It seems like just about anything in our busy modern lives can contribute to a sensation of anxiety. Here are some tools to keep in your back pocket for the next time you feel yourself overwhelmed by the world.
Somewhere along the path of evolution, our wonderful BrainBox 2000s decided that heading down the path of high-intelligence paired with a relentless animal brain was a good decision.
This, of course, gave us humans the wonderful ability to let in far more stimulus and sensory information than was ever necessary. Couple that with a relentless torrent of inner thoughts revolving around the past and future and it’s no wonder that a large percentage of us struggle to even get ourselves out of the door in the morning without crumbling into a pile at the doorstep.
— anxiety (@changes) October 30, 2017
Sit back, relax, and hold your safety blanket tight, as we take you through four of the best ways to stem the tide of anxiety.
This one is so simple that it often gets blasted by many that have anxiety. Reminding someone to breathe can give off the impression that you think them to be an utter subhuman, incapable of even the most basic of involuntarily bodily functions. However, focusing on our breath can not only give us insight into how our body is reacting to our mental state, but it gives us direct control over a situation – a powerful lifeline when it feels as if control is that last thing that you possess.
As one of the most effective tools in our kit, it is also one of the hardest to master. One would assume that wrangling control back over our lungs would be an easy task, but anyone with anxiety can tell you that it’s far from it. As such, with practice, determination, and patience, it is possible to cultivate the ability to slow ourselves down, and place ourselves back into the present moment.
Immerse Yourself in Nature
Admittingly, we understand that those of you who reside in massive metropolitan cities may struggle to break away from the doldrums of city life, but trust us: it’s worth it. While continually being surrounded by the hustle and bustle of others going about their business may be incredibly stimulating – it’s also incredibly draining. For those of you who find yourselves even more sensitive to the actions and dispositions of others, you’re likely to find your batteries drained much quicker than the rest. When such a sensation hits – get yourself out to the countryside.
If one isn’t within short reach, get to your nearest park and out on a stroll. Anything you can do to focus on the sounds of nature is a plus. Removing yourself from our lovely yet artificially constructed hubs of civilization and connecting with the natural world can not only help push the tide of anxiety back, but can lift one out of depression as well.
Improve your Diet
While this won’t bring you results overnight, improving the quality of the fuel you put into your body will bring incredible benefits to you down the road – including reducing anxious spells. Being the self-aware meat machines that we are, all chemical reactions that take place within us affect us to a greater or lesser extent.
If you haven’t the energy to get outside after a long day of staying cooped up in a soul-crushing office, you’re much farther away from the capability to shake away the cobwebs and obsessive thoughts with a run or a walk through the park with your mates.
Speak with a Therapist
We’ve done our best to avoid any mention of pharmaceuticals or drugs in general, but we do have to pay mind to the fact that sometimes anxiety is a product of a lack of control over our thoughts, and sometimes that is brought about through an issue of brain chemistry. If you find yourself continually struggling with anxiety despite having tried everything under the sun, it may be time to be honest with yourself and speak with a professional.
Drugs are never the answer – but they are part of the equation. If prescription medication is needed to facilitate a healthy treatment of a severe anxiety disorder, admit that you can’t do it alone and don’t waste any more time on the road to recovery.
Anxiety can be life-crippling, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel. With time, patience, and practice, it is possible to harness all of that excess chaotic energy and channel it toward achieving the goals that you set out for yourself, and building the life that you want. Nothing is impossible – make it so.