The suspense is killing me! - Does this statement sound familiar? Anxiety is nothing but the feeling of discomfort and nervousness about something that’s about to happen, or a situation that can or will arise. In today’s day and age, we are all pretty ‘woke’ about this phenomenon but unfortunately, very few of us know how to cope with it. It can be as easy or difficult as you make it for yourself. Remember that it’s all in the mind.
Disclaimer: You must not rely on the information on this blog as an alternative to medical advice from your doctor or therapist. If you have any specific concerns about your mental health, please consult your doctor and don’t delay seeking medical advice, or treatment for your mental health.
Here are a few ways that can help reduce this unwanted feeling which is definitely not welcome!
99% of us only engage in shallow breathing I.E. breathing from the top part of the lungs. The moment you feel like the anxiety is all consuming, focus on deeper breaths. Take deep breaths (count till 4) till you physically feel like your lungs are thanking you. Anxiety is nothing but you worrying about something that’s happened in the past, or will happen in the future. Focusing on breathing basically helps to bring you back to reality so that you feel more in control about the present. If breathing seems slow as a process, you can immediately engage in a physical activity like running, dance or work out which would distract you and change your breathing patterns too!
Focus on the sunshine & move
This all-encompassing feeling is obviously not a good one! So it’s best to try and focus on the positives, than drown in the nervousness of the negatives that can/could happen. Seat yourself in the coziest nooks of your home, and indulge in self-talk; about the things that make you happy and the things that don’t. Once you know what’s in your control and what’s not, the anxiety should reduce on its own. And don’t forget to move – be it dance, run, workout, or just a walk in your locality. Physical activity triggers a release of dopamine and serotonin, which helps improve mood.
Time to unplug
Take some time off, for yourself. Go for that coffee. Get yourself a spa treatment. Address the things you love about yourself. Indulge in your favourite workout. Sleep a little more than you usually do. Also, keep in mind that lavender oil has many healing properties and can be used as a natural remedy to reduce anxiety and other nervous conditions. The LoveChild Lavender Essential Oil formulated by Masaba Gupta is a sure shot way to alleviate anxiety and soothe your senses. While its divine fragrance has a calming effect, it also promotes better sleep quality by regulating bodily processes like lowering the heart rate and slowing the breath.
Ice ice baby
A sure-shot way of snapping you back to reality is to stand under a cold shower. A more hardcore way would be to fill a large bowl with cold water and some ice cubes, and dunk your face in the water for 30 seconds. Is it extreme? Yes. But it also works. It tricks your body into thinking you’re swimming, so your heart rate slows, and your body becomes calmer.
Eat well, sleep well
There’s nothing that ‘8-hours of sleep & a wholesome meal’ cannot do. You can also indulge in dark chocolate – guilt free! Low serotonin is one of the leading causes of anxiety. Dark chocolate provides large amounts of Tryptophan, an amino acid that also works as a precursor to serotonin. So, it’s possible that by ingesting more dark chocolate, you’re improving your serotonin levels, thus reducing anxiety levels. Another ingredient in chocolate is theobromine — an ingredient that studies have shown can have a positive, mood elevating effect on those that ingest it.
Start with all of these and at least one of these techniques you’re ought to notice a significant change in your ways to cope with anxiety - which will eventually reduce. The key is to give it time, be patient with yourself.
See you on the calm side!