You know what they say...an idle mind is the devil’s playground, especially for those of us who suffer from anxiety. Often times, anxiety hits in the quiet, when you have nothing to do — overthinking can sometimes create feelings of stress and worry. When you are busy and engaged, you notice that these feelings of anxiety subside. So, when you start feeling your typical anxiety symptoms come on, make it a point to immediately find something that distracts you: start a task, a conversation, or do some of that housework you have been putting off for months.
Anxiety is never easy to deal with. There are millions and millions of people around the globe who suffer from anxiety, some who are aware of it, and some who do not realize that day in and day out they are dealing with anxiety attacks. People are finding out ways to get themselves relief from anxiety. Controlling anxiety is not something that will happen in a day; it is basically a long-term process. There are multiple ways in which an individual can deal with and control their anxiety so that they can live a normal and stress-free life. If you are among those who are suffering from anxiety and need immediate help or relief, try out the following methods and strategies to control anxiety attacks.
- Physical activity: Exercising is known to be a lot of help. Even though you would want to run away from it, exercise is said to help a great deal not only in recovering from any medical condition, but also in keeping the body fit and healthy. Exercise is known to form a crucial component for an individual’s good mental health. An individual can try out various forms of exercises, which can include brisk walking, jogging, skipping rope, or high intensity workouts. Basically, an individual should select exercises based on their medical condition and how much the body can take it. Overdoing anything can cause harm to the body, leading to fatigue or tiredness. There are several benefits of exercising: it is known to release the chemicals in the brain that provide relaxation and also improve the mood of the individual; it is also helpful in reducing the quantity of stress-related hormones; and there is an overall improvement in the hormonal balance as well. Exercising is also known to tire the muscles, which in turn leads to good sleep at night.
- Keep control of your breathing: Breathing is known to be one of the most powerful tools to help in repairing the body from any kind of negative thoughts as well as keep us away from illness. By carrying out the right breathing technique, an individual can master their own thoughts. Severe cases of anxiety symptoms are known to be associated with improper breathing habits. It has been seen that most men and women suffer from anxiety due to these poor breathing habits. It is thus very important to control one’s breathing pattern. Try to slow down and take longer and deeper breaths. Never ever speed up your breathing; each and every breath should be controlled, shallow, and slow. You can follow this technique: breath in slowly and gently through your nose for about five to six seconds, then hold your breath for three to four seconds, and finally, slowly release the breath. This breathing exercise should be repeated at least ten times and can be carried out multiple times a day. Whenever you feel that the mind is getting anxious, just sit down, relax, and try to control your breathing. This will calm down your mind.
- Speak with friends or family members: Many a times, people do not openly speak what is on their minds to anyone and instead bury it in their heads, which in turn results in overworking of the mind. An anxious mind can lead to a lot of problems. An effective method of reducing anxiety is by distracting your mind since it is considered to be our best friend and worst enemy at the same time. One of the more effective methods of controlling anxiety is by speaking up when there is something on your mind to someone close, such as a family member or a friend; someone whom you trust. Do not shy away from sharing your thoughts and explaining to them what is making you feel anxious. When you talk to nice people, it keeps your mind away from any kind of symptoms, and a group of supportive friends and family members are known to add confidence in you and build up your energy level.
- Distract yourself by doing what you love: There are certain things in an individual’s life which they love doing, and it tends to make them feel happy and joyful. Those methods can be used for relaxing oneself and distracting your mind from thinking any kind of anxious thoughts. If you have any hobbies, such as painting, writing poems, singing, or dancing, then try to do them. You can take some time out of your day to carry out those activities. It can also be taking a warm shower or bath, or even getting a massage. All of these tend to make our mind and body calm and keep us from thinking negative thoughts.
- Maintain a journal: Anxiety brings along with it a lot of physical symptoms. The mental symptoms are known to be mostly hard to control. One can easily somehow forget the pain or the aches, but it becomes very difficult to ignore one’s thoughts since they don’t leave your head so easily. There are various reasons for this, but one of the main reasons is because the mind is known to have a tendency to always remind you of those things that you want to forget. The brain is not used to the idea that you are trying to push away something that needs your attention, hence, there is more focus on it, and in turn, you start to worry about it. So, in such cases, just write down whatever you are thinking. Make time at night to write down what you are thinking, especially the negative thoughts.
- Listen to good music: Music is known to take a person to a different world altogether. Listening to your favorite kind of music is said to have a powerful effect on one’s anxiety. The key here is not just to choose any song, but to be sure that you are listening to the music that represents the way you are feeling. Look out for happy, soothing, and relaxing music. Music is known to affect the emotions of an individual.
- Love making: This is not just a myth, but sexual involvement or sex is also known to provide an incredible calming effect on the mind as well as the body. It is kind of a distracting physical activity which is known to release endorphins that can help you to feel less tense and also provide greater relaxation. If you have someone who is very special in your life who can understand your suffering due to anxiety and is very willing to share in some lovemaking sessions to provide some relief for you, then you both should come together to a certain understanding that would allow you to release sexual energy as well as lead to improvement in the relationship.
- Healthy diet: A healthy diet is said to maintain the health of the body as well as the mind. It has an important role to play, but the difference would not be very dramatic. Hence, diet alone cannot be used to treat anxiety. But just because diet does not play a significant role in reducing anxiety, you should not ignore the importance of healthy eating. Try to consider magnesium as part of your diet. It is known to be an abundant mineral, and the body needs it for various functions. Stress is known to reduce the amount of magnesium, hence, the intake of it through foods or fruits is important.
- Keep yourself hydrated: As is the case with food, water is also very important for maintaining the overall health of the body. Drinking enough water throughout the day is key. Dehydration is not directly linked with anxiety, but it does worsen the symptoms of anxiety, which can make it harder to manage in the future. Initially, you will urinate frequently by drinking too many glasses of water, but gradually, the body will get used to this routine.
- Live in the present: Simply by understanding that one should live in the present can have a huge impact in controlling anxiety. For those who get anxious and tend to worry a lot about their future and how things will turn out tomorrow, it is important to start living in the present and to leave aside those things which you cannot control. Once you understand this fact, your anxiety will also start to reduce and gradually fade away.