7 Strategies to Help Overcome Anxiety by Guest Writer Ryan Rivera
Research has found that long-term anxiety is more than just an inconvenience. It's a serious health problem. Over time, long term anxiety creates a great deal of stress on your mind and body, and that stress can lead to serious health consequences, including memory loss, organ damage, and more.
So not only does anxiety make it harder to enjoy your life – it also hurts your physical health as well. Finding ways to relax should be a goal of anyone living with anxiety. For those that are hoping to find ways to cope with these life stresses, here are several strategies you can try to relax from your anxiety symptoms.
Anxiety Relaxation Tips
- Relaxation Exercises
There are several relaxation exercises worth attempting in order to handle your anxiety better. One example is deep breathing. It involves sitting with your back straight in a chair and your arms at your sides, and breathing in slowly through your nose, filling up your stomach first and your chest second. Hold for four seconds, and breathe out through pursed lips slowly as well. Do this 10 times, and you'll find that you are more relaxed.
Jogging is incredibly beneficial for anxiety. It releases endorphins that improve your mood, and burns away cortisol – a hormone that damages your organs, increases weight gain, and kills brain cells. It also tires out your body, and studies have shown that when your body is more tired, your mind tends to be calmer as well.
- Make Games
Ideally, you would remove yourself from situations that cause you anxiety. But in some cases that's not possible, such as a toxic workplace where you need your job to survive. In these situations, one of the best things you can for yourself is try to turn them into a game. At work, this may involve playing bingo with stressful situations or competing with yourself to see how quickly you can get your work done. Making games out of bad situations is naturally calming, because it turns something stressful into something fun.
- Fake Relaxation
One of the strange things about the human brain is that it can adapt to the way you act. For example, those that struggle socially can pretend to be good socially, and the brain starts to learn how to be more social. The same is true for anxiety. If you find that you're consistently stress, start to pretend that you're not. It doesn't matter that you know you're acting, your mind will still try to adjust to your behaviors and you'll find yourself becoming a bit more stress free.
- Create a Routine
Routines are often considered "boring," but the reality is that they're a considerable source of comfort. When you have a routine, you create a schedule for yourself that is far more relaxing than doing things spontaneously or on a whim. Try creating some routines in life – especially before sleep, so that your anxiety has less of a way of keeping you awake.
- Buy a Thought Journal
Sometimes you'll find that you have anxious thoughts that you simply can't get rid of. It's not always anxiety that keeps the thought in your head. Sometimes it's simply your brain trying its best to remember something that it believes is important. By writing it down in your journal, it tells your brain that it's okay to stop obsessing over it, because you have it permanently marked down in a book. Often you'll find that your mind has an easier time letting go of the thought and you can relax a bit more.
- Avoid Mild Anxiety Producers
Anxiety is a type of mental health disorder that accumulates. Meaning, the more anxieties you experience in life, the worse it feels. You may not be able to control your generic anxiety, but you can control the things you do that could contribute to anxiety. For example, watching horror movies or allowing yourself to be in dangerous situations – these are things that create mild anxiety that are completely in your control. If you avoid them, your anxiety will be less intense.
Living with Anxiety
Anxiety is more than just a mental health condition, so finding ways to relax should be your utmost priority. The above tips can be very effective, and seeking out alternative treatment options may be a valuable way to get the anxiety help you need.
About the Author: Ryan Rivera is an author and former anxiety sufferer that spent decades living with intense anxiety.