Focus On What You Can Change
Many times anxiety stems from fearing things that havent even happened and may never occur. For example, even though everything is okay, you may still worry about potential issues, such as losing your job, becoming ill, or the safety of your loved ones.
Life can be unpredictable and no matter how hard you try, you cant always control what happens. However, you can decide how you are going to deal with the unknown. You can turn your anxiety into a source of strength by letting go of fear and focusing on gratitude.
Replace your fears by changing your attitude about them. For example, stop fearing to lose your job and instead focus on how grateful you are to have a job. Come to work determined to do your best. Instead of fearing for your loved one’s safety, spend time with them, or express your appreciation of them. With a little practice, you can learn to pick up a more positive outlook.
At times, anxiety may actually be caused by a real circumstance in your life. Perhaps youre in a situation where it is realistic to be worried about losing your job due to high company layoffs or talks of downsizing.
In this situation, taking action may be the answer to reducing your anxiety. For example, you may need to update your resume and start job searching.
Prioritize Getting A Good Nights Rest
Sleep has been proven time and time again to be an important part of good mental health.
Even though a 2012 survey found that nearly a third of adults get less than 6 hours of sleep a night, the that adults get 7 to 9 hours of sleep every day.
You can make sleep a priority by:
- only sleeping at night when youre tired
- not reading or watching television in bed
- not using your phone, tablet, or computer in bed
- not tossing and turning in your bed or going to another room if you cant sleep
- avoiding caffeine, large meals, and nicotine before bedtime
- keeping your room dark and cool
- writing down your worries before going to bed
- going to sleep at the same time each night
How To Stop Worrying Tip : Create A Daily Worry Period
Its tough to be productive in your daily activities when anxiety and worry are dominating your thoughts and distracting you from work, school, or your home life. This is where the strategy of postponing worrying can help. Rather than trying to stop or get rid of an anxious thought, give yourself permission to have it, but put off dwelling on it until later.
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Burn Off Your Anxiety
When youre anxious, it can sometimes be too hard to perform a technique like deep breathing, as your adrenaline makes it difficult for you to concentrate.
In these moments, try doing something that rids your body of this adrenaline, which could include:
- Chores that need a lot of energy to complete
- High intensity exercise
- Dancing around the house to loud music
- Any aerobic exercise
- Go outside and get some fresh air
Its important to try and release the anxiety youre feeling. These activities can calm your brain and body, helping you to focus and think rationally. If doing something physical isnt working, try writing your anxiety away. An anxiety journal can help get negative thoughts out of you head or be used as a way to think clearly about how youre going to remain calm once youve finished writing.
Tips For Making Eye Contact
- Establish eye contact at the start. Make eye contact before you start talking to someone.
- Use the 50/70 rule. Maintain eye contact 50% of the time when speaking and 70% when listening.
- Look for 45 seconds. Hold eye contact for about four to five seconds at a time, or about as much time as it takes you to register the color of their eyes. When you break eye contact, glance to the side before resuming your gaze.
- Look away slowly. When you look away, do it slowly. Looking away too quickly can make you appear nervous or shy.
- Use the triangle technique. Rather than looking away or looking down , you can also look at another spot on their face. Imagine an inverted triangle connecting their eyes and mouth. Every five seconds, rotate which point of the triangle you are looking at.
- Make a gesture. Break your gaze to make a gesture or to nod, as this appears more natural than looking away because you’ve grown uncomfortable with the amount of eye contact.
- Look near the eyes. If looking someone directly in the eyes is too stressful, instead look at a spot on their nose, mouth, or chin.
When speaking to a group of people, instead of thinking of the group as a whole, imagine having individual conversations with one person in the group at a time.
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How To Make Your Anxiety Work For You Instead Of Against You
While some cases of anxiety are serious enough to require medical treatment, everyday anxiety is a fact of life and can actually be helpful, says psychologist Bob Rosen, author of Conscious: The Power of Awareness in Business and Life.
How you use it makes all the difference, he says. As the world gets faster and more uncertain, its easy to let overwhelm you. People get hijacked by their reptilian brain survival instincts and fear. On the flip side, denying or running from anxiety causes you to become complacent. You can use anxiety in a positive way and turn it into a powerful force in your life if you strike a balance.
