7 techniques and tips to reduce anxiety
The SAR defines anxiety as: "The state of agitation, restlessness or anxiety of the mind". However, really those who have ever suffered, suffer sporadically or for those who is their great companion day to day is something that deserves a definition of more than nine words.
In the first place, not all anxiety is harmful to our body and mind, there is a certain level of positive anxiety, that little restlessness that helps us in difficult situations to succeed. That is, it helps us to be alert to possible dangers or attentive to relevant events. It works as a kind of "guardian angel" inside.
Anxiety can also be negative
On the other hand, we find negative anxiety... How is it different from the previous one? This type of anxiety causes an exaggerated and irrational fear of an event (such as fear of speaking in public, going up in an elevator, etc.) that, apart from the obvious psychological reactions, is accompanied by physical reactions (sweating, palpitations, tremors, gastric discomfort ...) in the expectation that Something catastrophic happens even though this is very unlikely.
Various disorders are derived from negative anxiety, such as:
- Panic disorder
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- Social phobia (or social anxiety disorder)
- Specific phobias
- Generalized anxiety disorder (GAD)
Techniques to reduce anxiety
Although each of them has a specific treatment, we can add a series of techniques that help improve anxiety states:
1. Physical exercise
Physical exercise It will help us to avoid excess activation of the nervous system and to achieve a more restful sleep . If our physical condition does not allow us to exercise, we can opt for soft rhythms at short intervals.
2. Sleep and eating habits
An unbalanced diet can harm some gastrointestinal symptoms associated with some anxiety states, a healthy and balanced diet will help us control it . Regarding sleep, the benefits of good sleep are obvious, if we see that anxiety does not let us sleep (or worse, the thought that we can not sleep, does not let us sleep) we can choose to read something boring until the dream comes to visit us.
3. Modeling (observation)
As we learned from Albert Bandura, we can use the modeling observing other people who do not show anxiety before events that to us if they do not show those feared sensations. Even talking to people who have managed to overcome anxiety problems and tell you the techniques that have worked for them will make you recover hope that you can control it.
4. Sense of humor
Our tendency towards situations that provoke anxiety is to react negatively and take it too seriously. Sometimes a person with anxiety can not realize how ridiculous their reaction can be. It is important to also see the fun and optimistic part of the issues . For example, in the face of recurrent thinking, we can try to sing it or to tell it in another language.
5. Meditation and Mindfulness
It is likely that you have already heard of the Mindfulness, is a meditation technique that will help you get mindfulness . In a relaxed environment, where you make sure no one is going to bother you, focus on your breathing, body sensations, sound or object, and practice mindfulness. If you want to know different ways to practice Mindfulness, you can read our article: "5 Mindfulness exercises to improve your emotional well-being".
6. Methods of distraction
If we employ adequate distractions we can interrupt, even temporarily, the thought that causes us anxiety : stop thinking, reading, leisure, walking, among others.
7. Psychotropic drugs
It is possible that your anxiety has a physical component. If your doctor confirms that your condition is not physical but mental, you can request an appointment with a psychiatrist and that anxiolytics can help you. Medications can be very useful but you must also do your part. Do not think about self-medicating although another person has told you that it has gone well.
Relapses when one suffers anxiety
If you have been or are attending psychotherapy do not take relapse as a failure, but something that we can learn and know better to prevent in the future.
Before finishing, a tip ...
And remember, of course, that anxiety is like our inner guardian. Learn from her, learn to manage it, can help us to be alert to the right situations and to overcome our personal challenges from day to day. With these seven techniques and strategies to reduce anxiety you can be closer to putting a new direction in your life.