Which ways to reduce anxiety work best for you?
Anxiety often isn't taken seriously by people who don't suffer from it and have no idea what it's like. But for sufferers, it's a very real problem that can have a major impact on your life and stop you from doing the things you'd like to do. Here are some ways to reduce anxiety that can help stop it from taking over your life …
Learning relaxation techniques is a very good way of dealing with anxiety. They will help you calm yourself down when you feel your anxiety building up. Your breathing will become shallow when you're anxious, so learning correct breathing can really help. Relaxation techniques will also help improve your general mood and help avoid you getting into a state of anxiety in the first place.
Sometimes you can manage your anxiety by manipulating the situation so that you feel more comfortable with it. For example, if you're nervous in public places like cinemas, go to a quiet showing or ask for a seat at the end of the row. You might not ever need to get up, but you'll feel more comfortable knowing that you can easily get up if you want to.
Anxiety often involves what might happen. If you worry about possible events, ask yourself how likely it is to happen. The logical answer will probably be 'not very likely', yet our anxiety leads us to worry about these slim possibilities. Try to reinforce the idea that what you fear is very unlikely to happen.
You can also try simple methods and 'props' that you can carry with you, and can easily use when you feel your anxiety coming on. A lot of people swear by Rescue Remedy to help with anxiety issues. It's a combination of Bach Flower Remedies, and is totally natural and convenient. Others find that if they wear an elastic hair band on their wrist and ping it, it helps take the focus away from their anxiety.
Distracting yourself can also be a very useful tool for coping with anxiety. It can involve doing something physical, such as dancing or crafts. If you become anxious while away from home, try reciting song lyrics or your favorite poem (in your head, of course!). This will help take your mind away from your worrying and refocus it on something else.
Anxious people often find that their mind keeps racing and dwelling on negative thoughts. They can really benefit from taking a class in yoga or tai chi, or practising meditation. These are gentle forms of exercise that will help calm your mind and make you feel much more relaxed.
You may try to hide the fact that you're anxious, especially if you're worried about other people's attitudes (they're not always very understanding) or feel ashamed. But hiding your anxiety can make it even worse, and trap you in a vicious circle. Don't be ashamed or embarrassed, but try to accept your anxiety and talk about it. Being more open and accepting will lessen the impact it has on you.
Anxiety can be very debilitating, but it is possible to learn to manage and reduce it. So don't give up hope!
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