Each day we can experience the affect of anxiety in many different forms. For some anxiety can be the uncomfortable feeling when we are due to have a performance review or worrying about being late for work. However, for others is can be a deeper rooted issue.
Anxiety is a word often thrown around in modern society for everyday life stresses, but if left unchecked anxiety and its symptoms can lead to larger, more profound issues.
Beyond Blue describes anxiety as “more than just feeling stressed or worried. While stress and anxious feelings are a common response to a situation where we feel under pressure, they usually pass once the stressful situation has passed, or ‘stressor’ is removed.”
“Anxiety is when these anxious feelings don't go away – when they're ongoing and happen without any particular reason or cause. It’s a serious condition that makes it hard to cope with daily life. Everyone feels anxious from time to time, but for someone experiencing anxiety, these feelings aren't easily controlled.”
There are many ways to tackle anxiety and help maintain your mental health, however we wanted to bring you three simple ways that you can use every day to help keep it under control.
Our top tips to manage anxiety on a daily basis
Convince your mind that you are safe
When we are anxious, our body turns on the automatic reactive system and tenses up preparing us for life's daily battles. What happens when we never let go? Well we are stuck in a constant state of tension.
If any part of your brain is sending signals that you're under threat (and in reality, you're not), tackle the fear by gently talking yourself out of it. Convince that part of your brain sending you into fight-or-flight mode that you are just fine and that you are in no immediate danger.
Deep breathing can be the most commonly suggested way to manage anxiety. It helps calm the nervous system and doing it for a few minutes sends the brain the message that you're not actually in any danger, and in return it will kick your body into relaxation mode.
Check out this previous blog on an alternative exercise to start becoming aware of our bodies tension and to actively let go.
Accept that you can't control everything
Sometimes we want to control people, things, or certain situations that are usually well beyond your control. Understanding that you can't and shouldn't control everything and releasing your worry will help you manage your emotions.
Focus on the things that are in your control, slow down, and take one thing at a time.
When we feel out of control, our minds can spiral into negativity – take a step back and take each problem one by one.
It’s much easier to face a larger problem piece by piece, then trying to throw it all into one basket.
Mindfulness training really can work
A growing body of research in neuroscience suggests that mindfulness is one of the best-kept secrets for helping people deal with anxiety. You can practice it by intentionally focusing on your emotions and accepting in a nonjudgmental way whatever thoughts and sensations you're experiencing in the moment.
By taking the time to identify and understand our emotions we learn how to be more aware of ourselves. Mindfulness allows up to be less distracted and stops us focusing on smaller negative issues, and instead gives us a broader look at our own world.
If we were to define mindfulness it would be:
1) The skill of awareness of thoughts feeling and physical sensations.
2) The skill of describing thoughts feeling and physical sensations.
3) The skill of being able to work on a task and be conscious of thoughts feeling and physical sensations.
4) The skill of being aware of thoughts, feelings, and physical sensations and not judging them or yourself.
5) The skill of being aware of your thoughts feeling and physical sensations but not reacting to them automatically.
The idea of ‘mindfulness’ was originally taken directly from meditation. However, a faster and more efficient way of developing mindfulness might be to figure out what skills we have and what skills need to be developed, then work out some practical ways to develop them.
I hope these three ways help you manage anxiety in your day to day life, they may seem simple but over time will give you a much healthier outlook.
If anxiety still plays a key role in your life, book an appointment with us today.