7 techniques and tips to reduce anxiety
How to control anxiety? We explain it to you with simple tips and strategies.
The RAE defines anxiety as: "The state of agitation, restlessness or anxiety of the spirit". However, for those who have ever suffered from it, suffer from it sporadically or for those who are its great daily companion, it is something that deserves a definition of more than nine words.
First of all, 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 complicated situations to come out on top. That is, it helps us to be alert to possible dangers or attentive to relevant events. It works as a kind of inner "guardian angel".
Anxiety can also be negative
On the other hand, we find the negative anxiety... How does it differ from the previous one? this type of anxiety provokes an exaggerated and irrational fear before an event (as for example the fear to speak in public, to go up in elevator, etc.). (as for example the fear to speak in public, to raise in elevator, etc.) that to part of the obvious psychological reactions is accompanied of physical reactions (sweats, palpitations, tremors, gastric discomfort...) before the expectation that something catastrophic happens even being this very little probable.
Several 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 which has a specific treatment, we can add a series of techniques that help to improve anxiety states:
1. Physical exercise
Physical exercise will help us to avoid over-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 gentle rhythms at short intervals.
2. Sleep and eating habits
An unbalanced diet can be detrimental to some Gastrointestinal symptoms associated with some states of anxiety, a healthy and balanced diet will help us to control it.. Regarding sleep, the benefits of sleeping well 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 sleep itself comes to visit us.
As we learned from Albert Bandura, we can employ modeling observing other people who do not show anxiety before events that we do not show those feared sensations. Even, talking to people who have managed to overcome anxiety problems and who tell you the techniques that have worked for them will help you regain hope that you can control your anxiety.
4. Sense of humor
Our tendency when faced with situations that provoke anxiety is to react with negativity and take it too seriously. Sometimes a person with anxiety may not realize how ridiculous their reaction can be. It is important to also see the humorous and optimistic side of the issues.. For example, when faced with a recurring thought, we can try singing it or saying it to ourselves in another language.
5. Meditation and Mindfulness
You have probably already heard of MindfulnessMindfulness a meditation technique that will help you to achieve mindfulness.. In a relaxed environment, where you make sure that no one is going to disturb you, focus on your breathing, body sensations, sound or an 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 use appropriate distractions we can interrupt, albeit temporarily, the thought that causes us anxietyWe can use the following methods of distraction: thought stopping, reading, leisure, walking, among others.
It is possible that your anxiety has a physical component. If your doctor confirms that your ailment is not physical but mental, you can make an appointment with a psychiatrist and anxiolytics can help you. Medication can be very helpful, but you must also do your part. Do not self-medicate even if someone else has told you that it went well.
Relapses when one suffers from anxiety
In case you have been or are attending psychotherapy, do not take relapses as a failure, but as something from which we can learn and know ourselves better to be able to prevent it in the future.
Before finishing, a piece of advice...
And remember, of course, that anxiety is like our inner guardian. Learning from it, learning to manage it, can help us to be alert to the right situations and to succeed in our personal challenges of everyday life. day-to-day challenges. With these seven techniques and strategies to reduce anxiety you can get closer to setting a new course in your life.
(Updated at Mar 28 / 2023)