaction (for example, rapid heartbeat, spasms, muscle cramps), you should contact a specialist. Temporary anxiety can be dealt with on your own.
How to reduce anxiety in everyday life
Look for the cause of anxiety
Anxiety cannot be ignored, says psychologist Michael Tomek. Most often, the reason is thoughts about the future. If you have presented a negative scenario, consider how you will act in such a situation, which will help you solve this problem. So you will understand that you will be able to cope with possible difficulties, and therefore there is no cause for concern.
According to Stoic philosophy, all phenomena in the world are divided into controlled and not subject to man. The Stoics are sure that worrying about something that does not depend on us is pointless and it is better to direct all our efforts and attention to things that we control. “Of the things that exist, some are in our power, others are not. In our power is opinion, aspiration, desire, evasion - in a word, everything that is ours, ”says Epictetus in the book A Brief Guide to the Moral Life”
Focus on the body
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) claims that exercise helps a person reduce anxiety. During sports, you are focused on your physical condition and all resources are directed to maintaining it. A single workout can help relieve symptoms for a few hours, and regular exercise can significantly reduce them over time.
Reduce the number of alerts
Frequent use of gadgets can be one of the anxiety factors. You're stressed out if you keep getting alerts on your phone. Leave only the most important - the rest of the chats, news resources can simply be checked periodically.
Solve math problems and get creative
If anxiety keeps you from doing your normal activities, challenge your brain. It can be exercises in physics, mathematics or a game of chess. You can count backwards in your mind, add and multiply random numbers.
If you are less interested in math problems, take up drawing or playing music. The main thing is to shift attention to solving a specific problem and direct all other resources to it.
Monitor your breathing
Stanford University researchers have found a connection between breathing and our emotional state: the shallower we breathe, the higher the level of anxiety and worry. Therefore, deep breathing practices must be performed periodically.
Simple breathing exercises:
Inhale and exhale deeply in 4 counts for 2 minutes. Engage in diaphragmatic breathing, which activates the entire body.
Inhale for 4 counts, hold your breath for 8, and exhale through your mouth for 16.
Close the right nostril and inhale through the left, close both nostrils and hold the breath. Exhale through the right nostril.
Record your feelings in writing
Describe how you feel and explain the reason for your anxiety. After re-reading this entry in a few hours, you will look at the situation from the other side, as if this is not happening to you. In this state, you may come up with new ideas and ways to solve problems.
Allow yourself to rest
Anxiety can arise from constant rushing and thinking that you are not doing anything. A busy work schedule and multitasking can increase your anxiety levels. Accordingly, it is necessary to allow yourself to rest, and take short breaks during the working day.