Strategy : Positive Affirmations
Affirmations are declarations of truth that you make to yourself, often recited daily or before going to bed. Their purpose is to remind you of your worth, value, and strength that are frequently overlooked or forgotten amidst the chaos of everyday life.
Start by choosing an affirmation that resonates most deeply with you or has some significance in relation to what youre experiencing at the moment .
Replace any negative thoughts about yourself with positive affirmations. For example: If you are feeling nervous about an upcoming interview at school or work, it might make sense for you to replace Im going to bomb this with Ive prepared enough Ill do great!.
If you find yourself thinking, turn those negative thoughts into positive ones such as I am a capable person who will figure this out or I have been through difficult situations before and I can overcome this one too.
Check out this article for a list of anxiety reducing affirmations HERE
It All Comes Back To Positivity
This was the game changer. The most powerful tool I have found to combat anxiety.
Take my anxiety about illness and getting food poisoning for about two years, we couldnt have raw chicken in our house because cooking it caused me so much anxiety.
I had a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in 2015. It was helpful, but the positive effects didnt last long. CBT teaches us that when we have anxious thoughts, our anxiety becomes stronger the more we think about it. CBT teaches us to ignore those thoughts, which interrupts the increasing anxiety.
This year I had a more general therapy and it revolutionized my state of mind. The same techniques CBT taught me were enforced but instead of passively ignoring the anxious thought, I interrupt it with a positive thought. This was in no way easy. What helped was having a positive thought on standby. So, when an anxious thought hit, I would stop, breathe, and put all my effort into focusing on that one thought.
Now when I cook chicken I can either think about the good meal I am about to enjoy or the risk of food poisoning. The way we think about things is a choice I can choose to embrace joy and positivity.
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.
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Tips For Managing Anxiety
Here are ways you can help keep anxiety under control:
Make time for sleep. Lack of sleep can worsen symptoms of anxiety and make you feel more stressed out. Although sleep needs are individual, research suggests that adults need at least 7 to 8 hours of rest a night. When you’re battling stress and anxiety, treat yourself to extra sleep when you need it.
Work out anxiety through exercise. Getting regular exercise can help reduce anxiety, release endorphins, and make you feel great, not to mention healthier. Try to spend about 150 minutes a week doing exercise that you really enjoy, such as walking, dancing, or playing tennis with a friend.
Eat well. When you’re stressed out and anxious, avoid junk food. Instead, focus on eating healthy, balanced meals and snacks each day. Make sure that you don’t skip meals.
Watch what you drink. Cut back on how much alcohol and caffeine you drink. Both can affect your mood. Excess alcohol and caffeine can heighten anxiety and even contribute to a panic attack.
Think About Something Funny
Visualize your favorite humorous moments, says Sultanoff. One where you laughed so hard you fell down and peed your pants. These can be real situations, or they can be situations you saw on sitcoms, in stories, jokes, or cartoons.
If its difficult for you to come up with something in the moment, try picking a couple of memories ahead of time, so you can go to them as soon as you start experiencing anxiety.
Like most mindfulness training, humor visualization takes you out of worrying about things that might happen in the future and focuses you back in your present circumstances, in the now.
It does a few other things too. You experience mirth, which is the uplifting reaction to humor, explains Sultanoff. You feel emotions such as joy, pleasure, or delight all powerful emotions that can help you reduce anxiety quickly.
And if youre able to make yourself laugh by remembering that funny moment, he says, humor visualization is even more effective.
When you laugh, you contract and expand muscles, which reduces physical anxiety, stress, and tension, he says.
Laughter also combats the production of cortisol levels in the body, he adds.
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People With Social Anxiety Don’t Want To Be Alone
8. Go to bed early.
This may sound impossible if you’re accustomed to staying up late to catch up on the to-do list. But this one’s a must.
Sleep deprivation is a huge anxiety culprit. Inadequate shuteye can amplify the brain’s anticipatory reactions, upping overall anxiety levels, according to research.
“We all have anticipatory anxiety,” explains researcher Fugen Neziroglu. “Having moderate levels of anxiety about doing well is important. But it can be destructive when it begins to interfere with your life.” It’s impossible to have healthy emotional functioning without adequate sleep.
Don’t burn the midnight oil in hopes of catching up on the weekends. Unused sleep minutes don’t roll over.
9. Wake up 15 minutes early.
Like most anxious people, you’re probably rushing around in the morning and yelling at everyone in your wake, “Hurry up! We’re going to be late!”
Go slowly, and set yourself up for a relaxed day ahead. If you start to worry about the to-do list, take a deep breath and think: There is enough time.
10. Get your lavender on!
Lavender oil has many healing properties and can be used as a natural remedy to reduce anxiety and other nervous conditions. There are many ways to incorporate lavender into your calm tool kit:
11. Reduce caffeine, sugar, and processed foods.
Sugar acts as an adrenal stimulant and can cause anxiety or even panic attacks. Other offensive foods include those containing refined flour products and even wheat, since this causes inflammation.
How Is Gad Treated
First, talk to your doctor about your symptoms. Your doctor should do an exam and ask you about your health history to make sure that an unrelated physical problem is not causing your symptoms. Your doctor may refer to you a mental health specialist, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist.
GAD is generally treated with psychotherapy, medication, or both. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment for you.
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Restlessness Or Not Being Able To Sleep
The more tired I get, the more I ponder a million details per minute. This inability to rest and stop worrying can be a giant sign that things are out of control. Perhaps Im trying to crowd out my own thoughts and emotions by thinking about others. This helps me avoid things that are perhaps too painful to face, acknowledge, or process.
When I look outside into the dark morning and realize that my eyes are tired , I find myself wishing to sleep. It should be obvious then, but the hamster wheel comes back.
