Anxiety exercises can be especially helpful when you're not ready to see a mental health professional.
These are powerful tools you can use at any time of the day. The brain is the 'control room' of the body, which means it manages all bodily functions as well as your feelings and thoughts. You can learn methods and ideas that can help you get rid of sadness and underlying causes of anxiety by training the brain.
Simply put, anxiety is a more severe form of worry. Anxiety dampens emotional energy and raises anxiety levels, as it turns into a persistent, worst-case scenario and what-if cycle in your head with relentless nagging, doubts, and concerns. As a result, anxiety interferes with your daily life, aspirations, and relationships.
Anxiety Exercises to Abate Worries
A typical human response to stress is anxiety. However, excessive anxiety can make it difficult to have a happy and healthy life.
Anxiety exercises usually work. as they deal with the body's stress reactions, such as elevated heart rate, rapid breathing, and tense muscles, making the body feel more relaxed. Dealing with anxiety can be challenging, but the following five exercises can help:
1) Grounding Exercises
Grounding is an easy yet powerful anxiety exercise. Take a moment to center yourself, and bring yourself back into the present moment.
Tune into four things around you that you can see, things things you can touch, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste (you can carry around mint, or gum, to use in this situation). You will distract yourself from the anxiety trying to take over your body.
2) Use Your Muscles
Using relaxation exercises can be an effective way to reduce stress and anxiety. Alternate between tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in the body.
Tensing the muscles is a common symptom of anxiety. By learning to immediately relax those muscles, you will programme your body to relax when it feels like tension. When feeling anxious, instantly relax your muscles by doing the following:
- Sit in a calm and pleasant spot. Focus on your breathing while closing your eyes. Slowly inhale through your nose, and exhale through your mouth.
- Clench your hands into a fist. Make a fist, and tighten it.
- For a few seconds, keep your hands clenched. Take note of the tension in your hand.
- Open your fingers gradually, and pay attention to your feelings. You might feel your hand releasing some stress. Your hand will eventually start to feel lighter and more at ease.
- Continue tensing and relaxing the hands, legs, shoulders, and feet, as well as other muscle groups throughout the body. You might wish to move up and down your tensed body.
3) Instant Relief Tools
Carry loose change or count backward by threes to instantly reduce anxiety. These anxiety exercises help those who're about to have a panic or anxiety attack by forcing the brain to focus on another, overriding activity.
The act of counting at random intervals helps people focus, overriding the anxious thoughts that are trying to creep in. Loose change is a great way to do that.
4) Harness Your Breath
Breathwork can do wonders in supporting our mental, physical, and spiritual well-being.
In therapy, breathwork is sometimes used to improve a wide range of issues, such as anger, anxiety, chronic pain, depression, grief, and trauma. Different examples of breathwork exercises include box breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, alternate nostril breathing, pursed lip breathing, and diaphragmatic breathing.
Developing a good breathwork exercise can be beneficial for those of us that experience anxiety. Anxiety can take our minds millions of miles away into the future, while breathwork can ground us in the present moment.
Have you heard the phrase 'finding your happy place'? Your brain and body might truly become more relaxed if you visualize a peaceful setting.
Sit in a calm, relaxing location when you start to feel anxious. Consider where you would like to unwind. Although it could be anywhere in the world, actual or imagined, it needs to be a scene that makes you feel incredibly safe, content, and tranquil.
Make sure it's simple enough to think about so you can come back to it later on when you're feeling anxious. Consider all the minute details you would discover if you were there. Imagine the environment's aroma, ambience, and sound.
The key idea of anxiety exercises is to find something, be it coloring, doing a crossword puzzle, writing, knitting, or anything else that occupies your hands so that the mind will help keep anxiety at bay.
Living with anxiety doesn't have to feel like a life sentence. Take a proactive role in your mental health treatment, and find techniques that work for you to help manage your anxiety.
Janvi Kapur is a counselor with a Master's degree in applied psychology with a specialization in clinical psychology.
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