The thing with anxiety is, it revolves around events that have not even occurred yet. In a way, we are afraid or anxious about things that may not even happen. If we come to terms with the fact that we ourselves create fears, and there isn’t really anything to be afraid of, most of us would stop feeling so anxious right there and then. After all, there are certain things about which nothing can practically be done. However, there are some tricks that could help beat anxiety, and give us more focus towards things that really matter.
Exercise is not just for the body or to lose weight. Research has proven time and time again that exercise is vital for the body, soul and mind. Breathing exercises are particularly helpful, especially when it comes to beating stress. Taking long deliberate breaths helps send positive signals to the brain. Furthermore, slow breathing activates the body’s relaxation response, as opposed to the fight or flight response that is activated by short rapid breathing. In addition, breathing out with the mouth shaped like a whistle also creates a cooling effect, which is essential for the body and mind to fight anxiety.
Any form of meditation, whether its breathing exercises, yoga, or just sitting silently with your eyes shut for a few minutes a day is crucial. New scientific discoveries suggest that you can change your mind by changing the way your brain works. Furthermore, meditation is said to increase the grey matter in our brains, thereby helping the brain to take less stress. Additionally, by meditating, you come into close understanding with how your brain and body works. Thereby, you can learn how to control your brain and its impulses more effectively.
Prayer is one of the most powerful spiritual tools that you can use to fight anxiety. Not only does prayer help you direct your energy towards a calming meditative process, but it does a lot more. The action of trusting and seeking help from God lessens your worries. This is so because faith in a Higher power allows you to let go more easily, and trust that things will eventually work out. Furthermore, it also makes us realize that not having control is not a bad thing, but one that works to our advantages, by making us feel lighter and less burdened.
Talking does not necessarily have to be done with a therapist, though it may prove useful for many. You can even talk to a family member, friend, or loved one, to feel a sense of support and emotional connection. Hiding feelings too much can make one feel helpless and increase anxiety levels. Talking it out helps express feelings and thinking from more than one perspective, making the mind more open. Furthermore, you may want to be heard and sympathized with to feel better, but sometimes you may want to share with someone going through similar anxieties. This helps come up with effective solutions, or simply finding comfort in the fact that you are not alone.
It is very important to fixate on one simple rule about an event or action. Can something be done about it – if yes then don’t worry – if not then don’t worry. Learn to accept that what’s done is done and there was not much else you could have done about it. Granted, it is not wise to leave everything on fate. Keep a balance between working hard towards achieving something, and letting destiny take its course. Keep in mind that no matter how hard you work, you can’t change destiny. Therefore, if things don’t go according to plan, learn to let go.
Every now and then, do something daring, risky or even different. Learn to leave your comfort zone and broaden your horizons. What this does is prevent excessive planning. Those who plan are perfectionists and, thereby, take additional anxiety. When things go according to plan everything seems smooth, but one glitch in the plan and it is all chaos. Therefore, doing something spontaneous where no planning is involved keeps things interesting and removes the anxiety element since everything that happens is a surprise and there is no plan that can be ruined.
The “arts” don’t necessarily mean spending long hours at art galleries thinking about what went on the minds of other artists (even though this may work for some). Art can be any activity that involves being expressive in order to distract yourself from responsibilities that trigger anxiety. Listen to good music that is uplifting for your mood. Make a painting if that is what relaxes you. Take up cooking classes if you enjoy those. Remember to make room for the seemingly smaller things in life because those usually have the most wholesome impact on our minds.
It may sound like something that people do in their late 40s or 50s, but mind activities like card games, soduko, crossword or chess are exceptionally helpful for the brain. Not only do they help keep the mind occupied and stress free, but also help your analytical skills develop. Therefore, you learn to solve problems rather than delve deeper into them. Similarly, it is a great idea to have game nights every once in a while, where friends get together to play board games or have fun in general, since it gives us something positive to look forward to, reducing anxiety from our minds.
This one is a no-brainer for most. Travelling is living in more than one state of mind and body. By visiting new places, cultures and lifestyles, you learn to let go off petty issues that keep giving you stress and anxiety. Learning about the vastness of the world helps reduce our worries and help us enjoy and appreciate the various wonders of the world. Similarly, reading transports us to new places mentally. Reading helps us broaden our mindset, thinking and even empathy levels. By reading about other, our worries begin to seem smaller, and anxiety levels are significantly reduced.
All in all, if you think about it, it is pretty easy to avoid stress. Just sit back, relax and take some time out to have fun.