Have you caught yourself thinking the same thing over and over? Do you often think about what did not happen, but could have happened? If so, you are probably suffering from anxiety and anxiety. Worry is a form of thinking. It can be repetitive and unproductive because it does not solve the situation, and sometimes it can only make it worse. When you are anxious, your stress levels go up. It can affect your decision-making skills, your happiness, and your relationships. Anxiety may not seem like a big deal at first, but it can quickly spiral out of control and take over your life. If you feel like you can no longer control your anxious thoughts, then it's time to take back control of your mind and eliminate worry and anxiety.
Method 1 of 5: Identifying anxiety
Step 1. What is anxiety?
You can't solve a problem if you don't know what it is, so the first thing to do is find out what anxiety looks like to you.
- Write down how you feel when you think you are worried. This will help you start recording your feelings, what is happening around you and your thoughts. Pay attention to the sensations in your body - perhaps your muscles are tense or your stomach hurts. Later, you can return to your notes and analyze what led you to such feelings.
- Ask others to help you identify when you are experiencing anxiety. Sometimes when anxious people start asking a lot of questions, trying to get the feeling that they know what will happen next. Typically, people who are worried will talk about it and their friends and family will know that they are worried. Let the people close to you point this out to you, so it will be easier for you to understand how worried you are.
Step 2. Separate the real from the unreal
Uncertainty is a cause for concern. This makes sense, because the unknown can be scary. In the future, there are many possible scenarios for the development of events. Their problem is that the worst of them will most likely never materialize, which means that your anxiety will be unreasonable. This is why excitement is unproductive. In defining anxiety, it is important to understand whether you are worried about what is really happening or what COULD happen.
- Write down what worries you. Circle what is actually happening and cross out what might have happened. Focus only on what's going on, because at the moment you can only work with that.
- It's okay to plan and prepare for the future, but once you've done that, accept the fact that you've done everything you could possibly have done so far.
Step 3. Ask yourself if your thoughts are productive?
When we think about something, it is easy to get off course and start thinking about what might have happened. When you are in a stressful situation, anxiety can prevent you from knowing if you have chosen the right path to deal with the situation. Ask yourself if your thoughts are helping you get out of the situation. If the answer is no, then know that it is a concern.
- A broken car would be a good example here. You need to get to work, but you have no idea how to do it without a car. You immediately start thinking about how you are losing your job for not showing up at your workplace. Then you start thinking that you will not have the money to pay your rent and you will lose your home. As you can see for yourself, thoughts quickly replace one another, spinning up a possible negative situation. However, if you focus on the current situation, you will not have to cope with the loss of your job or apartment. This can be a huge relief since you don't really know if these things will happen.
- You love your children very much. You don't want anything to happen to them, so you take all necessary precautions to keep them from getting sick. You stay up all night thinking about all the different new ways they might have picked up the infection that day. Better to focus on their health, safety and happiness, this will allow you to have a good time with your children that will be beneficial for them, return to the present and stop going down the spiral of anxiety.
Step 4. Write down the reasons for your concern from the past, present and future
Some people worry about the past and how it affected them. Others worry about what they are doing now and how it will affect their future. There are even those who worry about everything at once - about the past, present and future. Write down the reasons for your worries to bring yourself an instant feeling of cleansing and relief.
- Keep a journal to write down the things that excite you every day. You can do this at the end of the day, or you can simply write down the worry in your journal at the time it occurs.
- Use your smartphone to mark your alarms on it. You can use a note-taking app or a dedicated diary app.
Method 2 of 5: Express Your Concerns
Step 1. Talk to someone you trust
This will help you pour out what is bothering you. Choose a friend or family member who understands your feelings.
- Let your loved one know that you know you are worried, but you just need to get it out of your head so you can move on. In most cases, the loved one will understand you and will be more than happy to listen to you.
- If possible, find someone who is worried about the same as you, so you will feel less alone in your anxiety. You can then work together to release the fears by focusing on what is true in the moment.
- Sometimes anxiety is triggered by the feeling that you are going through something difficult on your own. Talking to a loved one will provide you with a sense of support and comfort.
Step 2. Make diary entries about situations that bother you
Keep writing until you can no longer write about it. This free form of writing can open up some of the questions that your subconscious is dealing with at the moment. You may be surprised by what you write, since in most cases your worries are hidden in something that you do not really understand on a conscious level.
Step 3. Talk to your therapist about your concerns
A professional can help you express your concerns, process them, and let them go. The therapist understands that anxiety is a state of mind that can be changed. You just need to work on it and follow the instructions of a specialist.
- Find a therapist with experience working with people who suffer from anxiety and anxiety disorders.
- Tell your doctor that you are working to eliminate anxiety in order to improve your emotional well-being and your life.
- Don't be afraid to discuss your deepest experiences. Sometimes this is the only way to bring them to the surface and release them.
Method 3 of 5: Let go of worry and anxiety
Step 1. Ask yourself if worry is doing you any good?
After all, you want to take care of yourself and do not want to harm yourself in any way. Worry can hurt you, so remind yourself of this. As a rule, when a person is able to be honest with himself, it is easier for him to let go of his worries.
Step 2. Count your breaths
Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. Count your breaths, as anxiety can be exacerbated by high stress levels, and such a simple technique can help reduce that level.
