Whether it’s caused by world events or other type of struggle, we all suffer anxiety at some point in our lives. Anxiety is a normal feeling, and as all feelings, it tells us something important about ourselves. The trick is to give it space without letting it take up too many mental and emotional resources.
Below you will find some strategies to help you deal with anxiety, so you can give it an appropriate place while staying centered and calm.
Be Mindful of Your Anxiety
Instead of feeling anxious about your own anxiety, accept it. Acknowledge that it’s a normal feeling, and under certain circumstances can be justified. Let go of the need to control, close your eyes, relax, and notice your thoughts. Think of them as separate from you, like clouds floating across the sky. If anxiety appears, let it be. Notice it, notice its effects on your body, accept it and let it pass. This attitude of calm observation of your own feelings can be learned and it improves with practice. Use it to regain your center whenever you feel obfuscated.
Anxiety can consume a lot of mental resources, and under those conditions it’s easy to neglect yourself. Make sure you eat healthy foods and that you’re properly hydrated. Don’t forget to exercise in any way you can under the present conditions. Taking care of your body can also be a way of rewarding yourself. Consider, for example, a warm bath, getting a massage or using your favorite skin lotions. Remember to pay attention to your body’s signals: Stretch if you feel you need to do so or take a nap if you’re tired.
Use Relaxation Techniques
Relaxation techniques can be extremely helpful during stressful times. You don’t have to be an expert; just practicing deep breathing and focusing on the rhythm of your body can have an almost immediate calming effect. On the other hand, you can use a stressful time as an opportunity to learn other techniques, such as yoga and meditation. There are apps and online courses available that you can use to learn these skills without leaving your home.
Simply distracting yourself with an engaging activity is also an option. At some point you will have to deal with the source of your anxiety, but a brief distraction may give you time to think and order your ideas. However, it’s important not to let a distraction become an addictive behavior, so make sure to pick healthy activities that you perform for a set amount of time. Some options you may consider are reading, watching a movie, writing, decluttering your home, calling a friend, painting or coloring.