Have you ever been sitting by your desk with tons of work to do, but without the guts or the energy to even start doing anything? Maybe your hands have been trembling and sweat dripping down your neck. Maybe you have felt your chest tightening or your stomach ache as you think about what you are now going to encounter. These are perfect signs of your worry or anxiety. Beating and removing worry is hard because it takes up so much space in your mind when it is first there, but here are some tips that could be of help.
I know some of these tips might not be for you, or will get you thinking “Oh, no! Not those words again!”, but most of them has been proven helpful for a lot of people dealing with stress and anxiety issues.
- Start practicing Yoga
Do yoga. Get out and do yoga. Do yoga in your bed. Do yoga at your office. Just take time to do yoga and get your mind off things and on your breathing. Yoga is all about breathing, relaxing and strengthening your body. When you start focusing on your breath, the rest of your body and your mind has the chance to let go of negative thoughts and energy for a while. Yoga poses, called ansas, helps you relieve the tension your anxiety creates and will make your body feel recharged and better.
- Breathing right
Take time to actually breathe. If you have started to breathe unevenly or hold your breath, force yourself to breathe. One helpful way for many is to watch breathing gifs such as the one linked to right now. Another is to meditate.
- Tidying up
Clean up your desk. If you have a lot of things to do, and they are all laying in front of you in a mess, your brain will not be able to focus on starting with one thing. Write down everything you have to do and which one is more important. When is the deadline? Start with the thing you should do first and clean everything else away from your desk. After this you could take a short walk outside and breathe some fresh air to come back inside and see that clean desk and get ready for working.
- Asking yourself this question
Ask yourself “What is the worst thing that can happen? How would I cope if that thing happened?” Write it down, answer those questions truthfully and in a realistic manner. If you do not do your homework for tomorrow, you will not be eaten by a dragon. If you are late for work, the worst thing that can happen is that you get fired. And if you get fired, all you can do is get back up in that saddle and find a new job. Thinking “what is the worst that can happen” is something the anxiety brings up even if you want it or not. Being scared of walking outside because people might think you look funny or because a piano might fall on you. Force yourself to think realistically. And if someone thinks you look funny, so what? Their opinion is not important. What is important, is that you are happy and healthy.
- Reading the right books
Read a book about midfullness or about how to stop worrying. One book that is good for the subject is “How to stop worrying and start living” by Dale Carnegie. I have read it myself, and it really enlightened me on some things. It contains different stories about people who have suffered from anxieties and worrying that found a way to beat it off. Some through their God, others through making toys or mending stairs.
- Mastering your mind
Remember that you are the master of your own mind. You can change it to the better, always. It will be hard, but with the struggle will be worth it in the end. Do some research on how to change your mind and how to focus on more positive thoughts. Write down what you find and try to follow it.
Write down your worries. Get them out of your head and onto paper. This can be a very good way to start focusing on one thing at a time.
- Keeping the body healthy
Go for a run. Work out. Running gives you time alone with your thoughts and it releases endorphines which are the ‘feel-good’ hormones of the body. These hormones will quell pain, slow the aging process, relive stress and anxiety, and enhance the immune system.
- Doing spring cleaning therapy
Clean the house, do the dishes or wash some clothes. Having fresh and clean surroundings will make you feel fresh as well, and it might have given you time to think about why you are stressed or why your anxiety is running high.
When anxiety attacks comes rushing upon you, here are some tips to have in mind. Remember that having an anxiety attack is not dangerous, it will not kill you. But it sure is scary!
- Having someone who knows about your anxiety and can help you when you are not able to is great. Tell someone about your anxiety and how they can help you if you have an attack. They can be there to calmly tell you to curl your toes and flex your muscles. One place at the time. And it makes it less scary when there is someone safe around.
- Focus on one part of your body. Start with your toes, try to curl them and hold them there. Force your mind down to the act of curling your toes and then letting them go. Curl, and let go. Continue with this until you feel your heartbeat slow down or until you are regaining your breath. If you feel like it, continue up your body and flex the muscles as you follow their way up to your face and head.
- Breathe! Force yourself to breathe. This is really important. Just focus on your breathing, focus on trying to make it softer and slow. Breathing rapidly will tell your brain that something is wrong, and it will continue to hit that danger-button. Take four seconds to inhale through your nose and hold your breath for two seconds. Then exhale slowly through your mouth for five to six seconds and repeat until you feel yourself relaxing and your muscles not tensing anymore. This might take minutes. But be patient.
- Try to count backwards. This distracts the mind like when you curl your toes or flex and relax your miscles. Count backwards from 100 until you feel yourself calming down again. If you have to start from 100 again, that is fine. Just keep going until it is over.
The most important thing to remember is that there is nothing really dangerous about an anxiety attack. It is just your brain´s way of saying something is scary. Even though your brain thinks something is scary, there might not be anything to fear at all, just your instincts. If someone yells at you, your instinct might be to run, but you stand still and your brain hits the alert button because it wants you to run or protect yourself.
Defeating anxiety is hard and it will not take seconds. If your anxiety is severe, you should, as earlier stated, seek a doctor or go into therapy. Whatever suits you. Being held back by worry or anxieties is no fun when all you want to do is move forward in your life! So take a stand and move forward.
(This post is for the not-so-frequent anxiety. If you suffer from a lot of anxiety attacks and/or panick attacks, I would suggest seeing a doctor for medication. This list could possibly help you out a bit, but medication is the best remedy against severe anxieties.)