Anxiety Busts – Steps to Reduce Feeling Anxious
Steps to Reduce Feeling Anxious
Anxiety plagues many of us in our personal lives, professional careers, and, for some, even in the small day to day tasks. When you’re feeling anxious, you may feel stuck or uncertain with what steps to take to feel better or get moving in the right direction.
With the hustle and bustle of the holidays well underway, the anxiety can ramp up even more with finding the time to get all the to-lists accomplished.
Thankfully, there are tools and techniques that you can use to help you manage anxiety effectively.
First, accept that you’re feeling anxious. Sometimes, simply accepting that you feel anxious or worried can be helpful. By practicing acceptance, you stop the perpetual nature that often comes with anxiety.
Second, take a deep breath. Research shows that deep diaphragmatic breathing is a technique that activates the body’s relaxation response. Taking a few moments to slowly inhale, filling your chest with air and gently holding your breath for a moment, and slowly exhaling, repeating several times.
Third, use a calming visualization when you’re in an anxious moment. My clients often create a safe, peaceful place that they can picture themselves at when anxiety becomes overwhelming. Watch ocean waves come to shore or clouds float by, along with the negative emotions.
Fourth, question your thoughts. As a therapist who utilizes Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, it is important to recognize your thoughts and question your thoughts are highly unrealistic or unlikely to occur.
To challenge your thoughts, ask yourself:
- Is this really likely to happen?
- If the worst possible outcome happens, what would be so bad about that?
- Could I handle that?
Fifth, focus on meaningful activities. By focusing your attention on meaningful activities, you spend less time focusing on what makes you anxious. Continue to do important tasks, get out of your head, and get busy!