These 3 simple tips will start assisting you to relieve anxiety.
When you know how to gain control over fear and anxiety, you will stress less and enjoy more!
Keeping Calm Tip #1
Acknowledging that you have some anxiety or fear resulting in stress is the first step to controlling it. A bit of ‘healthy’ stress is useful for us as it keeps us motivated to achieve but ‘unhealthy’ stress, which creates a pattern of panic, is not.
Note down any symptoms and how regularly you may be experiencing stress and/or anxiety symptoms. Start looking for patterns...is it occurring around certain events or situations, or timeframes, and note if there are any repetitive patterns of thinking. By recording your anxiety in this way, you’ll be able to see if it’s a common occurrence and the type of anxiety you may be experiencing.
“The curious paradox is that when I accept myself as I am, then I can change.”
– Carl Rogers
Keeping Calm Tip #2
Cut stress off at the source
We need a simple yet effective technique that’s going to tackle the stress as soon as we’re aware of it. Quicker, shallower breathing is the first trigger which sets off all the other stress symptoms.
So, when you control your breathing you control any other stress symptoms as well. If you purposely breathe out longer than you breathe in, your body has to calm down (regardless of what tricks your imagination is playing on you). It’s hardwired into your nervous system, there’s simply no way round it for your body.
We call this deep connective breathing. This kind of breathing releases tension, relaxes the mind/body and brings clarity, and relieves emotional problems. So make the exhale breath longer than the inhale breath. If you do this for a minute or so, you'll be amazed how quickly you've calmed down and can start thinking more clearly again.
Keeping Calm Tip #3
Practice using your secret weapon
Like most things you only get good at them through repeated practice. And being able to control your breathing so you can cut off stress at the source, on demand, is only possible if you’ve put in the practice.
The best time to practise it is when there’s no stress around, so that you are already good at it when you need to use it in ‘active service’. Best time to practise is upon waking before you get out of bed and in the evening before bedtime. Do four gentle deep breaths in and out, remembering to exhale for longer than you inhale.
This is the fourth article of an educational series on Anxiety.
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