5 Proven Ways To Stop Your Anxiety
By Kat Gal
I used to be afraid to pick up the phone and call someone. Even the idea of it caused me anxiety. I was also afraid to go to a store where I actually had to ask someone for what I wanted. I am not even going to mention the anxiety I’ve felt speaking even a single word in front of people.
These are just a few examples of what used to give me severe anxiety. The list could go on and on, but I am not going to write a novel about my experience with anxiety – it would be extremely long, as even my own shadow used to get my heart racing.
Can you relate? Do you experience anxiety in your life?
According to the Anxiety & Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety affects 40 million adults in the US.
Anxiety disorders can develop for various reasons, including genetic brain chemistry, personality traits and life events. But there is no question that living with an anxiety disorder negatively impacts your life and well-being.
If you have an anxiety disorder, you are also 3 to 5 times more likely to visit a doctor and 6 times more likely to be hospitalized for a psychiatric disorder than those who do not suffer from an anxiety disorder, claims the ADAA.
Even if you do not have a serious anxiety disorder though, if you frequently experience anxiety in your life at all, your health will still suffer.
But what can you do?
The good news is that there are natural ways to recover from an anxiety disorder and reduce the anxiety in your life.
Using natural and proven techniques against anxiety, I healed my mind and learned to live without anxiety ruining my life. The phone doesn’t scare me anymore, neither does asking for my green juice out loud or giving a speech at a conference. I travel the world alone facing new, unknown situations constantly without crazy anxiety looming over me.
It took time and effort, but I got there… and you can too!
Here are 5 proven techniques that may help you in your fight against anxiety.
1. Change Of Diet
You are what you eat. This is true for your mind and emotions, too. If you are living on processed foods, your brain will have no chance to function properly.
Make sure to eat a whole foods diet with plenty of fresh, organic vegetables, fruits, nuts and seeds. It may take a while to get over your food addictions, but it is definitely worth it in the long run.
Exercise is an excellent tool for stress relief and therefore, great to reduce your anxiety as well. Exercise pumps up your endorphins, your brain’s feel good neurotransmitters. Exercise can be an active form of meditation. Exercise can improve your mood and increase your confidence.
“But I don’t like to exercise,” you may say. I hate to break it to you, but this is not a valid excuse.
There are so many forms of exercise – running, biking, swimming, aerobics, pilates, yoga, martial arts, dancing, kickboxing, boxing, horseback riding, HIIT workout, tabata and the list goes on endlessly – you can find something you enjoy, I promise. If you are dealing with a serious illness, physical limitation or obesity, start with light walking, easy yoga or stretching.
The key is to find something that you DO enjoy – and do it often!
Meditation can help you to calm your mind, focus on the present, reduce negative emotions, increase self-awareness and reduce stress. You may think about meditation as sitting in Lotus pose for hours and it may even sound boring to you. But meditation is much more than that.
There are so many forms and techniques of meditation that can help you to be in the present moment and quiet your mind. You can try guided meditations, visualizations, various mantra meditations, healing meditations, mindfulness meditation, transcendental meditation, Vipassana or a variety of other forms of sitting (or laying down) meditations.
There are also various active meditations, like Osho, movement meditations and dance meditations, such as 5Rhythms. Just like with exercise, shop around, try various techniques and find out what works for you.
You may not realize that you are not breathing correctly or even forgetting to breathe at times. Taking breaths into the center of your chest can actually create more anxiety in your life and even trigger panic attacks, depending on the severity of the anxiety.
Start focusing on making your breaths smooth, slow and deep. Imagine the breath going down towards your stomach, which will help you to breathe through your diaphragm. If you do it correctly, it will truly calm you down. So just take a deep breath. Now.
Dehydration can cause various problems in your body, especially when you’re in a constant state of dehydration.
When you are dehydrated, your hormones are unable to reach their destinations because of poor blood flow. Your muscles will tense up, too. Due to the water loss, your brain will also experience weakness. It is not surprising, as your brain is 85% water.
As soon as you start drinking enough water, your body will start to function properly. This means that your mind will start functioning properly as well. A happy, hydrated mind means less anxiety.
Moving Over Your Fears
Do what scares you the most. Do what causes you anxiety. I know this sounds scary and perhaps even crazy. But if slowly, step-by-step you are facing your fears and anxiety-triggers, you can build up a tolerance and mental muscles. You will start seeing that you can actually survive these situations. It will become easier with time. You may even start loving what caused you anxiety before.
These are techniques that have personally worked for me to heal my anxiety. Try them and see how they work for you. If you have any tips and techniques that you use or recommend to combat anxiety, we would love to hear about them. Share them below!
Kat Gál is a multi-passionate writer, world traveler, nomad, runner, and cat-person. She is a lifelong learner who lives outside of her comfort zones stretching her boundaries and discovering beauty around the world. She is a Certified Holistic Health and Life Coach who encourages others to embrace their unique authentic selves, follow their heart and find their own version of freedom in life.
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