5 Techniques for Managing Anxiety
Anxiety is one of the most common mental problems dealt with in society. Some people deal with it more often and more intensely then others. Whether you deal with anxiety minimally or to the point where some days you feel like you’re losing your mind, here are some tips and techniques to cope with your anxiety
“Just as a storm cannot destroy the sky, your thoughts cannot destroy your mind.”
1. Learn to breath. I realize this sounds stupid and obvious, but breathing is HUGE. When you are anxious your heart beats faster and there is nothing you can do about that. However, your breathing also gets faster and that you can control. If you can control your breathing, your heartbeat slows back down, and your anxiety resides.
Here’s how: Take deep breaths. Inhale to the count of 3 and exhale to the count of 4. Exhaling more then you inhale slows your heartbeat. Try to keep a steady flow of air going in and out. Focus on every single breath as air goes in and out and count the seconds. It will take at least a couple minutes for your heart to slow back down, so do this for about 3-5 minutes or until you feel relaxed. There is actually a great app “breathing zone” that I find very helpful.
2. Guided Meditation. This is my favorite for those nights when you are lying awake at night worrying about the next day and getting to sleep. There are tons of great guided meditations on youtube and are a great way to “mentally escape,” your issues, which usually helps calm you and fall asleep. My personal favorite is a group on Youtube called “The Honest Guys.” They have tons of different guided meditations that range from a few minutes to hours. Personally I think you only really need 10-15 minutes.
3. Finding safe outlets. When we have anxiety attacks what we are usually experiencing are primal survival patterns in the brain that ramp up adrenaline and prepare the body for a fight. This is commonly known as fight or flight. The problem is often there is no real fight or reason for the increased adrenaline, but our mind thinks it’s being threatened so it increases the heart and pumps us with adrenaline. This feeling will subside usually after a few minutes, but sometimes the anxiety seems to linger around and we need to get rid of all that energy + adrenaline our body has just created in a safe + healthy manner. Some good ways are:
– Hit the gym
– Punch or scream into a pillow
– Have sex or masterbate
– Go for a run
– Do pushups
4. Talking about it openly with friends, family, anyone! – Yes, it’s that simple and very helpful. When I first started getting anxiety and anxiety attacks I kept it completely to myself. I thought people would think I’m weird, weak, or just crazy and kept all these uncomfortable feelings to myself. The moment I opened up, not only did NO ONE think any of those negative things about me, but people opened up to me about their anxiety and fears and I realized how common it was. In fact, I got a lot closer to many of my friends and family members because of this openness. We helped each other and talked through issues. The funny thing too is once all my friends and family knew about it, I was much less anxious. It was all out in the open with nothing to hide and knowing that it wasn’t a big deal made me calmer and less stressed.
5. Exercise or Yoga. Exercising 3 times a week for 20 minutes at a time is significantly more effective at increasing your mood and decreasing stress or anxiety than ANY anti-depressant or anti-anxiety pill out there. And before you bullshit yourself into “I don’t have time to exercise” There are 168 hours in a week and I am talking about investing at least .0006% of that time toward something that will greatly benefit the body and mind. Hit the gym, go for a run, or try yoga.
About Chris Leddy Chris is based out of New York City and has a passion for helping people overcome mental obstacles and improve their lifestyle. Most of his writing is primarily focus on improving mental health among men by helping them overcome anxieties, strengthen their mental state + beliefs, and improve their lifestyle. After ditching the rat race to travel the world alone, he returned, inspired to keep writing and working with people full time. He recently launched a selfimprovement website carefreerealities.com.