Anxiety is something many of us deal with on a daily basis. However, there are individuals who are incapacitated with constant thoughts of anxiety; so much that the daily activities of life are impacted. These people cannot find peace of mind and need to actively try and get their anxiety controlled.
Are there any ways to calm anxiety?
There are a number of treatments for anxiety disorders, including different kinds of therapies and medications. Depending on the patient’s condition and on their personal preferences, they may receive one of these treatments, both of these treatments, or neither of them.
Some people who suffer from anxiety disorders avoid seeking treatment or avoid seeking medication because they are afraid of what kind of impact the medications will have on them.
While starting a new medication can be scary, knowing more about common medications for anxiety disorders may help those suffering from anxiety disorders to make more informed decisions about their treatment or about whether or not to pursue treatment.
Speak with your health care professional if you think you might have anxiety. While medication is available to help with anxiety, it should not be the only line of treatment you seek out.
Let’s explore a few other options to more natural ways to calm the anxiety;
Meditation should be the core of a natural strategy to manage anxiety since it helps to ground your irrational fears. While we all have an apprehension of the future, meditation helps us to take each moment at a time.
The goal of meditation is not to block out negative emotions, but help us learn to not linger on them. Get started first thing tomorrow morning – just sit peacefully for 5 minutes at the beginning of your day, let thoughts enter your mind freely, but do not let them linger.
The end goal is to have control over your thoughts and not letting them negatively ruin your day.
Get Enough Sleep At Night
Lack of sleep causes your brain to go haywire, playing all sorts of tricks on you and decreasing your emotional tolerance as a whole. You may find that following even just one night of sleep loss your performance will decrease, and you will be prone to anger and agitation.
Strive for a minimum of 7 hours nightly to keep your brain chemistry on point. Meditation just before bedtime is a great idea. It gets your mind ready for peaceful sleep and even helps you feel better the next morning.
Exercise is one of the best medicines we have at our disposal, as there are few things that are comparable to the range of health benefits it offers. Exercise, similar to sleep, helps to naturally manage anxiety and depression, by increasing levels of feel good and stress-busting chemicals known as endorphins.
Anxiety if partially worsened by high levels of adrenalin, and even though exercise does temporarily increase these levels, the endorphins temper its effects and leave your mood on a high for hours afterwards.
If you are not a big fan of the gym, try a 15 to 20 min walk, do a Yoga class in your living room, go for a bike ride to explore the neighbourhood. The point is to get the body moving.
Eat Dark Chocolate
Dark chocolate has numerous benefits on health and is not your typical sugar-laden variety. Dark chocolate is particularly effective in reducing the impact that the stress hormone cortisol has on our body, including precipitating anxiety.
Its mode of action of unique, as it relays relaxation from the stomach to the brain. Similar to the way that you feel the nervousness in your stomach, a never named the vagus can be exploited for soothing anxiety too.
Try To Get Sunlight Daily
People in colder climates have been observed to develop a condition known as SAD (seasonal affective disorder), which comes on during the winter months when sun exposure is limited.
Symptoms of SAD include depression, irritability and increased anxiety, all of which resolve upon exposure to sunlight. If you do live in such a climate and are unable to get exposure to the sun when winter comes, artificial light therapy also helps improve symptoms.
Consume More Omega-3 Fats
Omega-3 fatty acids are strong anti-oxidants and may help to stem the cause of your anxiety. Typically, the two hormones that are elevated are cortisol and adrenalin, both of which respond negatively to the influence of oxidation.
Omega-3 fats combat excessive oxidation and are anti-inflammatory, helping boost production of serotonin and dopamine, and helping keep your anxiety response normal.
Don’t forget the Vitamin D3
Deficiency in vitamin D3 has been linked with anxiety, depression, and seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
The body makes its own vitamin D as a response to sunlight exposure, and it is also found in eggs and fatty fish. It is also important for immune function, bone health, and heart health, along with protecting against cancer.
