There you are, standing at a red light. Nothing special, everything is fine. Your heart is beating steadily, oxygen flows in and out your lungs. You’re alive, you’re well.
Are you really, though?
You feel a weird sensation.
What if everything goes wrong? The dentist will probably find a tumor in my jaw or a car is going to hit me in 10 seconds. What if my presentation wasn’t good enough and I’ll lose my job next week? Is everything going to be alright? Probably not. I’m probably going to die.
Panic flows from your scalp down to your toenails, your heart is beating faster, your hands are starting to feel sweaty, your thoughts start raving and you seem to be unable to find a way back to the ground, back to reality.
What am I talking about?
More than 40 Million Americans suffer from anxiety disorders, making it the most common mental illness in the U.S. While the triggers, causes, and symptoms may vary, one thing is usually the same:
Most of the time, anxiety is unreasonable. And while people suffering from anxiety are well aware of the fact that their worst-case scenario is unlikely to happen, the feeling of dreadful worry remains uncontrollable.
Anxiety comes in many different shapes and sizes. A job interview, a fight with a loved one, a dentist’s appointment. Feeling anxious when facing a challenging situation is one of our most primal instincts as human beings, but for many, the worries and fears are preventing them from living their lives the way they’d like to.
The good news is: You don’t have to be a slave of your anxiety! With these simple tricks, you can calm your anxious mindset and regain control over your life:
Breathe deeply through your stomach and try to focus on nothing but your breath. This will bring your attention back to yourself in the present moment rather than being you're lost in delirious thoughts.
The more knowledge you have about whatever you have anxiety about, the more you’ll be able to dismiss your anxious thoughts and approach them with reason and rationality.
Feeling worried, stressed or anxious? Try going for a quick run, a walk or lift some weights. The exercise will release tensions and make you feel stronger and more confident.
Focusing on what could go wrong is easy when you have anxiety. How about you try focusing on what you cando right now? Ask yourself: What isone thing I can do today to improve this? Regain control over your life by taking small steps forward.
Look to your past and ask yourself: How many times did my anxious thoughts turn out to be true? When your head is in that bubble of worrying thoughts, it’s easy to get dragged down. But remember: You have successfully handled tough situations in the past.
Whenever you feel anxiety creeping up on you, don’t fight it. Trying to force it to go away will shift the control from you over to your anxiety. Allow it to be there at that very moment. It may feel more intense at first but once you start accepting its existence, it’ll be easier for you to get past that moment and let it go.
Keeping something bottled up inside will only magnify the feeling and double the fear. Whether you choose to write down your thoughts or talk about them with someone else, formulating your anxiety will make it easier to understand your feeling which will eventually decrease its power over you. Working on something you don’t understand will only leave you feeling lost, confused and frustrated.
Anxiety is usually the fear of something happening to you in the future. Instead of creating future monsters in your head, try to draw your attention back to the present moment. Focus on what is right in front of you – the objects you see and sounds you hear.