What if they don’t like me? What if they don’t like my presentation? What if they know I’m sweating? What if I fail the exam? What if I don’t get the loan?
You may get down on yourself for your anxiety and actually believe all the negative thoughts are the absolute truth.
The good news is there are many techniques and tools you can take advantage of to manage your anxiety quite effectively. Below are some healthy ways to reduce anxiety right now.
7 Best Steps to Reduce Anxiety
- Take deep breathes
Just breathe…deep breathing is very powerful in reducing anxiety as it will activate the body to respond to relaxing. Slowly inhale to the count of four, first filling your stomach, then your chest. Hold the breath for four counts then exhale slowly to the count of four. Repeat this process several times.
- Accept that you are feeling anxious
Remember, it is just a feeling, an emotional reaction like so many other feelings and reactions. Thinking this way makes it easier to accept. Feeling anxious is not the best feeling, but it is not unendurable.
- Know your brain is tricking you
Your brain can actually make you think you are experiencing a heart attack, when in fact it is a panic attack. Calmly remind yourself you are not dying, it will pass and it’s just your brain playing tricks on you.
- Examine your thoughts
When you’re feeling anxious your brain starts thinking of all kinds of crazy ideas, many of which are not likely to happen. These thoughts just elevate your anxiousness.
Tell yourself those thoughts are not reality and the worst outcome will never be as bad as you are thinking.
Challenge your thoughts by asking yourself the following questions:
- Is this a realistic worry?
- Is it likely to really happen?
- Would it be that bad if the worst possible outcome should happen?
- Would I be alright if it did?
- Is it really true or just seem that way?
- How can I prepare for whatever may happen?
- What would that mean about me if something bad did happen?
“People become attached to their burdens sometimes more than the burdens are attached to them.” ~George Bernard Shaw
- Observe without judgment
Make it a routine to observe feelings, emotions, judgment, sensations and thoughts without judgment but rather with compassion.
- Don’t be a negative talker.
When you are feeling anxious you tend to have negative internal dialogue. Try to replace the negative chatter with more positive ones such as, “my anxiety feels really bad right now but I can try some techniques to manage it.”
“Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength.” ~Charles Spurgeon
- Focus on activities that are meaningful
When you feel anxious, it helps to focus on more meaningful activities. Ask yourself what you would be doing right then if you were not feeling anxious.
If you were going to go shopping, then still go. If you were going bowling, then still do it.
Don’t sit around and obsess about how you’re feeling. Get out of your head; you will feel much better. You can live life even though you are anxious and you will find yourself getting things done.
Instead of fixating on being anxious as nothing good will come of that, focus on getting busy with life.