Three Easy Ways to Lessen Anxiety

Three Easy Ways to Lessen Anxiety

 

Anxiety effects everyone differently. For me, it is a daily struggle. Thankfully, anxiousness does not affect my ability to function in life. It does, however affect my ability to be the best version of myself.

Put in simple terms, when we feel anxious it is usually because of a fear of the unknown. It is the inability to control an environment, and the inability to have confidence in yourself to face a circumstance. Panic attacks typically stem from the inability to control this feeling.

What if I were to tell you that anxiousness is a simple emotion? You might roll your eyes and curse me, silently wondering how I can take something so big and minimize it. But when you think about it, panic often comes about when we create a barrier in our minds that is so big that we cannot possibly climb over it. Anxiety lives in the “what if” moments of our lives. Just one simple “what if” can spiral us into an attack.

Anxiety disorders should be treated with the help of a therapist. However, there are ways to lessen the anxiety when you find yourself knee deep in it. Below are three ways to help you deal with your anxiety in the short term.

  1. Lean In

This sounds counterproductive, doesn’t it? After all, we should be trying to avoid this feeling of panic by any means necessary, right? But if I were to ask you to not think about a cow, soon you would find your thoughts trailing off to a pasture not of just one cow, but an entire herd.

The point is, trying to avoid thinking about the anxiety is only going to make you think about it more. So acknowledge it as a part of you. Give it a name. Call it out so that it loses its power.

  1. Practice Mindfulness

Anxiety rarely is at its height in present time. Instead, it attacks when our thoughts wander to places of fear, which are usually housed in the past or future. To counter this, stay in the moment. Acknowledge what you are feeling, voice how you feel in your body – your shoulders, chest, etc. Give credit to your thoughts; do not try to fight them. Recognizing what you are feeling instead of fighting it, will help it to diminish. After all, sharks usually go away once the bleeding stops.

  1. Recognize That it is a Choice

Whoa! What? Who would choose such an uncomfortable feeling? Well, you did. I did. Anxiety and panic attacks happen because of the way that we choose to interpret what is happening around us. We have just made a habit of consistently making the wrong choice. I know this sounds overly simplistic, but by re-framing your thoughts to recognize it as a choice, you are taking away its power and giving it back to yourself.

For an easy read with simple, proven ways of ending anxiety and panic attacks, I recommend reading Badass Ways to End Anxiety & Stop Panic Attacks. The book is written by someone who has suffered from panic attacks and has used these techniques to lessen occurrences. I like it because the techniques are simple in that they can be used in the moment. I have found this book to be a great go-to resource.

 

written by Monica Fugedi, LPC, NCC
Clinical Certified Anxiety Treatment Professional (CCATP)
Wellness/Crisis Counselor
Groves High School

 

 

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