Hanging Out With Friends
Relationships matter even for us introverts, says Stone. Research also tells us that isolating is one of the worst things for anxiety and depression.
So, consider making time for friends, family, and other social engagements.
Put yourself in social situations at least weekly as a part of your self-discipline to help you build community over time, says Stone.
Tip : Interrupt The Worry Cycle
If you worry excessively, it can seem like negative thoughts are running through your head on endless repeat. You may feel like youre spiraling out of control, going crazy, or about to burn out under the weight of all this anxiety. But there are steps you can take right now to interrupt all those anxious thoughts and give yourself a time out from relentless worrying.
Get up and get moving. Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment because it releases endorphins which relieve tension and stress, boost energy, and enhance your sense of well-being. Even more importantly, by really focusing on how your body feels as you move, you can interrupt the constant flow of worries running through your head. Pay attention to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground as you walk, run, or dance, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the sun or wind on your skin.
Take a yoga or tai chi class. By focusing your mind on your movements and breathing, practicing yoga or tai chi keeps your attention on the present, helping to clear your mind and lead to a relaxed state.
Practice progressive muscle relaxation. This can help you break the endless loop of worrying by focusing your mind on your body instead of your thoughts. By alternately tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body, you release muscle tension in your body. And as your body relaxes, your mind will follow.
Relaxation techniques can change the brain
Take Some Steps On Your Own
Get organized. “Less clutter in your physical surroundings, email inbox, and to-do bucket will help your mind be more at ease,” Braslow says. You donât have to tackle it all at once. Make a plan to work on one area at a time.
Make new goals. Is there something youâve always wanted to do, or a place you want to go? Create a step-by-step, realistic plan to make it happen.
Do something meaningful. Get involved in an activity that feels important to you. It may be athletic, political, spiritual, or a social cause where you can volunteer. Look for something that gives you a sense of purpose.
Be creative. Direct your focus into something constructive. Rediscover your strengths. If you have a long-lost talent or interest, dive back into it. Braslow suggests trying poetry, music, photography, or design.
Read a good book. It’s a great way to relax. Thereâs even research that shows that reading books on spirituality or psychology may boost your mood.
Also Check: How Do I Know Of I Have Anxiety
Learn How To Manage Your Anxious Thoughts
Anxiety doesn’t come out of the blue. When you have anxiety attacks, it’s often because your mind tends to spiral into negative thoughts – often without your control. Sometimes you can control this anxiety by keeping these thoughts at bay and learning to dismiss triggers that cause you anxiety.
For many, this is easier said than done. But there are many different strategies you can try that may be effective. These include:
A Question Checklist
When you feel anxious, have a checklist on hand of questions to ask yourself about that anxiety experience. The longer the checklist, the more you’ll find that your thoughts become more realistic. Questions that you can use include:
- Is there a reason to believe something is wrong?
- What evidence is there that something is wrong?
- Is there a chance I’m blowing this out of proportion?
Affirmations not for everyone, but those that do use them find them to be very beneficial. Affirmations are things that you say to yourself to make yourself feel better. These include:
- I’m okay. This is just anxiety and I will get passed this .
- I have a great life and I’m looking forward to tomorrow.
- My anxiety won’t control me.
Getting Used to Physical Symptoms
The latter is known as “exposure therapy” and there are countless ways to create exercises that will habituate you to your panic attack triggers.
Stay In The Moment To Relieve Anxiety Attacks
Although your gut response might be to leave the stressful situation immediately, dont. Let your anxiety level come down, advises Carmin. Then you can decide if you want to leave or if there’s a way to get back to whatever you were doing when the anxiety attack started. Staying in the moment will help you overcome anxiety, but its hard to do this at first.
Its one of the things I respect the most about people I work with, that they are taking the leap of faith and willing to do the things that terrify them,” Carmin says. “That takes a lot of courage.”
