7 Surprising Tips For Anxiety That Actually Work
40 million people struggle with anxiety and depression every day in the U.S. alone. These numbers are staggering. Anxiety can come in many forms, faces, and experiences in life. While many people will tell us that anxiety is created by our worrying about the future, anxiety can also be produced by thinking back to past events that we have not let go of.
Recently, I was working with a woman who has been divorced for three years. She continued to second-guess herself in regards to filing for divorce, creating anxiety every day. As she shared with me during a recent session, she’s jealous because her former husband has a new girlfriend, who is reaping the benefits that she used to call her own.
She woke up early in the morning, unable to sleep, wondering if she made a mistake in divorcing him. Her anxiety is based in the past. She has not come to an acceptance, that leaving an alcoholic, leaving a man who is not emotionally connected or available, was the right move. When I gave her an exercise to write out all of the reasons that she divorced him, her anxiety started to be minimized immediately. How about you? Are you anxious about decisions you made from the past, and trying to live in the present? Or are you more anxious about what might happen in the future, versus living in the present now?
Below, I will list a few key steps to help you learn how to deal with anxiety in a better way starting right now. This information, should never take the place of medical intervention, but rather should be an adjunct to you working with your doctor in regards to alleviating anxiety in your life.
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1) Write Down Why
What causes your anxiety? Write it down. Is it something that you did in the past, that you need to come to an understanding or acceptance of? Do you need to let yourself off the hook finally, and forgive yourself for decisions you made in the past? Or is it future-based? Are you worried about your health? Finances? Children? Being single for the rest of your life? We can start to diminish the hold anxiety has on us simply by trying to locate in writing where the anxiety is coming from. Is it a past event or a future event?
To become more in tune to the present moment, learn how to meditate, or even practicing 10 deep breaths when you get up, at noon, and at 10 at night could actually be a great move in regards to decreasing your anxious response to the world. Deep breathing, just 10 simple deep breaths, can immediately start to lower your heart rate and blood pressure. Start this practice today.
3) Use lavender
The scent of lavender has an immediate and powerful relaxation effect on the brain. Sprinkle drops of the essential oil of lavender on your pillow at night. Carry a bottle with you in your purse or pocket and when you start to feel anxious take 10 deep breaths directly from the bottle of the essential oil of lavender. It absolutely works.
4) Seek professional help
Get in with a counselor, therapist or life coach starting right now today. Ask them to give you reading assignments, writing assignments on a weekly basis in order to get to the core cause of your anxiety, and also to help you alleviate some of the symptoms. In my practice of 28 years, I rarely see anxiety as a genetic problem, but rather, more often than not my anxiety-ridden clients will have a mom and or a dad who are anxious as well. They picked up the traits from childhood, by observing a parent who was filled with anxiety and they just carried it forward in life.
5) Get physical
It is a well-known fact that exercise reduces anxiety in our life. Even 30 minutes of walking in your neighborhood can have an anxiety-reducing effect.
6) Remove caffeine
Cut way back, or eliminate caffeine. If you’re struggling with anxiety, caffeine will only exacerbate the effects of anxiety in your life. Go slow, start to minimize any and all caffeine in your life today until you’re totally off of this substance. If you follow the above, there’s a very good chance that you will start to reduce the anxiety in your life right now. But don’t forgo medical help, because it could be one of the other tools to use in order to get anxiety under control.
The most important thing that you can do for yourself, is to start now. Most of the above steps can be done without any planning, and don’t overthink it as many anxious people do. Start today, change your lifestyle, change your life.
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