Many of us experience anxiety and stress regularly. Whether from work, home life, or the pandemic, anxiety can cause physical and mental symptoms that can be uncomfortable. Similar to stress, anxiety can also manifest itself through physical illnesses.
To reduce anxiety, try to sleep for a solid eight hours daily and eat well. Additionally, you can also try the techniques below to reduce stress and anxiety.
Challenging Negative Thoughts
Start challenging the negative thoughts inside your mind. These thoughts can trigger anxiety. You can keep a journal to jot down what you think, as it may help you understand your thoughts better.
Two techniques that can help you challenge your thoughts are:
1. ABCDE Technique
Attention: In a state of distress, focus on the thoughts going inside your head.
Believe: Do not believe in everything you think.
Challenge: Challenge your thoughts by asking essential questions. What is the background behind the thought? Is it true? Is there a bigger picture behind it?
Discount: Let go of any thought that is not true or helpful.
Explore options: Ask yourself if you can focus on something useful that can help you feel good. Look around yourself to find the best option.
2. THINK Technique
True: Is the thought in my head wholly accurate? If it is not entirely true, which part of the thought is fact and opinion?
Helpful: Is focusing on the thought helpful for you or the people around you?
Inspiring: Is it inspiring you?
Necessary: Is it essential to pay attention to the thought or act on it?
Kind: Is the thought of kind nature?
Slow and Deep Breathing
Slow and deep breathing exercises can help reduce anxiety and stress. A type of deep breathing, called diaphragmatic breathing, is more helpful while trying to cope with anxiety.
Exercising regularly can significantly reduce anxiety in two ways:
- Firstly, while working out, you are focused on your actions, which helps divert your mind from the thoughts causing you anxiety.
- Secondly, exercise also plays a role in decreasing muscle tension. Relaxed muscles can help you feel less anxious and at ease.
Mindfulness meditation can be effective in alleviating anxiety. During meditation, sit comfortably and focus on your breathing movements. Avoid thinking about past or future concerns and focus on the present while meditating.
Listening to Music
Listening to calming music is excellent for your mental health. It can aid in calming the stressed state of your mind and soul. Music therapy is often recommended for critically ill patients as it can significantly reduce anxiety and stress levels.
Some people procrastinate to avoid dealing with the stress related to the task. This action can lead to immense pressure at the last minute, resulting in increased anxiety and stress. Therefore, always try to do your tasks before the deadline.
If you still feel overwhelmed, speak to your doctor about your stress and anxiety levels.
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