An APA study found that 12% of millennials have a diagnosed anxiety disorder. But you don’t have to have to have a diagnosed disorder to experience anxiety. The symptoms of anxiety vary person to person, but common ones include irritability, feeling nervous, an increased heart rate, feeling weak or tired, nausea, and/or a sense of impending doom.
If youv’e experienced it, you know it’s a tough thing to deal with. It can make you feel out of control and seems to happen at any time. Whether it occurs during a study session, a midterm exam, your work day or daily activity, it can be simmered down with a couple of techniques:
Take a Big Breath
First things first, take a big breath. Close your eyes and make sure your breath leads into the belly. Big breaths press on the vagus nerve which tells your brain that you’re safe. There’s nothing like letting out some stress and worry with a huge sigh of RELIEF.
Tip: You will want to take a big breath in your nose for at least 5 seconds and let it all out from your mouth.
Another form of breathing can be done through yoga. Yoga helps to de-stress your body while clearing your mind of thoughts. You don’t need an hour-long class to feel the benefits; Take a five-minute break from your desk at work or in the library at school.
Yoga can be practiced anywhere, that’s the greatest part about it! Try these moves on-the-go whenever you’re feeling anxious, nervous or worried:
Exercising is one of the easiest ways to get your quick fix of stress and anxiety relief. Working out causes your body to produce endorphins, the feel good chemical that triggers a positive feeling.
In times of emotional stress and pain, exercising can help you cope with negative feelings you may be experiencing. If you need a more vigorous workout, try running, a cycling, kickboxing or weight lifting class.
Notice Your Surroundings
Take a couple of minutes to realize where you are and reassure yourself that things are going to be alright. Anxiety can make you feel like you’re not leveled and can be extremely frightening in certain circumstances, such as driving.
Anxiety can sometimes create tunnel vision and feeling like your heart is beating a thousand times per minute. Whenever I experience anxiety and I’m not feeling grounded, I tend to pinch myself or stick my hand outside of my car window. Focus on the things you can immediately touch and feel. What are you wearing? Where are your feet planted? What are you sitting on? This technique helps you to distinguish reality from anxiety.
Stop Overthinking Everything
I know, It’s easier said than done. I tend to overthink a lot and I’ve tried really hard lately to keep myself from doing it. Thinking about all of the ways something might happen isn’t healthy. Instead of worrying over something that hasn’t happened, try to do something about it. If you know when your anxiety and stress might occur, think of ways to help diffuse those feelings the best that you can.
Anxiety can be triggered by various events such as fear, change, living in the past, overthinking and putting yourself down. These things shouldn’t stop you from living your life, but as we all know, they can and they do. If you suffer from or experience anxiety, test out some of the tips above to alleviate the stress and worry.
I’ll leave you with this quote from the gorgeous and talented Anne Hathaway,
There’s no magic bullet; there’s no pill that you take that makes everything great and makes you happy all the time. I’m letting go of those expectations, and that’s opening me up to moments of transcendent bliss.
If your anxiety is preventing you from going to work or school, living your life, interacting with others, and/or taking care of yourself, we urge you to seek out professional guidance as soon as possible.