Turn Your Anxiety into a Calm State of Mind

We were not born with anxiety, rather we develop it – be it in childhood or adulthood.  For example, my anxiety developed during my marriage.  You might be someone who has been recently diagnosed with anxiety or has been living with anxiety for some time.  Either way, it takes away so much of who you are deep inside.  Coping with anxiety on a regular basis can be challenging – especially if you have a chronic disease as well!

Long-Term Effects

It can be difficult concentrating on the present when they are engaged in worrying about indefinite what-ifs.  Because of this, people with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) lose focus on what they are doing quickly.  Having restlessness can often be a hindrance.  How many times have you tried to complete a project but stepped away because you no longer could focus and stay on task?  Personally, I cannot tell you how much time was lost writing posts for my blog and social media to being anxious. I would lose interest quickly, close my laptop, and simply walk away.


Other Symptoms. . .

People with GAD might check and cross-check details repeatedly. It can become obsessive to make sure everything is perfect so as to not deal with any unwanted attention. When in especially stressful situations, personal relationships and work performance may become strained.  If therapy alone is not enough, a doctor might prescribe anti-anxiety medication. 

men and women in group therapy

Indecisiveness is also often found in people with anxiety disorders.  They often exhibit nervousness when confronted with any choice.  They often find it difficult to arrive at a satisfying decision.  Routine activities like choosing an outfit for a special occasion or picking an item on the menu can be a lengthy process. Though very common, the latter symptom is not often recognized as symptomatic of an anxiety disorder.  It is often written off as the person being choosy or finicky.   Have you ever experienced one or both of these activities?  Decision-making can be a weak link but is one that can be mended. 

Have you ever worried about being worrisome? You are not alone.

Because people are usually aware of their anxious nature, they will also stress about their mental state as well.  For instance, when confronted with a future event, they worry about how stressed they are going to be.  This has been my situation so many times.  I have spent days and hours leading up to an event obsessively worrying about anything and everything about it.  It could be an upcoming family gathering, a luncheon with a friend, or a holiday dinner that can get me all riled up.  I have even gotten physically sick the day before or the day of a get-together. 

Many people, although they are aware of their psychological tendencies, many do not realize they have anxiety. Remember, you are not alone in this world!

Everybody experiences anxiety from time to time in their life. If you have frequent anxiety attacks, try these self-help tips for dealing with them:

1. Exaggerate your biggest fear – Talk to a friend about your biggest fear, whether it be giving a presentation to your class or riding a roller coaster. Make it as dramatic as possible with lots of descriptive words and plenty of your raw emotions. Then when it comes time for you to do that thing that scares you, it won’t be as horrifying because you’ve already ruled out all the possible horrible things that can happen to you. After talking to your friend about this a couple of times, your stories and exaggerations will start to become very silly and something you can laugh about together.

2. Distract yourself – In your scary situation, just don’t think about where you are or what you’re doing. Seems easier said than done, but with practice, it’ll almost be like you aren’t even in the situation that causes your anxiety.

3. Exercise – Stress and anxiety both release the same hormone: adrenaline. When you exercise, you are releasing this hormone, making your anxiety levels go down.

4. Do not consume too much caffeine or alcohol. Both are stimulants and will only make your anxiety worse. Instead, turn to drinks like milk and water. Some general foods that are good to bring down your anxiety levels include nuts, berries, yogurts, legumes, and dark orange vegetables.

5. Meditate – Calm yourself down and simply focus on your breathing; nothing else. Tune out everything going on around you and count each breath you take.

6. Break down the days into minutes. Instead of stressing yourself out about what you’re going to do in the next three hours, focus on the seconds and minutes you are living in right now. This will help to eliminate some worries and anxiety you may have for a certain part of your day.

7. Use visual anchors. If you feel yourself getting anxious, find something that brings a sense of calm to you and just focus on it. For example, if you find yourself stuck in traffic, you can look up at the clouds to help you feel calm.

8. Repeat a mantra. Simply repeat over and over in your head a phrase that brings calmness and peace to yourself. A sample phrase would be, “I am enough” or “I can do this.” Building yourself up is often a technique people use to relieve some of their anxiety.

9. Write a love letter to yourself. This is just like what you’d do if you were repeating a mantra. Write down on a piece of paper all of the things you love about yourself. Then when you’re having an anxiety attack, read the letter. This, once again, will help relieve some anxiety.

These tips given may not all work for you and that’s okay. There are other tips out there for you to try, as well as doctors and other professionals to talk to.

I wish you enough💜

Ginny Hanson

Health Coach and Mentor

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