- If you continue to worry, and even this method of calming doesn't help you, allow yourself to think about it for a second and then exhale your worry. Use your breath to release your anxiety.
- Do this as much as you need to feel relaxed. For some, 10 breaths are enough, and some inhale and exhale up to 20 times. You do not need to decide on the quantity before starting this technique. Count to 10 and then allow yourself to assess whether you should continue.
Step 3. Give yourself half an hour to worry
Learn to control your anxiety by giving it only 30 minutes. When that half hour has passed, tell yourself that you need to focus on other things. It will be helpful to set a timer so that you know exactly when this time will pass and not exceed the set limit.
Step 4. Use the technique of stopping thoughts
Once you start worrying, tell yourself to stop. When you tell yourself to stop, that action replaces the negative thought. You can do it out loud, or you can do it with the help of internal dialogue. Many psychotherapists use this technique to help people avoid negative thoughts. As soon as anxiety creeps into your mind, tell yourself to stop and you will quickly get rid of it. Just keep in mind that this is a learned behavior. It may not be very effective at first, but after some practice, you should be able to chop down any worrying thoughts at the root. This technique works better for some than for others. If you find that this method does not work for you, try the mindfulness technique.
Step 5. Train yourself not to worry
Place a rubber band around your wrist and slap it on your arm whenever you start to worry. This is a form of thought-stopping technique, it will help you stop the flow of anxious thoughts and focus on the present again.
Step 6. Take something in hand
Research shows that people with busy hands are less likely to worry. When you are focused on what you have in your hands, you will be less focused on your thoughts. You can pick up a rosary or an anti-stress ball. Try counting the beads on a rosary or squeezing the ball at a specific rhythm.
Method 4 of 5: Take Care of Yourself
Step 1. Get enough sleep
Most people need seven hours of sleep a night. Since sleep deprivation can contribute to increased stress levels, leading to anxiety, it is very important to get enough sleep.
- If you find it difficult to fall asleep at night due to anxiety, talk to your doctor. To get yourself back to normal sleep, which may be enough to relieve anxiety, you may need sleep aids.
- If you want to use natural sleeping pills, you can take melatonin. Check with your doctor before taking it to make sure it is safe for you.
Step 2. Eat healthy foods
The vitamins and nutrients you get from healthy foods can help you lower blood pressure and improve brain function, which can help relieve stress. This can lead to less anxiety.
Step 3. Exercise
Exercise reduces stress levels and you stop worrying so much. When you are anxious, going for a run can help you as it is very difficult to be physically active and anxious. Vigorous physical activity also helps the body produce endorphins, which can calm you down while providing energy for a long day.
- Take a bike ride and enjoy the beautiful scenery around you.
- Go for a jog in the park.
- Play tennis with a friend.
- Take a walk in the garden.
- Go hiking with your friends in the woods.
Method 5 of 5: Meditate
Step 1. Start meditating daily
Research shows that meditation can calm the mind and reduce anxiety. Since anxiety is rooted in anxiety, it can be helpful to get your nerves under control so that you worry less or not at all.
Step 2. Sit with your legs crossed and your arms at your sides
This will relax your body. When you can relax your body, the mind takes it as a sign that you are safe and it can begin the relaxation process.
- If you cannot cross your legs, sit in whatever position is comfortable for you.
- You can even lie down, just make sure you don't get too comfortable or fall asleep.
- If you are sitting in a chair, make sure that you are soft around you so that you do not hurt yourself if you do fall asleep while meditating. This can happen to some people due to the intense relaxation they experience during meditation.
Step 3. Close your eyes and focus on your breathing
You have your own internal calming mechanism - breathing. When you focus on your breathing, you notice the speed of your breathing. If you are breathing too fast, simply slow down the rhythm of your breathing by taking a deeper breath and a fuller exhalation.
Try counting your breaths. Inhale for three seconds and then exhale for three seconds. Hold your breath for one to two seconds before exhaling. To relax, do everything slowly but surely
Step 4. Focus on how you are feeling in the moment and allow yourself to feel calm
Pay attention to what is going on inside you during meditation. If you feel anxious, repeat the word “calm” to yourself. You can choose another word or even a sound, just let it be something that calms you down.
If you are thinking about something that is bothering you, do not drive those thoughts away, otherwise you will just worry even more. Think about the worry for just a moment and then let it go. You can even say to yourself “Let go…”
Step 5. Stand up slowly
To return yourself to the day, slowly open your eyes, sit for a moment in silence, and then rise to your feet. Stretch out if needed and return to your day feeling relaxed and totally at peace. Calmly and slowly move on to your daily activities, this will relieve the anxiety that can lead to anxiety.
- Use these methods whenever you find yourself worrying too much for too long.
- It takes practice to eliminate anxiety, so keep using these methods until they work for you.
- Do not allow yourself to become anxious about the anxiety you are experiencing, this will only make the situation worse. Allow yourself to feel anxiety and then try to move away from it using the above methods.
- If you can't stop worrying, no matter what you try, seek professional help from a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or other doctor.
- If you feel like harming yourself or others, call the Suicide Prevention Hotline.
- Anxiety can lead to depression. If you have been experiencing depression symptoms for more than a week, seek help from a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, or neurologist.