From excessive worrying and fatigue to difficulty concentrating and restlessness, anxiety can cause a myriad of disruptions in our lives. It can also be responsible for causing us to feel agitated and for being irritable to others. It can cause physical pain and tense muscles. Anxiety can keep us awake at night or give us trouble staying asleep once we finally get to sleep. At its height of disruption, it can cause panic attacks.
There are things that you can do to lessen these burdens. Anxiety does not have to have control over you. Actively combat anxiety by trying some of these techniques.
1. Go For a Walk
Going for a walk is an instant stress-reducer for many people. One of the best things that walking can do is cause a sensory distraction. As you walk, take time to notice what you feel, see, hear and smell. Is it a breezy day? Maybe you can smell flowers or hot dog stands. You may hear children playing, birds singing or cars hitting potholes. Taking time to notice these things while you are physically active is the perfect combination to reduce anxiety.
2. Practice Yoga
When you have anxiety, your body usually tightens up. It can be painful to even move your head from side to side if you carry tension in your neck or shoulders. Yoga helps you to release that tension by focusing on specific body parts in different stretches and movements. This allows you to release the physical tension and will reduce feelings of anxiety.
3. Meditate Daily
You may think that meditation is not active, so why would we mention it? It requires you to actively breathe, on purpose. While focusing on your breath while keeping the rest of the body still, which can totally feel like a workout, you are able to reduce all other thoughts in your mind. This helps anxiety to find a way out because there is no room left for it.
4. Dance Like Nobody’s Watching
Prepare a playlist of songs that really make you happy. Stick with upbeat songs that have great energy. When you feel anxiety coming on, turn that playlist on, get up and dance. Dancing releases tension and increases joy. It also allows for self-expression, which is very helpful when you are feeling anxious. When you express yourself freely, you do not have to worry about what anyone else thinks. That alone helps to decrease anxiety.
5. Complete Housework
It may not be quite as fun as dancing, but many people find that doing housework reduces feelings of stress and anxiety. It is something that they already know how to do, so it is not stressful to get started. They know exactly what steps they need to take, they know where all of the supplies are and they feel accomplished when they are done. That feeling of accomplishment will help you feel less anxiety. You will know that you made a difference in your home for you and your family.
6. Tap it Out
Tapping, also known as emotional freedom technique (EFT) is a great technique to try to reduce your anxiety. By combining the act of tapping on acupressure points while repeating certain phrases, you can have the feeling that you are actively taking care of driving your anxiety right out. It helps to remove blocks from your energy flow so that you can no longer hold that anxiety. EFT does require a certain sequence and has a solid method, so be sure to learn about it well before you need to use it.
7. Group Exercise Classes
Going to a group exercise class allows you to receive social support without necessarily asking for it. It can be difficult to ask someone for support, but at these classes, everyone is rooting everyone else on through the end of the class. You will feel supported just by being there because you are joining in with a high-energy, enthusiastic group.
Choose one of the suggestions above and try it out the next time you feel a surge of anxiety. Work through all of them until you find out what works best for you. You can take control now.