We face anxiety everyday, everyone life has moments where their burden seems too heavy to bear. Meeting deadlines, work stress, finishing tasks and dealing with people all creates these moments of stress. So once facing this stress our brain starts releasing the stress hormones that leads to two biological reactions: Fight or Flight. Hence anxiety is a biological reaction. We need to deal with anxiety and here are few ways to manage anxiety when it surges. The first step is to acknowledge we are under stress, admitting and accepting our state is a first step to dealing with it. Dr. Deepak Chopra identified three stages of anxiety:
Temporary Anxiety: This is the normal biological state, when something or someone makes us anxious for a few minutes or hours. The body is designed to deal with these types of anxiety.
Anxiety Overload: This is the time when the brain becomes overwhelmed and we have difficulty returning to normal status.
Chronic level Anxiety: This is when anxiety turns in constant state of fear that builds-up and becomes a panic attack. This states varies from one person to the other but in all cases a chronic state of worry prevails.
For all these stages of anxiety, a self-care regimen is fundamental. Here are some tips that I learned to use to deal with anxiety:
Admit: “ I am anxious”: Acknowledging and being aware that you are anxious is key to deal with it. Don’t pretend you are not anxious, as that will make it stronger.
Count to 10 or 20: Take a moment and count your breaths to 10 or even 20 if necessary that will help in becoming an observer to your feelings.
Share it with a friend or family member: Sharing is a very powerful tool, the minute you share it you will feel empathy and that is a relaxing feeling.
Move: Go for a walk or exercise, it is a great way to deal with anxiety the body will release dopamine after exercise which will make you feel so much better.
Get a good night sleep: Even though when we are anxious we lose sleep, it is important to try to make sleep a essential anti-anxiety tool. Meditation before sleeping is a great tool to relax and prepare for sleep. A hot shower is also very relaxing to the body and mind.
Practice mindfulness: Taking a few minutes of silence and aloneness is very helpful. Every time I feel anxious I sit for 15 minutes in silence with my eyes closed and practice mindfulness the impact is just amazing.
Breath: Taking a few deep breaths also helps. I personally practice 4-7-8 which is take a deep breath by counting to 4, hold for 7 and exhale for 8. Do this 3 times and you will feel much more in control of your feelings.
I hope these tips will help you to handle the anxiety of life and relieve it a little bit. My mantra when I feel anxiety building is “ I am anxious and this too will pass”.