Journaling is a very therapeutic exercise and the consistent practice of it has been shown to help calm the mind, get rid of negative thoughts, decompress from the daily stresses and work through my anxious feelings to start focusing on what’s important: Live a better, calmer life.
Journaling is a process, it gets better the more you do it. It’s for anyone that can write, and it offers many benefits to your mental health.
Anxiety is exhausting, and coping with it is a never-ending learning process. Don’t get discouraged!
Finding the root of anxiety is the first step in overcoming it. How else can you truly recover from something if you don’t know what is truly causing it? These exercises are something you can repeat as often as you want and the more you do it, the better you get at it and you will soon realize we can train ourselves to feel better and live better, one day at a time.
How about you? What techniques do you use to calm your everyday anxiety?
Let me know in the comments, I would love to hear about it!
As part of my therapy to recover from severe generalized anxiety, it was suggested that I created a new habit and it was to start writing down my thoughts and feelings daily. I was introduced to journaling to overcome anxiety in 2015 when I had major nerves break down due to stress.
So what is anxiety?
When most people say that they have anxiety, they are usually using shorthand to describe a condition that they have been diagnosed with.
The truth is that anxiety isn’t a condition, it is a feeling. It can be symptomatic of a number of different conditions including but not limited to a group of disorders called anxiety disorders. On the other hand, it’s a natural emotion that is normal and healthy to feel from time to time.
How do you know when your anxiety is abnormal or unhealthy and what do you do from there?
Understanding anxiety requires understanding something called the “stress response” or the “fight or flight system.” This is a natural body process that prepares you, mentally and physically, to deal with challenges. It starts with a stressor, usually some kind of perceived threat. This triggers the release of hormones, one class of the “messenger molecules” that help different parts of your mind and body communicate with each other.
These chemicals lead to a number of changes in the way in which your body works including changes that you probably don’t notice, like slowing down your digestion and changes that you probably do notice – a faster heartbeat and faster breaths. The faster breath helps more oxygen get into your blood and a faster heartbeat helps to circulate that oxygenated blood through your body, especially to your muscles.
Usually, these symptoms come on somewhat gradually due to something that you have good reason to worry about. It usually isn’t scary, and it may even help you to do what you need to do to resolve or leave the situation.
Sometimes, however, it comes on quickly. It may be brought on by fears of things that aren’t likely to happen. Those changes to your heartbeat and breathing may be so severe that they cause chest pain and lightheadedness. You may even feel like you are going to die. This is called an “anxiety attack” or a “panic attack,” and it’s a major sign that you might have an anxiety disorder or a related condition.
Does Having an Anxiety Attack Mean that a Person Has Anxiety?
Having one panic attack doesn’t mean that you have an anxiety disorder, and having an anxiety disorder doesn’t mean that you are always having a panic attack – or even that you have them often. Above we discussed the physical aspect of anxiety but those physical aspects are brought on by emotional feelings of anxiety.
These feelings are usually worrying about or being afraid of things. As the physical aspects of anxiety, the emotional aspects of anxiety is normal and healthy if it only happens from time to time when there is actually something to worry about. (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder is a condition suffered by people who experience high levels of stress or anxiety over a legitimately frightening event like combat, violent crime or abuse, or even bad traffic collisions).
People with anxiety disorders, however, experience these feelings of stress, fear, and anxiety most of the time, even when nothing stressful or scary is happening. These feelings may be so severe and so constant that they interfere with the way that people live their daily lives. The physical symptoms of prolonged stress can also lead to health problems.
One of the main differences between anxiety disorders has to do with what kinds of events or fears trigger the feelings of anxiety. General feelings of anxiety that don’t seem to be caused by anything characterize “Generalized Anxiety Disorder,” while fears of very specific things are called phobias. These are some of the most common anxiety disorders but there are others as well.
What to Do if You Think You Have Anxiety? How to Overcome Anxiety?
There are a number of quizzes and symptom checkers online that you can use to try to determine whether you have anxiety. None of them are substitutions for the diagnosis of a medical expert, however.
