Here are 7 ways to approach anxiety and live a calmer, happier life:
- Learn how to induce your body’s relaxation response
This involves you being able to reduce your muscle tension, slow your heart rate and blood pressure, and let your stress hormone levels drop. This can be achieved with meditation, conscious breathing, focusing on affirming statements, or listening to calming sounds like running water or birdsong. The key here is to know what you and your body respond to, so when you are in a stressful or anxious situation you can quickly and effectively bring your body back to a calm and relaxed state.
- Intentional breathing
Have you ever noticed that when you are stressed, your breathing becomes rapid and shallow? Breathing deeply will help flood your body and blood with oxygen and overcome tension. Using the 4-6-8 technique, breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, hold deeply in your lungs for 6 counts, and breathe out your mouth for 8 counts. You will literally feel your body relax as you do this.
- Reduce caffeine
If you are feeling anxious, restless, or having trouble sleeping, it might be worth examining your caffeine intake. Caffeine is in more than just coffee… it is also in energy drinks, tea, and chocolate. Gradually reducing your sources of caffeine and replacing with other things may be a good way to let your body function at a less keyed-up level. The key here is to reduce it gradually, not suddenly as your body will not like a sudden reduction!
- Being mindful of self-care
A prime cause of anxiety is a lack of quality sleep. Television, social media, and busy schedules mean many people are getting less sleep than what they need. Getting to bed 15-minutes early and gradually increasing this over the course of a few weeks may make a huge difference to how refreshed you feel when you wake. Exercise is also a good way to release endorphins and help an anxious brain. Avoiding processed foods, alcohol, and sugar, and replacing these with healthy whole foods will also deliver a dramatic benefit to your overall health and wellbeing.
- Set aside time for your problems
It’s not uncommon to worry about your problems around the clock… but this makes the problem much bigger than it often needs to be, and makes it harder for you to focus on other parts of your life that need attention… like your job, family, and other commitments. Set aside a time each day to think about and even write about your concerns, let yourself feel upset, and problem solve possible worst-case scenarios. The rest of the time, if you catch yourself beginning to worry and obsess, you should stop yourself and save your concerns for the designated time the next day.
- Write out your fears and worries
Expressive writing, or writing about difficult emotions that you have about your life or a specific situation, has been found to be beneficial in a wide range of studies. You set a fixed amount of time, each day, to write out how you feel about difficult things that are going on. This has been shown to help with mild to moderate depression and anxiety and encourages you to process your thoughts and feelings and structuring them as they go from brain to paper.
- Don’t face your fears alone
If your anxiety is significantly impacting your life and/or relationships, don’t try to manage it on your own. Often one of the key issues behind anxiety is the belief that you are alone in these feelings, and that others will not understand. In fact, it’s much more common than you may think, and even the people who outwardly appear the strongest may suffer from anxiety at some stage. Acknowledge your feelings and discuss with trusted people around you, who may be able to assist in troubleshooting solutions. Failing that, some forms of counseling may assist in finding a way through it, or see your doctor to assess whether your anxiety might have a medical cause that can be alleviated through non-pharmaceutical or failing that, pharmaceutical treatments to get you through the worst of your anxiety.
Another simple and relaxing way to alleviate anxiety and embrace calm is through guided meditation.
I have created a powerful guided meditation program, consisting of TWO carefully designed audio tracks, called “Wake Up Calm” that has been specifically made for anybody who wants to:
- Improve the length AND quality of your sleep.
- Make you feel happier and more energized in your life.
- Reduce stress & anxiety levels right back to a healthy balance.
- Regain your access to your higher self, so that you can be on track living your truest purpose.
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I do hope the balance is restored in your life and you are on the path to peace and calm.
Have a great day :)