Anxiety is one of the most common health problems worldwide! Especially when there is a pandemic that implies the permanence in our homes, rare are those who are not feeling anxious.
How can we reduce this anxiety? We have several tips for you to implement in your daily life, which can help you return to normality.
What is anxiety?
Anxiety is the sensation of unease, fear, it is discomfort, malaise, insecurity and the feeling that something bad will happen.
The anxiety we experience can have different levels and in the extreme, it can lead to an anxiety attack where the ability to breathe is affected. Some of the most common symptoms of anxiety are increased heart rate, hyperventilation, chest pain, nausea, dizziness and headaches.
To avoid these situations, here are some tips to help control your anxiety.
1. Practice physical activities
Physical exercise is one of the most used activities to reduce and control anxiety.
Physical activities increase the production of serotonin, a substance that increases the sensation of pleasure. This sensation helps to drown out other distressing sensations.
Physical activity also helps the mind, as it occupies, even for a moment, our head with physical movements. With physical practice, we seek a sense of relief, which is achieved at the end of each exercise and this helps the mind to relax. In addition, it is also an activity that requires discipline and focus and therefore requires us to control our thoughts.
2. Control the breathing
One of the most common symptoms of anxiety is uncontrolled breathing. As a general rule, breathing becomes very fast, even causing hyper-ventilation.
When this symptom starts to appear, it is very important to control your breathing. In order to control the breathing, we must focus on the movement we make when we breathe and thus inhale and exhale slowly and deeply. In this way, we slow down our breathing, managing to send more oxygen to the brain and then, gradually reduce the feeling of anxiety.
If you have trouble concentrating, place one hand on your belly and the other hand on your chest and start to inhale and exhale slowly. Inhale through your nose, hold your breath for three seconds and slowly exhale through your mouth. Do this breathing exercise until you feel you are naturally breathing slower.
3. Invest in food with tryptophan
Tryptophan is a precursor to serotonin. Serotonin is, as mentioned above, responsible for well-being, happiness and pleasure.
Eating the following foods with tryptophan helps to avoid anxiety:
– Green tea
4. Avoid negative thoughts
Avoiding negative thoughts is not easy for anxiety sufferers. These thoughts are like a snowball, they only increase our concern and we start to get more and more anxious, reaching a point of lack of control and possible depression. But how can we keep them away?
First of all, we must put the situation in perspective so that we can see alternatives. We must think about the degree of control we have over our attitudes and everything we are underestimating. After this analysis, we should avoid thinking about it. This means that, if we feel that the thought is arising, we must force ourselves to think in banal and happy moments. During a conversation, it is important to speak positively and avoid using negation.
5. Divert attention from symptoms
Focusing on symptoms, just increases the concern and general anxiety. Chest pain may seem identical to a heart attack, increasing fear and speeding up the heart and breathing.
One way to divert attention away from symptoms is to focus the mind on a very specific activity, which requires a lot of concentration. For example, painting, knitting, etc.
6. Focus on the present
When the mind is focused on the present, the capacity for analysis and control is more effective. This sense of control gives confidence and brings calm to our mind. When we digress in future thoughts, the feeling of uncertainty only increases all the symptoms of anxiety.
7. Drink tea
Most teas have substances that act as mild tranquilizers and that help control daily anxiety. The most recommended plants are passionflower, chamomile and valerian.
8. Guide the imagination
During times of anxiety, it is good to travel in our mind and escape from everything that scares and worries us. To be able to guide our imagination to new places, we must put our body in a relaxing position and think of a place where we feel relaxed and at peace. As you think about that place, add details to the scene and the action you’re performing on it.
9. Fill the day with occupations
For those who are in a period of anxiety, it is very important to occupy the days with different tasks and avoid being unemployed. Doing nothing leads to free time to think about problems. These tasks can range from small domestic activities, to physical exercise, watching a movie or learning something new.
10. Sleep well
It is very important to go to bed relaxed and with a clear head of worries because sleep deprivation is one of the causes of depression.
The moment before bed is when we wander the most through our mind and if we lie down thinking about problems we will develop more symptoms of anxiety during the night. To avoid negative thoughts during the night we should eat some of the foods suggested in point 3 and a calming tea and this is a good time to guide the imagination as suggested in point 8.
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If you want Six habits for better sleep, read our article here.