If you frequently feel anxious, or even go so far as to suffer from panic attacks, it is time to find some ways to reduce your anxiety. Many people do suffer from anxious feelings, even if they are relatively temporary. It may be because of a specific occasion such as having to stand up and speak to a crowd of people, to take an important exam or it may be a general feeling of uneasiness about your own future or that of world around you.
There are a number of things that can happen when you feel anxious
- It can affect both your body and your mind.
- Your body will release a hormone called adrenaline which is nature's way of warning you about impending danger whether real or imagined.
- With increased anxiety, your heart may start to pound, your breathing get faster and you could start to perspire. Unfortunately, increased anxiety will lead to increased symptoms.
- It can affect your appetite, your ability to function properly and of course your sleep pattern (insomnia).
If anxiety is affecting you, there are steps you can take to remedy the situation
1. Tell yourself that you will have a certain time of the day when you are allowed to worry. You can allocate 30 minutes of the day to devote to anxiety, when you can face the worries and anxieties you have, think about solutions and then after that time is up, make sure that those worries are put to rest at the back of your mind until the next session.
2. Take good care of yourself by eating healthily, drinking plenty of pure water, getting a good night's sleep every night, indulging in enjoyable and regular exercise, taking time out to do something that you personally enjoy or to spend quality time with friends. If you keep so busy, you will have less time to entertain anxious thoughts. The support of close friends and family at times of anxiety can also be helpful. If you find that insomnia is leading you to have anxious thoughts, then get up and make that time of night your 30 minutes when you are allowed to worry. When the time is up, you should be feeling sleepy again so go back to bed.
3. Learning to relax by listening to soothing music, taking up yoga, deep breathing exercises or muscle relaxation exercising. Deep breathing can be accomplished by lying down on a flat surface; placing one hand on the stomach above the navel with the other hand on your chest; breathing in slowly until the stomach rises; holding your breath for a second or two; and then exhaling slowly. Keep repeating this exercise. Muscle relaxation exercising is where you tense and relax your muscles one by one as you mentally go round every part of your body.
4. If there is a certain type of situation that causes anxiety, you will need to confront the situation so you are more in control. For example, you may be afraid of crowds. To overcome such anxiety, start by joining a very small crowd that is easy to leave should your feelings of anxiety become oppressive. Gradually step up to larger crowds until you are confident to be part of such a large crowd. Use the same type of method to confront whatever situation affects you whether it be speaking in public, a fear of heights and other anxiety.
If you find you are unable to overcome your feelings of anxiety on your own, you may need to see your doctor or a therapist for additional help.