Have you reached a point where you experience panic and anxiety attacks that make it difficult for you to maintain your emotional stability? Well then, it is time for you to take action. There are several simple techniques you can use anywhere and anytime to cope with your anxiety and regain your stability.
If you can take a few minutes to sit down somewhere quiet, you can use the deep breathing technique. Just sit comfortably, place a hand on your abdomen, and breathe in deeply through your nose for about 4 seconds. The hand you placed on your abdomen should rise visibly. Hold in the air for another 4 seconds and then slowly breathe out through your mouth for about 6 seconds. Repeating this exercise for 3-5 minutes is guaranteed to leave you feeling better.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation
Another effective technique for managing anxiety is progressive muscle relaxation. Your mind and body are very closely connected, so when you relax your body, you help your mind relax as well. Stretching and relaxing your body progressively can help you achieve a powerful feeling of relaxation. Perform the following activities in the order they are listed, spending about 10 seconds on each.
• Curl and relax your toes
• Tense and relax your calves
• Squeeze your thighs as tightly as you can and then relax them
• Push your shoulders back while tensing up your back and then relax them
• Suck in your stomach then let it out
• Tense your arms and clench your hands, then unclench them
• Scrunch up your face and then relax it
• Tense up every muscle in your body and then relax it
Instant Muscle Relaxation
When you don’t have the time for the progressive muscle relaxation technique, try the instant version. Just tense up every muscle in your body at the same time and hold them that way for about 30 seconds, then relax them. This isn’t as effective as the progressive version, but it has the advantage of being something you can do without drawing attention to yourself, no matter where you are.
Challenging Irrational Thoughts
You can also try challenging the irrational thoughts that contribute to your anxiety. Sometimes anxiety is made worse by over-thinking your problems, magnifying them out of all proportion, and worrying more than you should. However, when you analyze those thoughts you can teach yourself that your worries are not accurate.
Challenging your irrational thoughts involves putting them on trial, asking yourself questions such as, ‘Are these thoughts based on feelings or on facts?’ ‘If someone else was in this situation, how would they view it?’ ‘Are these worries actually likely to come true?’ ‘Even if your fears do indeed come true, will that matter a week, month, or year from now?’ Challenging your irrational thoughts like this helps you see your fears from a different perspective, one which reduces anxiety.
The techniques given above can be an effective tool for reducing anxiety. However, you may need to experiment a bit before you find the ones that work best for you. With a little patience, though, you can start getting a handle on your anxiety and feel more in control throughout your day.