We all experience symptoms of anxiety from time to time. Some people would even say it is a normal and productive emotion. But what if your stress level is interfering with your everyday life and your decision making? Anxiety is the fear of the unknown. Anxiety is the sense of uncertainty and the body is acting over a perceived threat regarding the future. Usually, it is difficult to handle, but it can be possible. Is your anxiety striking again? There are always ways to alter your thinking process and fight it back.
Tip#1 Acceptance is the key
In order to cope with your symptoms and in general with stressful life events, you have to accept that you cannot control everything. Accept that sometimes it is normal to feel nervous. Say to yourself that “it is okay” to be stressed and try to find ways to tackle it. Think about why do you worry and identify the root of the problem. Often, we tend to worry about worrying so much and we are not able to press the pause button. But you have to remember, it is not the end of the world. This is the way you are feeling at the moment, but it will not last forever.
Tip#2 Be organised and use your time better
You have to allow yourself some time and plan your schedule ahead. Prioritize tasks, do your research, think of what needs to be done and how you will do it. Don’t procrastinate and distract yourself. Worrying too much about getting some tasks completed, can lead to procrastination. Studies suggest that listening to instrumental music can actually help you concentrate. The most important is to set smart goals and be realistic. If you have a clear plan on your mind, your self-esteem will be boosted and you will start trusting yourself again, without being afraid of the future.
Tip#3 Prove yourself wrong
Take a minute and think. Is your anxiety justified? People say that in order to overcome our fears, we have to face them. Face your own fears and don’t let your stress guide your behaviour. Do not try to avoid all the occasions that can cause you stress. For example, if you feel stressed about getting into the tube, you can try it and even if you feel discomfort for some minutes you will actually feel better afterwards. You will reject your hypothesis yourself. Avoidance is one of the main reasons for which anxiety keeps building up and maintains.
Tip#4 Force yourself to relax
Take a deep breath. Slowly start counting up to 10. Close your eyes and focus on the present moment. How do you feel? There are plenty of relaxation techniques that can be used to manage stress and panic attacks. You can focus your attention on your breathing, heartbeat and how those are affecting your whole body. Mindfulness is one of the evidence-based treatments for anxiety and it can make you feel relaxed and calm again. Through meditation, you bring your awareness to the present moment and stop focusing on past memories or future problems. Start practicing mindfulness, yoga or even try and learn the relaxation techniques which suit you more. Is important to keep a distance from a problem and act like an observer.
Tip#5 Adopt a healthy lifestyle
It is highly important to follow a healthy lifestyle in order to decrease our risk for mental health problems. Feeding our bodies with healthy food, full of vitamins and nutritious ingredients, and limit our consumption of caffeine can actually make a difference. Recent studies suggest that regular exercise can actually help us to reduce our symptoms of anxiety. Exercise evoke a release of endorphins in our blood, which can make us feel better about ourselves, increase our mood and make us feel more relaxed. Consequently, be careful with unhealthy management tactics. Alcohol, drugs, and medication can be used as ways to cope with stress and anxiety. But the truth is that instead of finding a way to deal with the problem, you avoid it. Remember that these ways of coping are not only unhealthy and dangerous but can also be damaging and self-destructive.
If your symptoms prevent you engaging with activities and living your life the way you would want to, don’t hesitate and discuss with someone your feelings. Talk to a friend or a professional. Let people know what are you dealing with.