Stay Away From Caffeine
Caffeine is a famous anxiety inducer. But the fact that it hasbecome a massive part of our daily lives causes us to forget how sensitive weare to it. When feeling anxious or anticipating anxiety like beforeinteracting with strangers always try to avoid caffeine, whether its in theform of coffee, tea, or soft drinks.
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Tip : Challenge Anxious Thoughts
If you suffer from chronic anxiety and worry, chances are you look at the world in ways that make it seem more threatening than it really is. For example, you may overestimate the possibility that things will turn out badly, jump immediately to worst-case scenarios, or treat every anxious thought as if it were fact. You may also discredit your own ability to handle lifes problems, assuming youll fall apart at the first sign of trouble. These types of thoughts, known as cognitive distortions, include:
Obsession Or An Endless Thought Loop That Leaves You Exhausted
When I find myself writing Ill not control my family. Im not in charge of anyone else repeatedly, its probably a sign of anxiety and not a reaffirming practice to let go.
Sometimes this happens in my mind instead of on paper. When Im around my relatives, I start thinking about what each person is or isnt doing.
Did he load the dishwasher? Is she looking at her phone ? Did he just turn up the music? Are those his T-shirts on the couch?
The thought loop repeats.
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Avoidance Or Ignoring What You Need
Even though I want to feel less alone, less crazed, and know that Im not the only one to go through this when anxiety takes over, I avoid talking it out.
As a follow-up to obsession and a prelude to restlessness, I start to lack perspective on everything else thats happening to me. While there are plenty of trusted folks who could offer a sympathetic ear and help get these pressing and troubling thoughts out of my brain, I tell myself Im too busy doing and planning to have someone listen to me.
Avoidance of talk therapy a recommended tool to manage anxiety can be dangerous for people who need help with anxiety and mental health issues. When I wont talk about my problems with another person, the problems tend to feel secretive and larger than what they really are.
Clean Out Your Purse Or Your Junk Drawer
Does your purse weigh an extra five pounds from the weight of the loose change and CVS receipts youre carrying around? Take a few minutes to clean it out and organize it so that you feel lifted up rather than brought down when you open it. Or clean out and organize your junk drawer and finally get rid of that collection of keys that dont go with anything.
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Try 6 Meditations To Help Reduce Anxiety
Looking for more meditations to help you feel calm? The Headspace app offers subscribers several courses and single meditations on topics related to anxiety, including:
Managing Anxiety 10-day course. Cultivate a new perspective on fear and anxiety.
Unemployment Anxiety single meditation. Recognize and release stress about job loss and the future.
Letting Go of Stress 10-day course. Enjoy a healthier mind by developing your awareness of stress and learning how to reframe negative emotions.
Stressed single meditation. Notice what you’re holding onto and how to drop the preoccupying storyline.
Why can’t I sleep? single meditation. This exercise will help you practice calming the mind and body during the day, so you feel more ready for sleep when bedtime comes.
Difficult Conversations single meditation. The prospect of a difficult conversation can drive feelings of anxiety and fear, but by lesseing habits of reactivity and developing a calmer, more patient mindset, you can both listen and express yourself more clearly.
Focus On Something Less Anxiety
At times, it may be most helpful to simply redirect yourself to focus on something other than your anxiety. You may want to reach out to others, do some work around your home, or engage in an enjoyable activity or hobby. Here are a few ideas of things you can do to thwart off anxiety:
- Do some chores or organizing around the house.
- Engage in a creative activity, such as drawing, painting, or writing.
- Go for a walk or engage in some other form of physical exercise.
- Listen to music.
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Aim For Regulation Not Repression
You cant control your emotions with a dial . But imagine, for a moment, that you could manage emotions this way.
You wouldnt want to leave them running at maximum all the time. You also wouldnt want to switch them off entirely, either.
When you suppress or repress emotions, youre preventing yourself from experiencing and expressing feelings. This can happen consciously or unconsciously .
Either can contribute to mental and physical health symptoms, including:
Keep Your Blood Sugar In Check
Even if you don’t have diabetes, skipping meals or loading up on junk food can lead to blood sugar drops that make you irritable, jittery, and anxious. Try to eat three balanced meals and two snacks each day. Choose foods that are high in fiber, fruits and vegetables, nuts, small servings of lean meat, and low-fat milk or cheese. If you have diabetes, take your medications as prescribed.
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A Comprehensive Solution To Anxiety
This list should not stop anyone from seeking professional advice and/or treatment that can prove to be very valuable. There are numerous resources and experts available that can assist with coping with anxiety, including recommending specific therapies or medications. Only a trained professional can recommend options like medications, herbs, and other interventions that can and should only be guided by experts.
How Much Worrying Is Too Much
Worries, doubts, and anxieties are a normal part of life. Its natural to worry about an unpaid bill, an upcoming job interview, or a first date. But normal worry becomes excessive when its persistent and uncontrollable. You worry every day about what ifs and worst-case scenarios, you cant get anxious thoughts out of your head, and it interferes with your daily life.
Constant worrying, negative thinking, and always expecting the worst can take a toll on your emotional and physical health. It can sap your emotional strength, leave you feeling restless and jumpy, cause insomnia, headaches, stomach problems, and muscle tension, and make it difficult to concentrate at work or school. You may take your negative feelings out on the people closest to you, self-medicate with alcohol or drugs, or try to distract yourself by zoning out in front of screens. Chronic worrying can also be a major symptom of Generalized Anxiety Disorder , a common anxiety disorder that involves tension, nervousness, and a general feeling of unease that colors your whole life.
If youre plagued by exaggerated worry and tension, there are steps you can take to turn off anxious thoughts. Chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken. You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more balanced, less fearful perspective.
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