Anxiety is one of the most frustrating feelings in the world. You feel helpless, confused, and unable to control your thoughts. But trust us, you CAN control your feelings and overcome anxiety. It may not be easy as first, but with a little bit of practice, you should be able to kick anxiety to the curb once and for all!
1) Accept that you are feeling anxious. When you are feeling anxious, accept it. Trying to fight off anxiety may only make it worse. Try to accept that your mind is going through anxiety and the feelings will pass. "Awareness is, in itself curative," says Fritz Perls, Psychologist.
2) Take a walk. Fresh air does the mind and body good! Take a walk and try to focus on the positive. Use the time to stop thinking about your anxiety and replace bad thoughts with stuff that brings you happiness. "Even a short time outside has benefits. Spending as little as five minutes in a nature setting if you're engaged in some sort of physical activity results in large improvements in self-esteem and mood," says Sally Augustin, Ph.D.
3) Deep Breathe. This may sound cliche answer but deep breathing definitely works to calm the mind. To practice effective deep breathing, take a deep breath in through your nose and hold for 3-5 seconds. Slowly release and repeat. "Controlled breathing may be the most potent tool we have to prevent our brains from keeping us in a state of stress, and preventing subsequent damage caused by high stress levels. The relaxation response is a built-in way to keep stress in check," says David DiSalvo, Neuronarrative.
4) Talk to someone. Consider opening up to someone you trust about your feelings. Getting things out of your mind will feel like a weight has been lifted off of your shoulders. "...with emotional issues, you may be embarrassed to share what's really going on for you. That's why it's so important to talk with someone who is comforting and nonjudgmental," says Barton Goldsmith, Ph.D.
5) Or practice self-talk. Repeat this mantra to yourself: "My brain is playing tricks on me, I am perfectly fine." It may sound silly, but it may help. Self-talking is affirmation to your brain that you are perfectly fine and in control of your feelings. "...remind yourself that you are now in control of your life. You are not a victim, and you have the strength to deal with any situation, even if it causes you some anxiety," says Goldsmith.
6) Exercise! Did you know that exercising burns stress hormones that can cause anxiety? Take up any physical activity that you love or have always wanted to try. "...it is clear that regular leisure-time exercise can offer reliable reductions in anxiety while also promoting feelings of wellbeing," says Michael Otto, Ph.D.