Also Check: How To Help A Teenager With Anxiety
Unplug From All Sources Of News
Learning to ignore things is one of the great paths to inner peace.
Robert J. Sawyer
It took me a long time to see it, but the news was my single biggest source of anxiety.
The websites I was reading each day talked non-stop about crime, corruption, economic breakdown, and the end of the world. As a result, my fear of being attacked spun out of control. I became obsessed with protecting myself from every possible threat. I researched what to do if I was arrested and thrown in jail. I spent hundreds of dollars on food and equipment that I hoped would save me in the event of a disaster.
There was nothing inherently wrong with preparing for an emergency, but obsessing over apocalyptic scenarios, every day, for months on end?
One day, it finally dawned on me: my fear of an imaginary future was destroying my ability to enjoy the present.
And what planted those seeds of fear? The news.
When I made the commitment to cut the news out of my life completely no TV, no conspiracy sites or truth deliverer blogs, ignoring / blocking every sensationalist link I came across on social media, etc. my anxiety plummeted in less than two weeks. The negative information I removed from my conscious awareness freed me from the confines of other peoples frightening narratives.
But if you are consuming content thats joyous and playful, your mind will become happy and loving. Simple as that.
We Can Cultivate Honesty
Depression tricks me into hating myself, but it also manipulates how I feel about the world.
When doubts about loved ones creep in, I take a moment and ask myself if I honestly believe they would want anything other than what was best for me.
When depression is pulling me under, trying to drown me, its whispering that those around me dont want to help.
Deep down, I know this isnt true. Our loved ones want us to be happy, healthy, and successful. Many of them would sacrifice for us to have the best of the best.
Recommended Reading: What Does Anxiety And Depression Feel Like
How To Challenge These Thoughts
During your worry period, challenge your negative thoughts by asking yourself:
- Whats the evidence that the thought is true? That its not true?
- Is there a more positive, realistic way of looking at the situation?
- Whats the probability that what Im scared of will actually happen? If the probability is low, what are some more likely outcomes?
- Is the thought helpful? How will worrying about it help me and how will it hurt me?
- What would I say to a friend who had this worry?
To Relieve Anxiety Talk Out Loud To Yourself
Give yourself permission to have an anxiety attack by saying the words out loud. Remind yourself that the attack will end, and it wont kill you or cause you to faint.
Carbonell says that understanding the physiology of fainting and reminding yourself of it is important. People faint when their blood pressure drops. A anxiety attack can make you feel like youre going to faint, but you wont because your blood pressure doesn’t drop during an attack. Remind yourself out loud of truths like these to counter your fears.
Don’t Miss: How To Improve Social Anxiety
You Can Manage Your Anxiety Disorder
Second thing: you can manage your anxiety effectively so that you arent bothered by it as often. Imagine your anxiety as a person living upstairs in your brain with a loud bullhorn. He is constantly shouting in your ear with a never-ending prattle of your most anxious thoughts and worries. Ignoring your anxiety doesnt make it go away the relentless thoughts just continue.
So what do you do? You have several options to manage your anxiety. Some treatment options include mindfulness exercises, therapy , medication , or an adolescent mental health treatment center that specializes in anxiety disorders.
After treating your anxiety, imagine the person in your head gradually shrinking down to a tiny little speck on the horizon. Now, they arent yelling anymore. Theyve been reduced to a whisper, which does come in handy every once in a while In this way, your anxiety is being effectively managed.
Does Anxiety Go Away
In short yes, anxiety does go away, if we are talking about the short-term anxiety or anxiety attack. If you are feeling anxious right now, it may feel like this is never going to end or that you are heading towards a mental breakdown, but trust me youre not.
Our bodies are physically incapable of staying in an anxiety attack for too long sooner or later, those anxiety levels begin to drop. I have learned it from my therapist when I was so anxious that I thought I am going to pass out if I cant stop my anxiety soon. So if youre having a highly anxious moment right now, please know that it wont last forever and sooner or later your anxiety will begin to subside, gradually. It may happen a few minutes from now, a few hours, a few days or maybe weeks , but it will start to go down.
