We experience many feelings and emotions stemming from a particular event or a simple thing happening in our life. At times, we might feel excited and happy by finding something from our childhood in our closets. Sometimes, we might panic about what will happen next. Our feelings and emotions have a significant impact on our thoughts and behavior. When we are happy we celebrate it with our friends and colleagues but when we feel sad, we want some time alone without talking to anyone.
We hear people saying that I have anxiety or I am feeling anxious. Our body has a natural fight or flight response that makes us anxious upon seeing danger or harm coming our way. When we talk about anxiety associated with mental health, it is different from our usual responses. Anxiety disorder involves feelings of worry, fear, and apprehension. The prevalence of anxiety disorder is higher in females than men.
Around 275 million people suffer from anxiety disorder accounting for 4% of the global population. Approximately 170 million females and 105 million males suffer from anxiety disorders worldwide. When a person feels anxious, they may experience disturbing or negative thoughts. Anxiety affects a person on cognitive, emotional, and physical levels. The following simple steps have proven to help manage anxiety.
- Professional Help
Mental health disorders like anxiety or depression have specific criteria to qualify before starting their treatment. People often overlook their anxiousness, thinking it is part of their nature. Anything that hinders our daily life to a greater extent requires assistance. Visiting a psychologist or a psychotherapist with a qualified MAPP degree can diagnose your mental health issues and design a treatment protocol tailored to your symptoms and patterns. People with anxiety disorders often have a racing train of worries and disturbing thoughts leading them to pace around.
- Stop and breathe
Anxiety typically seeps in when a person has some fears regarding the past or future. Take a break and restore your breathing when you feel like your thoughts are overpowering you, or you cannot breathe. For instance, if the thought of something terrible that happens bothers you way too much, your brain loses its focus on the present. Breathing allows you to clear the fog on your mind. Your anxiety will disappear when a person’s sense of balance and mindfulness restores. Practice these following steps to breathe
- Find a comfortable spot to sit
- Close your eyes and inhale slowly through your nose and exhale deeply.
- Continue this for a few minutes and remind yourself to be present as you breathe.
- Find the troublemaker
People with anxiety often experience physical symptoms like chest pain, rapid heartbeat, trembling and sweating when their anxiety kicks in. These symptoms are more noticeable than the cause of their appearance. If you cannot control your thoughts and your worries exceed, it is time to sit back and find out what is bothering you. Once you identify the issue that makes you anxious, you can easily cope with the anxiety attack. Untangling your thought may appear complicated, but you can only manage your anxiety if you know the troublemaker of your thoughts. Start by writing your thoughts in a diary and see where it leads. Jot down either good and bad feelings or emotions that you are experiencing. You will soon find out that one event or incident is behind your anxiety.
- Focus on change
Most of the time, anxiety stems from thoughts concerning events that haven’t happened. Even if everything is okay in your surroundings, you might still worry about what can happen or what will happen if you react in a certain way. We know that we cannot control everything happening in our life or our surroundings. Life is unpredictable, but we can divert our focus on things or events that we can change.
Diverting your focus on events that we can change or control will help us eliminate the worries or troubling thoughts about the events that we cannot control. These fears can be about your job or your health. If you are worried about losing your job, shift your focus on how grateful you are to have this job or the positive impact on your life. Similarly, if you are afraid of falling sick, think about how you can prevent yourself from falling ill. Shifting your cognitive focus to the positive aspect will help in reducing worry and anxiousness.
- Calm yourself
When you are under anxious thoughts and need a diversion, it is best to look for something or activity to make you feel less anxious. Diverting your mind or channelizing your energy towards something calmer will relieve you of your anxiety. For example, listening to some soothing music, exercise, going out for a walk, or watching your favorite movie can help you feel better.
- Cut down on caffeine or alcohol
Do you love sipping coffee throughout the day? Or do you live to raise a toast at parties frequently? Caffeinated beverages like sodas, coffee, and alcohol can also add to your anxiety. Caffeine is known to keep us alert and active. A person undergoing anxiety is already having a heightened sense of thoughts. Having too much alcohol or coffee can worsen your anxiety triggers. Reducing the intake of coffee or alcohol can also help in reducing the frequency of attacks.
Managing anxiety is easy if a person knows about their triggers or the situations that can lead them to have anxious thoughts. Anxiety appears out of nowhere; instead, it develops over time due to a slow accumulation of ideas or experiences that have taken their toll on us. If you find yourself frequently indulged in overthinking or worrying about different things. It can be a sign of an underlying anxiety attack.