When anxiety is a part of your everyday life, it’s easy to live with it and try to ignore its impact. With high-functioning anxiety, you still fulfill your responsibilities, get through the day, and even exceed your goals. Though you’re coping with your anxiety, it’s still adding stress and may be contributing to physical symptoms as well.
If you struggle with anxiety, you’re certainly not alone. Believe it or not, you don’t have to feel anxious all the time. It’s possible to exceed your goals without feeling constant pressure or anxiety — and here are a few tools you can use to help you get there.
Understanding your triggers
It is beneficial to practice understanding your triggers when dealing with anxiety. This way, when you are in a high-stress situation, you can implement anxiety-reduction tactics. Whether it is deep breathing, taking a walk, or implementing positive self-talk, there is an abundance of tactics you can use to ease yourself out of an overly anxious state.
Remember that you’re experiencing an anxiety trigger, and while your emotions are understandable, the circumstance will pass. You’ll get through it, and as you learn and understand your triggers, they may become easier to manage over time.
Don’t Try to Fight or Fix It
When we feel the sensations of anxiety, our instinct is to try to push away the feelings, try to fight them, or figure out a way to fix them. The problem is that this just digs us deeper into anxiety and makes the anxious feelings even stronger. This is because when we perceive that anxiety is dangerous, our brain begins to believe that it’s threatening and then, as a result, sets off even more alarm signals.
If we believe that feelings of anxiety are just sensations and treat them as no big deal, our brain picks up on that. The key is to allow fear and anxiety to be present, without trying to change or fix them. This may sound challenging, but practicing feeling these sensations without buying into a sense of panic will allow them to go away more easily.
The mind-body connection is amazing. As the body absorbs physical experiences, it also delivers them to the brain as messages, which can influence our emotions and mood. Slow, deep breathing can send messages of safety and calm to the brain.
Try a few different breathing exercises and see which one works for you. One of my favorites is the Alternate Nostril Breathing technique, which entails gently using two fingers to alternate closing off each nostril as you breathe.
1. Sit up straight and comfortably.
2. Start with whatever nostril you prefer. Gently hold the other one closed. Breathe in through the open one.
3. Then, close that one and open the other one. Exhale and inhale through this.
4. Continue this cycle for ten rounds if you can.
As described above, intentional, deep breathing tells our bodies that it’s okay to relax. They bring oxygen into our blood. It triggers the parasympathetic system, also known as the rest and digest system. As this happens, anxiety will decrease, and our body will start to calm.
While there are numerous coping methods that you can practice on your own, you may want expert assistance. Anxiety is difficult to manage, and if you want to modify how it affects your life, long-term remedies are required.
Therapy might assist you in making sense of your anxiety and developing coping strategies. You may go forward with a sense of empowerment as you make sense of your anxiety and discover more about your triggers.
Many individuals go through life letting anxiety control them—but you can regain control. To discover more about how we can help you with your anxiety, please contact us for a free consultation. Contact us or call 202-656-3376 to discuss anxiety therapy and see if it is right for you. We offer free phone consultations to answer any further questions you may have.