Paralysed by anxiety? Here are some proven ways for tackling anxiety and helping you maintain your emotional balance. 

We all know how anxiety feels: it frightens us, overwhelms us, and even leads to physical symptomssuch as increased heart rate, perspiration and trembling. And if you don’t keep it in check, anxiety may lead to various ailments like stomach aches and headaches, and even skin eruptions and allergies. 

So, instead of allowing anxiety to spiral out of control, keep it in check with these techniques:

Cognitive thinking

Esha Gupta, life coach and motivational speaker suggests the following cognitive thinking techniques, to help manage anxiety:

#1 Acknowledge your fears: Allow yourself all feelings of worry, rather than trying to suppress them. Accepting negative feelings makes it easier to let them go. “Remember, they are like the clouds, you cannot control them,” says Gupta.

#2 Accept the reality: Accept the worse possible consequences of any situation, and confront how you’d feel if these manifested. Once you are prepared to cope with these, your fear will diminish, and your confidence will rise. 

#3 Let go of perfectionism: Remember, its okay to have flaws. “We do not realize the powerful role our attitude towards striving for perfection plays in anxiety,” says Gupta. Though giving up huge expectations of yourself may make you uncomfortable at the outset, in the long run you will feel calmer. 

#4 Take a break: If anxiety is interfering with your ability to cope, give yourself a time out. When confronted with a problem that’s stressing you out, tell yourself you will mull upon it at another, fixed time.  In the end, taking a pause and coming back to your problem later, will help you gain some perspective. 

#5 Start a journal: Writing down your feelings can help you process them better. There’s enough evidence around to prove that facing feelings squarely makes them more manageable.

Physical techniques

Aside from cognitive methods to settle anxiety, you can also work on the somatic or body level, to induce calm. Here are some effective tools:

#1 Exercise 

This one is a no-brainer! If you didn’t already know it, we’re reminding you that exercise is an excellent technique to handle anxiety. According to Calm Clinic “Physical activity improves the immune system, releases calming neurotransmitters (known as endorphins), tires the muscles, and burns away stress hormones.”

#2 Breathing

If there’s one proven way to calm down, its through breath control. Paying attention to your breathing helps restore mental and physical equilibrium. So do some simple deep breathing, and pranayama (yogic breathing)

If you want to take classes, just go online and check for options. Also, you can learn from YouTube videos too. 

#3 Sleep

According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, your body requires even more rest during periods of stress. That’s because sleep helps the mind process difficult emotions, and overcome anxiety at times. 

#4 Eat healthy

According to a post on the Harvard Health blog the foods listed below, can lower anxiety levels:

  • Magnesium: found in greens and legumes
  • Zinc: found in oysters, cashews, and egg yolks
  • Omega-3 fatty acids: fatty fish
  • Probiotics
  • Asparagus
  • B vitamins: found in avocado and almonds

If short-term techniques are not helping you overcome your anxiety, I advise you to seek the assistance of a mental health professional.

Esha Gupta is a trained psychologist and a certified psychometric practitioner. Having worked in the healthcare and educational sectors for a decade, she specialises in talent management, employee engagement, collaborative culture building and business transformation.

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