What is anxiety?
Anxiety is a normal emotion that everyone feels from time to time. It’s the brain’s way of reacting to stress and alerting you to potential dangers. Nowadays, a potential danger is not the risk of a wild animal attack. It may simply be a family reunion, going on a first date, the risk of losing a job, or a big presentation coming up at work.
Most of the time, people want to be in control of things. When they can’t take the control in their hands and the future seems obscure, they feel anxious because of the uncertainty.
What happens when you feel anxious?
Everybody has different reactions to anxiety. Pounding of the heart, having a dry throat, difficulty of breathing, sweaty palms are the most common symptoms of feeling anxious.
How can you cope with anxiety?
There’s no doubt that it’s not easy to cope with the state of being anxious. However, there are some tricks that you can use to deal with feelings of distress and discomfort anxiety creates.
1) Identify what triggers your anxiety
Everybody has different triggers for anxiety. The most powerful way to deal with anxiety is to identify those triggers. If you know your enemies, your chances of defeating them get higher.
Is your anxiety related to your manager at work, someone from your family, your school grades, a bullying classmate, or something else?
Write in a journal when you feel stressed or anxious. You can write your thoughts, emotions, the physical symptoms of anxiety you experience. Writing down what makes you anxious and what happens to your body and mind can really help you get that matter out of your head. This way, the troubling and intrusive thoughts may become less worrisome.
2) Cut the negativity out of your life as much as possible
Try to understand that although you can’t get all negativity out of your life, you can change certain things.
If watching a specific TV show, the news, or talking to a certain person triggers your anxiety, be mindful of that thing, and pull yourself out of that area. Be strict about that, or at least do your best to cut these negative influences out of your life.
3) Focus on equal breathing
If you are in a situation making you anxious and you can’t do anything to change it, give a chance to yogic breathing exercise: Equal breathing. It basically means to equalize your duration of inhalation and exhalation.
Start counting to 4 while inhaling and when you reach 4, start exhaling while counting to 4 again. If reaching 4 is not possible for you while breathing, you can change the number of seconds. Just make sure that your inhaling and exhaling duration is equal. During the exercise, focus on the numbers you count. Repeat this exercise for at least 5 minutes. Don’t hesitate to lengthen your exercise if you feel like doing more.
You may be sitting or lying while doing the exercise, just make yourself comfortable. You may close your eyes to concentrate on counting while breathing.
At the end of this breathing session, you may feel that your heart rate has slowed down and your feelings of anxiety have become less intense.
To sum up
By using these tricks, you won’t be running away from your problems. Instead, you will start to become aware of them so that they won’t bother you anymore.