The first hurdle to get over is viewing anxiety through a negative lens. We see anxiety as something to fear and avoid, says Rosen. That thinking is self-defeating and makes it worse. In a sense, we need to see anxiety as a wake-up call a message inside of our mind telling us to pay attention. We need to accept it as a natural part of the human experience.
Another problem is our faulty thinking around change, says Rosen. For centuries, it was viewed as dangerous or life threatening, he says. But stability is an illusion, and uncertainty is reality. Uncertainty makes you anxious and vulnerable, and anxiety leads you to worry or run away because youre not in control of life anymore and you feel worse.
Anxiety is energy, and you can strike the right balance if you know what to look for:
Adopt Some Relaxation Techniques
When you feel anxious, your breathing becomes rapid and shallow and you muscle tighten. This can impact your body by increasing your heart rate and bringing about light-headedness, nausea and sweating, among other physical symptoms of anxiety.
There are plenty of relaxation exercises to help reduce anxiety. These focus your breathing and identify areas of tension in your body which you can then release.
Here is a simple breathing exercise one that anyone can pick up in the moment to help calm anxiety:
- Take in a slow deep breath through your nose for four seconds. Imagine filling your lungs from the bottom right to the top, making them as full of air as possible. You should feel your stomach rise as you do so
- Hold the breath for another count of three
- Exhale gently through your mouth for another count of six. Try to focus on relaxing any tense muscles when you do
- Introduce muscle relaxation as you do. Work your way up your body, tensing body pats for five seconds and releasing.
- Youll feel the tension drift away as you do this process
When you breathe in, this raises your heart rate slightly, and breathing out lowers your heart rate slightly. So, by breathing out for slightly longer than you breathe in, this can help you to lower your heart rate.
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How To Calm Down Quickly
Something sets you off, and before long, you feel stuck in an endless loop of intrusive thoughts, pondering every possible thing that could go wrong. Your body tenses, your breathing quickens, and you can hear your heartbeat pounding in your ears.
When you feel anxiety kick in like this, its time to calm yourself down. The first step is awareness. Its a good idea to learn to recognize the first signs of anxiety and get to work right away before experiencing an episode.
What Causes Anxiety In Children
Several things can cause anxiety in children, but it also depends on what stage of life theyre in. As mentioned in the previous section, children tend to worry about different things at different ages. For example, 3-year-olds are more likely to experience because they dont want to be away from their guardians. Preschool-aged children are more likely to develop specific fears and phobias like a fear of heights, blood, insects, storms, or being in the dark. Older children may be more likely to experience social anxiety due to a fear of being constantly judged and criticized.
Below, well dive deeper into what causes anxiety in children. While some anxiety is more age-related, its also important to note that some kids are just much more likely to worry than others. In addition, some events or changes may occur in a child’s life that causes them to develop anxiety, such as hearing family arguments or moving to a new state.
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Set Small Achievable Goals
Anxiety sufferers tend to set unrealistically high expectations for themselves. To counteract this tendency, set goals that you can easily accomplish. This builds your confidence and your sense of accomplishment.
When you are learning skills to handle stress and reduce your anxiety, small steps work best. For example, if your goal is to integrate deep breathing into your life, start by practicing for one-minute intervals three or four times a day instead of for an hour all at once.
Setting small, achievable goals will help will take you farther than you can imagine over time. It will help you reach your final destination: a happier, low-anxiety life.
Realize That Now Is The Perfect Time To Start Feeling Better
And finally, realize that your anxiety and fear will not go away until you stop waiting and start learning. There are many resources available to you to help you overcome your anxiety books, courses, doctors, counselors, support groups, and more.
Some of you have been waiting for the perfect time to conquer your anxiety. You may be saying to yourselfI cant tackle my anxiety right now. Ill wait until my symptoms arent so strong to make changes in my life. Or Ill start making changes when my life is less hectic. The list goes on and on.
Heres what Ive discovered: Youll be waiting a lifetime for these things to happen. Because when you wait for something else to happen to improve your life, youre giving away your power. You feed your anxiety and feelings of loss of control.
The only perfect time to conquer your anxiety is right nowthis moment. You do not need to feel symptom-free or confident or energetic, or anything else to begin. All you need to do is take the first step.
Practice these six habits daily, and youll see your skills improve as you take back your power from anxiety.
The Warm Line has been one of California’s most essential emotional and mental health support services. Since 2019, 48,000 Californians have used the Warm Line, totaling over 185,000 calls.
