Anxiety can be a debilitating and overwhelming experience, but there are strategies that can help you to identify and manage it. We need to remember, though, that we are not trying to get rid of anxiety because it is also there to help keep us safe. Sometimes, our brains become a bit overprotective, and it’s like it tries to protect us from things that don't really put us in danger.
Anxiety causes our breathing to become faster, our heartbeat increases, our palms may feel sweaty, and our body becomes stronger. It really provides an adrenaline rush so that we have enough focused energy to fight or flee.
Now, if we imagine that we are walking in a forest and a wild animal approaches us - that adrenaline rush and the increased heart rate, quick breathing and tight, strong muscles - those can come in really handy. It will enable us to run extra fast, or to protect ourselves.
But when we experience those same symptoms (feelings of anxiety) when we walk into a room with other people, or when we go to a job interview… that is a bit too much, and we need to persuade our brain that we are not in danger.
Here are some tips for managing your own anxiety:
Practice mindfulness: Mindfulness practices, such as deep breathing, meditation, and yoga, can help to reduce stress and increase relaxation. These exercises are good to practice on a daily basis - not only will it support you in managing your level of anxiety, but it can also become coping strategies to help you get through challenging situations.
Exercise regularly: Regular exercise has been shown to have a positive impact on mental health, reducing stress and anxiety. Dedicating some time to physical exercise daily will be ideal. However, if you do not have much time available, have a look at our video on movement activities that you can do in 5 minutes.
Get enough sleep: Good sleep hygiene can help to improve your overall well-being, reducing stress and anxiety. Our bodies need enough sleep, but when you have difficulty managing anxiety, it can be difficult to sleep. Try to do some mindfulness exercises before going to bed.
Connect with others: Spending time with friends and family, or joining a support group, can provide a sense of community and reduce feelings of isolation and anxiety.
Seek professional help: If your anxiety is impacting your daily life, it may be helpful to seek the help of a mental health professional.
Remember, everyone experiences anxiety differently, and it's important to find the strategies that work best for you. With time, patience, and a supportive network, you can learn to manage your anxiety and improve your overall well-being.
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