Now, once your anxiety goes away, it doesnt mean that it cant come back. It can. You may experience anxiety in waves coming, and going, coming and going This is why its so important to learn how to control your anxiety, so it doesnt stop you from living and enjoying your life.
You May Like: How To Treat Anxiety At Home
Consistent Bedtime & Afternoon Naps
My girlfriend asked me, Did you sleep good? I said No, I made a few mistakes.
I really cant overemphasize the importance of consistent quality sleep. Every anxious person Ive met has either been in denial about how little sleep they get, or theyre overlooking the fact that theyre going to bed at random hours every night.
One of my readers wrote this message to me after reading an early draft of my book:
When I began forcing myself to sleep eight hours a night, my physical health problems cleared up, my emotions balanced out, and my anxiety disappeared. My mind could function and that tight feeling around my eyes vanished. Eight hours of sleep is a miracle pill.
I was chronically in a severe sleep deficit, which took a major toll on my mental health.
The endless stream of digital information I was taking in every waking hour only compounded the problem. And because I kept going to bed at random hours, my mind never had enough time to shut down, relax, and digest everything that poured in during the day.
During the month I cured my anxiety, I made consistent sleep one of my highest priorities. The first thing I did was optimize my bedroom for ideal sleeping conditions. Here are the steps I took:
Name What Youre Feeling
When youre experiencing an anxious episode, you may not realize whats going on until youre really in the thick of it.
Recognizing anxiety for what it is may help you calm down quicker.
Name that this is anxiety not reality and that it will pass, says Kim Hertz, a psychotherapist at New York Therapy Practice. When you are in a heightened state of anxiety, you want to disrupt that cycle, and for some people, thought-stopping techniques are effective and as simple as saying stop to the internalized messaging that heightens anxiety.
In other words, consider recognizing that what youre feeling is anxiety and talking yourself through it.
Embrace absolute truths, says Steven Sultanoff, clinical psychologist and professor at Pepperdine University. I will get through this one way or another.
Naming your sensations and feelings may help you step away from them. This is anxiety, it is not you and it wont last forever.
Don’t Miss: How To Overcome Overwhelming Anxiety
You Can Control Anxiety Even If It Doesnt Go Away
Hoping that your anxiety will go away isnt treating the problem. In fact, leaving it alone may make matters worse. With an anxiety treatment program though, you can take control of that area of your life. You will
- Pinpoint the cause of your anxiety
- Identify anxiety triggers
- Understand your thoughts, feelings, and emotions learn about your anxiety inside and out
- Learn how to control your anxiety in real time
- Learn how to stop panic attacks and prevent them in the future
- Reduce the frequency and severity of your anxiety
- and much more
Oakland Psychological Clinic has several anxiety therapists in Michigan. These counselors specialize in anxiety treatment. They will customize your treatment program to fit your needs and your personality. If you are interested in anxiety treatment or want to know more about how it works, contact one of our Michigan therapist offices.
Tip : Practice Mindfulness
Worrying is usually focused on the futureon what might happen and what youll do about itor on the past, rehashing the things youve said or done. The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break free of your worries by bringing your attention back to the present. This strategy is based on observing your worries and then letting them go, helping you identify where your thinking is causing problems and getting in touch with your emotions.
Acknowledge and observe your worries. Dont try to ignore, fight, or control them like you usually would. Instead, simply observe them as if from an outsiders perspective, without reacting or judging.
Let your worries go. Notice that when you dont try to control the anxious thoughts that pop up, they soon pass, like clouds moving across the sky. Its only when you engage your worries that you get stuck.
Stay focused on the present. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your ever-changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your mind. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, bring your attention back to the present moment.
Basic mindfulness meditation
Click here for a free mindful breathing meditation.
Also Check: What To Do When You Have Separation Anxiety