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Strategies To Reduce Situational Nervousness
If you find yourself nervous in a specific situation, you’ll find it’s a bit harder to calm your nerves quickly. By specific situation, we’re talking about things like:
- A blind date.
- A public speaking engagement.
- A big test in class.
Anything that would invoke some nervousness or fear, but may not be traditionally associated with an anxiety disorder. It can be hard to calm your body fast enough because the anxiety itself can serve a function. It’s telling you that you’re doing something that you find frightening in some way, and your body is reacting to make sure you’re aware of what you’re doing.
But obviously it can be problematic as well, especially because the anxiety can feel uncontrollable and may not be suitable for your situation. You don’t want to be overly nervous on a first date, or nervous public speaking, etc., so fast ways to reduce anxiety are important.
Consider the following:
Nervousness in some situations can also be preventable. For example, if you find you’re often nervous when speaking to a stranger in a bar or club, a solution to control that nervousness in the future is to head to a bar or club and purposely embarrass yourself as much as possible. This type of behavior prepares you for the experience of embarrassment and helps you learn that the consequences are likely not as severe as you expect.
Are You An Expert Or A Generalist
Someone who has the ability and curiosity to master and collect expertise in many different disciplines, industries, skills, capabilities, countries, topics., etc. He or she can then, without necessarily even realizing it, but often by design: draw on that palette of diverse knowledge to recognize patterns and connect the dots across multiple areas. Drill deep to focus and perfect the thinking. Orit Gadiesh, chairman of Bain & Co.
The expert-generalist model emphasizes being an expert in several areas. In so doing you are very competent in several spheres of knowledge.
A CEO of a company isnt the CEO just because he is an expert in one area of business. Not only does the CEO need to know how to read balance sheets and profit and loss statements. The CEO needs to understand marketing, and have an intimate understanding of their product, IT systems, and so on.
In Human Resources they call these T-shape skills or T-shape persons. It has long been used in the job recruitment process. It analyzes the persons various abilities. The vertical bar on the letter T shows the depth of related skills and expertise in 1 field. The horizontal bar is the ability to engage across disciplines with specialists in other areas and the ability to apply that knowledge.
I lacked a formal qualification to work in the property industry which for many years I saw as a major disadvantage. Because I viewed it as a disadvantage, this worked against me.
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When Is My Anxiety Harmful
Identifying what sort of anxiety youre dealing with can be somewhat challenging because how ones body reacts to perceived danger can be entirely different compared to another person.
Its likely you heard anxiety as a blanket term for that general feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease. Its often a feeling in response to an upcoming event that has an uncertain outcome.
Every person deals with it at one time or another, because its part of our brains response to a perceived danger even if that danger isnt real.
That said, there are times anxiety can get serious and turn into anxiety attacks that initially feel manageable and then gradually build up over a few hours.
Learn Strategies To Immediately Deal With Symptoms
Educate yourself by learning strategies to immediately deal with anxiety symptoms. The National Institute of Anxiety and Stress has just made available free information that can help you reduce anxiety symptoms quickly, easily, and effectively.
This free information contains audio and workbook exercises that show you:
- how to stop intense anxiety using a simple three-step formula
- how to deal with anxiety symptoms quickly
- what to do when youre having a panic attack
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Aromatherapy And Essential Oils
Essential oils, the extract from plants, have been used for thousands of years to treat a number of conditions, including anxiety. Essential oils activate certain areas of your brain and release feel-good chemicals such as serotonin. They have been found to ease symptoms of anxiety, stress, and depression, improve mood, and improve sleep.
Recommended use includes diffusing, inhalation, or topical treatment which can aid with anxiety symptoms. When diffusing an essential oil or essential oil blend you will need an essential oil diffuser to fill your space with the desired scent. Inhalation is used by deeply smelling the essential oil straight from the bottle or by applying a drop or two of the oil on something such as a diffuser pad or lava bead that is connected to a bracelet, necklace, or even keychain. You can also place a drop or two of essential oil into your hands, rub them together, then cup your hands and take a few deep inhalations to get the desired effect.
You should be sure that the essential oils you use are pure oils and not mixed with chemicals. Some good brands to use include: Mountain Rose Herbs, Plant Therapy, Young Living, Doterra. You can do your own research to find a brand that will best work for you and your budget. Remember that a bottle of essential oil will last a long time since you typically use only a few drops at a time.
Essential oils that are great for treating anxiety include: