This is going to be a meaty post about dealing with anxiety, you might want to bookmark this!
Anxiety is something everybody experiences. It is normal to feel anxious about certain situations in life. Be it family problems, work, school or a crisis you’re facing. Anxiety is also your body’s natural reaction to impending danger, so it can serve to protect us.
When the symptoms of anxiety becomes constant, however, to the point that you’re fearful, worried and stressed all the time, It could be that you’re dealing with a medical disorder for which you can receive treatment.
When dealing with anxiety, it can be difficult to imagine a way of what you’re experiencing. It traps you and makes you feel like you’ve lost control. But you haven’t. Believe it or not, it is possible to release yourself out of the tight grip of anxiety.
In this article, I am going to share with you six ways in which you can ease your anxiety. These steps involve calming yourself by pulling your attention away from your worries and to the present moment.
#1 – Accept that the past is gone and that the future doesn’t exist yet.
Anxiety is often triggered because of worries we have of the past or fears of the future. In both cases, it is pointless to feel anxious.
The past is in the past. Accept that what has happened, happened. You can’t change events, all you can focus on is what you are doing now.
If you made a mistake and you feel guilty about it, worrying won’t change a thing. Instead, learn whatever that experience taught you and resolve never to do it again.
The future doesn’t exist. Think about this fact for a moment.
Ask yourself, why am I worrying about a tomorrow that isn’t guaranteed? Take any action necessary now towards making your future easy, but you don’t stress about it.
#2 – Silence the voice in your mind.
“You don’t have to control your thoughts. You just have to stop letting them control you.”
– Dan Millman
Negative thoughts can sometimes be the main trigger of anxiety. You may not have control over a stressful situation you’re in. But you do have control over how you think about that situation and your perception of it.
When a negative thought creeps into your mind, stop it in its tracks. It’s impossible to entertain two thoughts at once. So shift your attention towards something else.
This is something you have to practice regularly because this inner voice will constantly come knocking. But the more it does, the more you have to train your mind to shut the door.
You can practice this in four ways:
- Change your thoughts from something negative, to positive. For example, if you’re worried about something that will happen in the future, such as an important interview, instead of thinking: “this is going to go horribly wrong” try “this is going to go extremely well” .
- Recite positive affirmations to yourself.
- Distract yourself by focusing on something other than the thoughts in your mind. Do something practical like exercising, cooking or painting. Anything you enjoy.
- Speak to someone. The conversation doesn’t have to be about your problems if you don’t feel comfortable sharing that. But speaking with a friend or family member is an effective way of pulling your mind away from negative thoughts.
#3 – Practice mindfulness exercises for anxiety
Practising mindfulness exercises is a good way of being present, and easing your anxiety. You’re turning your attention away from your thoughts and feelings, towards something else which you are doing now.
Here are some mindfulness exercises you can try:
Meditating is simple. Find a comfortable place to sit, this can be on your bed, chair, floor, anywhere you want. Close your eyes and focus on your breath. Don’t breathe consciously, let your breath flow in and out naturally. Be conscious of how your body moves as you inhale and exhale.
Read more : Everything You Need to Know About Meditation
b) Breathing exercises
If you’re in an environment where meditating isn’t an option, you can practice breathing exercises. Just take a deep breath in through your nose, and out through your mouth. Focus and breathe consciously, you’ll quickly notice a difference in how you feel.
c) Being mindful of your surroundings
Life moves fast. So fast that we often forget to pause and live in the moment fully. A great way of easing anxiety is to be mindful of your surroundings by using your senses.
- Look around you and focus your attention on what your eyes see, absorb all the details.
- You can then use your auditory sense, what can you hear?
- Use your sense of touch, place your palm against anything around you, that can even be an object like your phone. How does it feel?
- Step outside and inhale the fresh air, how does that feel?
#4 – If possible, SOLVE the problem that is stressing you.
If your anxiety is triggered by a specific issue in your life which you have the ability to solve, do so now. For example, you might have a lot of work or revision for school which you need to do. Start doing it. Even if you don’t complete everything, starting will give you a sense of achievement.
If you have crippling debt, despite how scary it seems, start taking the necessary actions towards paying it back.
Whether you can solve your problem now or in the long-term, taking the actions towards solving it will help to ease your anxiety now.
#5 – Journal your anxious thoughts
Journaling is an effective way of reducing anxiety. Grabbing a pen and jotting your worries down on a piece of paper can help you to gain clarity.
You don’t have to worry about making sense or writing a structured entry, just write whatever is on your mind. If you’re stuck and you don’t know how to begin, here are some journaling prompts:
- Why am I feeling this way?
- What is the root of my fear?
- How can I solve this problem?
- What can I do to take back control?
- What strengths do I have which will help me get through this?
If you rather write about something besides anxiety, here are more positive journaling ideas:
- Gratitude journaling – write three things you are grateful for.
- Describe your favourite memory
- List five things that make you happy and why
- List all the things your strengths and skills you have
#6 – Leave the situation that is making you anxious
Some people experience anxiety if they’re in certain situations they don’t like. If you’re uncomfortable in social gatherings for example, and your anxiousness is debilitating, leave that place. If you can’t leave for whatever reason, then excuse yourself for a few minutes. Practice some of the mindfulness exercises listed above, then go back when you feel calm again.
If you’re scrolling through social media, and it’s triggering your anxiety, log off. Your mental health comes first. You don’t have to force yourself to stay somewhere you feel uncomfortable.
Final Thoughts On Anxiety & Present Moment Awareness
There you have it. Six pieces of advice to help you connect with the present moment, and ease your anxiety.
Here’s a recap:
- Accept that the past is gone and the future doesn’t exist yet
- Silence the voice in your mind
- Practice some mindfulness exercises
- If possible, solve your problem now
- Change the situation you’re in
Is there any other way you can use the present moment to ease anxiety? Comment down below and let us know!
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