You Can Overcome Anxiety: Here's How! | Caravan Sonnet

You Can Overcome Anxiety: Here's How!

June 9, 2020

Racing heart, sweaty palms, and a feeling of deep dread? Yup, that’s anxiety, and it's not much fun. The truth of the matter is that anxiety can be a soul-sucking and excruciating experience, especially for people that suffer from the condition chronically. The good news is that you can overcome anxiety and live a meaningful life. Read on to find out how. 

Breathing 
First of all, our breathing can make a massive difference to our state of consciousness. The reason for this is that as anxiety occurs when a threat triggers the sympathetic nervous system into fight or flight mode.  This change then sends messages to the body to breath in a shallow and fast way, thus reinforcing the anxiety state. 

The good news is that by manually regulating our breathing, we can help the body switch back to parasympathetic mode. (When it is, the body focuses on digestion and rest. A topic you can read bout at courses.lumenlearning.com

There are even several different breathing exercises that can help in this situation. The first is what is known as square breathing , which you can see an example of below. 



Secondly, you can try the belly breathing method where you place your hand on your belly to check if it is rising and falling as you breathe, as opposed to your chest. (Chest breathing is shallow.) 

Finally, there is also a technique called diaphragmatic breathing which is when you forcefully push the outward breath out. Something akin to a woman in labour panting. A method that can also help to cleanse the system and return an equilibrium that will counter feelings of anxiety. 

Mindfulness 
There is another way focusing on your breath can help you to overcome anxiety too. This method is the technique of mindfulness. That is, watching what your body is doing, feeling, and what your mind is thinking, without getting caught up in it. A subject that you can read about in more detail at www.headspace.com/mindfulness

In this technique, the breath is an anchor point. The point that the consciousness is continuously returned to when the mind wanders. The account will wander, of course, because that is its nature, especially when it's full of anxiety-provoking thoughts. 

That is OK, though because when you are mindful, all you need to do is acknowledge that the thoughts are there and bring your attention back to the breath. Something that over time can help you develop a more objective perspective on your thoughts as just thoughts rather than facts. Which, in turn, can help anxiety because we become less distressed by the thoughts when they do occur. 

Relaxation techniques 
Several specific relaxation techniques can help individuals cope with the experience of anxiety. Some of these are relatively new, like progressive muscle relaxation. The aim of which is to tense muscles progressively on purpose, thus signalling to the body to allow them to relax. 

However, others come from older systems of wisdom, such as Yoga Nidra. Otherwise, known as 'Sleep of the Gods'. Check out the guided example at yogajournal.com/meditation/10-steps-of-yoga-nidra. Yoga Nidra is a technique where the individual directs their consciousness to each part of the body. It, therefore, creates a relaxing experience. While also allowing the participant something other than their anxiety on which to focus.  

Diet 
What we eat affects our body and mind in a myriad of ways, and this is especially the case when it comes to anxiety. In particular, you will need to stay away from some substances if you want to overcome anxiety for good. 

Probably the worst offender here is sugar. Yes, I know the stuff states excellent and come in so many different tempting forms from doughnuts to candy bars. However, sugar is like rocket fuel to anxiety because it's essentially pure energy.
This large intake of energy then creates a brief high state which can easily be mistaken or confused with anxiety in the body. Additionally, the 'high' doesn't last very long, and then you will be plunged in a crash after,  where you feel tired and low. Also very similar to how your post anxiety attack body will feel. 

With that in mind, choosing food and drink that contains less refined sugar and more slow-release carbohydrates can help. Fortunately, there are special diets devised to help people do this. One of which is the Low GI or low glycemic index diet. A way of eating that takes into account the science of how fast the sugar in food is released. Something that means they can keep their blood sugar as stable as possible and so limit the impact that this has on their feeling of anxiety. 

Therapy 
Therapy is another great way of overcoming anxiety. Traditional talk therapy, as popularised by Freud, is less used these days. Instead, many modern treatments like Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Acceptance and commitment therapy and emotional response prevention recommend reframing your fears, so they aren't as scary. While also embracing fear rather than fighting against it. 
Currently, when it comes to anxiety and anxiety conditions, the gold standard is all about learning to habituate to what you fear, whether that is spiders, social interaction or speaking in public! 
The good news is that therapies such as CBT, ERP, and ACT have excellent success rates, even for people with severe chronic anxiety conditions, such as OCD, and GAD, A premise you can find more evidence for at https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3718079/. With some experts, also suggest using ERP for PTSD conditions as well. 

Medication  
Wouldn't it be wonderful if we could pop a pill, and all of our anxiety would melt away? Well, that's not the approach that modern medicine takes to anxiety, and that is a good thing. After all, tranquilisers can be addictive and can do more harm than good in the long run. 

Instead, anxiety treatment entails using SSRI type medications. The aim of this is to repair the serotonin balance in the brain and lessen the anxiety. At the same time, the patient learns through therapy strategy to better cope with it. 

Supplements 
Even when suffering from the worst anxiety, many people dislike the idea of taking medication. Fortunately, there are other options to consider, such as using a natural supplement to help make feelings of anxiety more bearable. 

The fact of the matter is that there is a whole range of different supplements that can help with the feelings of anxiety. Probably one of the most common is St John's Wort, although Chamomile, Lavender and Lemon Balm are also popular. 

Recently, many people are also turning to CBD oil products for this purpose. With many reporting that it can help settle their anxiety fast and effectively. Of course, there is a whole range of different types of CBD products to choose from, including CBD rolls on and even lotions. 

Happily, you can get some help at pureplan.com and sites like them as to which type of product will be the most suitable for your needs. Many CBD providers even offer exclusive deals where you can save a significant amount of money if you buy bundles as well. 

Journal 
Some people like the author of this post https://medium.com/@silviabastos also find that the act of journalling their anxiety and anxious feelings to be a powerful tool in managing them too. Just getting out the things that are floating around our mind over and over can be cathartic and help us to get some perspective. 

Journaling can also be useful because it can help us notice patterns and triggers. Once we have established what is setting off our anxiety, we have the power to make a change in our lives to accommodate them. For example, if there is a particular food or drink that you find correlates with your anxiety, skipping it and choosing something else instead can help. 

Although it is worth noting that avoid isn't always a good thing. In particular, the therapies mentioned above often include working through triggers is a systematic way rather than avoiding them. However, this is done very carefully, with support and with a graduated and planned approach. Something that can help the person gain more confidence and know they can cope when things happen in real life as well. 

Stop fighting, aka acceptance. 
If you suffer from anxiety, you may have been fighting so long that the thought of putting down your hypothetical boxing gloves can be terrifying in itself. However, as the post at https://www.healthline.com suggests, there is a great deal to be said for acceptance of anxiety. After all, it is one of the vital human emotions, and that means we will all feel it throughout our lives. 

This strategy of acceptance builds on the idea that while unpleasant, anxiety is an entirely natural experience and doesn't need to be pathologized, or eradicated. 

Instead, the idea is to use mindfulness techniques like the ones mentioned above to notice its presence and allow it to move through our consciousness in its own time. Yes, it could take a long time to change in intensity; it may even sometimes go up. However, when our egos get out of the way and let this feeling move through us without putting up barriers, it can finally move. Eventually, leave our consciousness rather than being caught in an endless cycle that causes more and more anxiety and suffering. 

*contributed post*

Post a Comment