Everyone has their fair share of bad days. And most of the time, especially when we expect negativity or find it inevitable, our body responds with feelings of anxiety. Defined by healthline.com as a “natural response to stress” manifested through the “fear or apprehension for what’s to come”, anxiety somehow acts like a person’s natural defence mechanism. But if not handled properly, it can turn into a disorder that may lead to an interference in day-to-day activity. Ultimately, excessive anxiety can also pose a health risk often characterised by panic attacks, nausea, dizziness, and even depression.
Ahead, tips on how to help manage episodes of anxiety for brighter days ahead.
Acknowledge your anxiety
Accepting negative feelings can definitely be challenging. Don’t we all want to have an optimistic mindset? However, real life is not all rainbows and butterflies. Acknowledging that you are susceptible to vulnerability can help manage sudden waves of overwhelming emotions and thoughts. Sure, it’s easier said than done, but as they say, acceptance of the situation is a great step in knowing what action to take next.
We all have days when we're overwhelmed with emotions. But there are ways to manage these feelings of anxiety.
Find balance by regulating your breathing
One of the most common symptoms of anxiety is feeling your heart beating faster than usual, which can even lead to shortness of breath or dizziness. To overcome this, try not to panic and instead ground yourself by sitting in a comfortable position. Next, close your eyes then inhale slowly for four counts. Make sure that you focus solely on your breathing to help isolate your thoughts from whatever it is that’s causing you anxiety. Do the same thing when exhaling and repeat the process until you feel calmer.
Studies show that this practice allows your body to sync back to a more neutralised state. We won’t get technical, but regulating your breathing helps your brain and heart rate relax, which then helps control your blood flow and pressure. So when they say “take a deep breath,” it’s truly solid advice!
Listen to songs with positive lyrics
Just like how scoring in movies plays a huge role in the narrative, listening to positive music to lift your mood also has the same effect. A 2013 study says this method is quite effective. People who listened to more upbeat tunes consistently for two weeks supposedly developed a more positive mindset. So instead of mulling over the negativity with an equally sombre song, turn that frown upside down with some beats that are more cheery.
Can't shout? Write it out!
Pour your feelings through writing
Not everyone can easily open up to other people about their problems. And sometimes, even the most open people can find it hard to share difficult emotions. When shouting into a vast void or atop the mountains seem impossible (at least at the moment), pouring your feelings through writing can be a great alternative to alleviate feelings of anxiety. Whether you prefer to type it or to make use of pen and paper, exhausting everything that burdens your mind onto an external object makes you look at it in a different light. Not only can you assess the weight of what causes you anxiety more clearly, but it’s also definitely an effective way to simply unload emotional and mental baggage.
Last but certainly not least, if your anxiety is already reaching a point where it’s crippling your daily routine, seek help. Accepting your vulnerability and knowing when to ask for help is the most basic step towards managing this situation. Open up to someone you trust and feel safe with and simply start the conversation to ease the burden. If needed, seek professional help and face your anxiety head-on.
This story first appeared on Clozette Indonesia.
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