There are no real tests for anxiety, so the diagnosis of anxiety disorders and related conditions is usually based on the symptoms that a patient describes to a general healthcare provider or mental health expert. You should definitely consult your doctor if you have any of the trademark signs and symptoms.
Treatments may range from prescription medications to talk-therapy, to diet and lifestyle changes. These will depend on the nature and severity of the disorder and on the preferences of the individual.
In my specific case, I used all of the mentioned treatments and one, in particular, is what I want to talk about here today. It is Journaling. I use Journaling to Overcome Anxiety.
I must say that I always liked writing when I was in school, so the idea of writing was not too much out of my comfort zone. Except, this time, in full blown anxiety moment, I had to write about my own anxious thoughts and feelings. All had to be about myself and that’s when I immediately started to feel a wave of emotions came up before I even started. Did I mention I have anxiety?
I couldn’t grasp the idea of writing about myself in details, without feeling stressed. I was really sick at the time, so everything was overwhelming to me, to say the least.
Journaling is a very therapeutic exercise and the consistent practice of it has helped calm my mind, get rid of negative thoughts, decompress from the daily stresses and work through my anxious feelings to start focusing on what’s really important: Live a better, calmer life.
At each therapy session, we would go over my notes from the previous week and we would talk about the situation, thoughts, fears and feelings I had written down.
The best part of it all is when you go back and read your own notes a week later, you will notice that whatever worry you had in the past had either sorted itself out or maybe it was not that big of a deal after all anyway. This simple exercise helps you get a different view on things, a different perspective and as a result, you start feeling better, knowing that it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
There are better ways to deal with negative thoughts and emotions, we just need to be willing to pay more attention to catch ourselves doing it.
Self-awareness is key here and once you have that step figured out… the rest is just practice.
When you have a negative thought, stop and redirect your attention to something positive. Change the direction of the thought. It takes practice, but it really works.
Daily journaling is a wonderful habit that can transform your life, but you have to be willing to do the work required to experience the transformation.
Journaling works best when you create space for it in your life.
I know there could be a bit of resistance at first, you might feel silly having to write what’s on your mind, but once you get over that first negative thought and give it a try, if you stick with it, you will understand the freedom that comes with this practice as you enter the journey to discover who you really are.
Some people prefer to journal first thing in the morning so they can start their days feeling energized. Others prefer the quiet of early afternoons or late nights. I have to be in a quiet room, away from distractions to be able to fully concentrate on my thoughts, especially when I’m feeling anxious.
Whatever your preferred time to write is, choose a time that feels right to you and set aside 20-30 minutes to write your thoughts and feelings.
Keep in mind that your journal is a judgement free zone. Just write what’s on your mind. I’m sure you will have lot’s to write about once you get started.
It’s OK if you misspell a word, use a run-on sentence, or even forget punctuation altogether. It’s your journal, you can do whatever you want. You are not writing to impress others or earn an “A” on your report card. Don’t stress over it.
You’re writing for yourself and you’re the only one that will ever read these words.
“A day thinking about what could happen, should happen, or what might have been, is a day missed.” – Headspace App
If you think you don’t know what to write about, start by asking yourself some questions, then writing the answers down. It shouldn’t be complicated, Here are some examples:
- How do I feel at this present moment?
- What happened that made me feel this way?
- Does feeling this way help solve the problem or issue?
- And so on…
And to make the journaling experience even more relevant to you, I’ve created a document that you can either print to fill it out later or do it right from the document itself, as it is a fillable PDF file, then save it to your computer for future reference.
There are so many known techniques that can help you manage stress and anxiety. This simple journaling technique helps me overcome my anxious feelings every time!
Journaling to Overcome Anxiety is a process, it gets better the more you do it. It’s for anyone that can write and it offers many benefits to your mental health.
So what are you waiting for?
Grab a cup of coffee or tea, download the Journaling to Overcome Anxiety document (it’s FREE) and start journaling!
Let me know if you found this information helpful, and if you have any questions or you just want to say hello, leave a comment below! I would love to hear from you!