Anxiety is the wave of emotions and physical responses you experience when you feel out of your comfort zone or when you feel threatened by a circumstance or person. Clammy hands, shortness of breath, and dizziness are common symptoms of panic along with a strong desire to escape.
Sounding familiar? You are likely here reading these words because you want to know how to overcome your anxiety. Perhaps you are overwhelmed by current events in your life. Or you might have battled anxiety for a number of years, and you want to find ways to lessen its impact.
You certainly aren’t alone. Millions of people battle anxiety everyday on varying scales and in differing ways. The good news? You don’t need to suffer in silence any longer. There are many powerful methods that can help you overcome your anxiety – and this guide is here to help!
Here are your 7 ways guide to naturally overcoming anxiety, starting today:
1. Identify The Root
Panic and anxiety happens for us all in slightly different ways and for very different reasons. We might become triggered because of past trauma that reminds us of what we went through. Hormones imbalance might be a possible cause. Or we may suffer from further mental health challenges that need further diagnosis. Explore possible causes with medical professionals who can rule out certain possibilities. By learning what might be causing distress, you have far better chances of knowing how to fight your anxiety. For example, as a clinician I like to make my clients aware of what they discount and what may be the trigger of anxiety. Are they discounting their ability and saying “Others can do it, however, I cannot do it”. Therefore, a simple internal statement can cause profound anxiety.
I have personally felt it when I tried to go on my own journey to lose weight. I would always discount my abilities and this was the root cause for my anxiety. When we start working on the root cause of anxiety, we can then find ways to overcome anxiety. So I may help my client journey on what makes them say that they cannot do it, while others can. I worked on my inability to lose weight with a lot of rationalization, nurturing my scared inner child, permissions to be ok, permissions to feel what I am feeling etc. Today I have lost 10 kgs and hopefully I will lose more. However, I have managed to let go of my anxiety related to my health. It may pop up now and then, but the severity has reduced dramatically.
What are your triggers of anxiety? Are you discounting yourself or your abilities? My request to you will be to reflect on it.
2. Be A Great Carer For Yourself
The buzzword around us is ‘self-care’. Despite knowing the importance of self-care, it can fall to the bottom of our priority, especially mental wellness as I notice most of us are taking time out for our physical wellness. Especially so when we face times of stress or our schedule becomes intense. To balance out the depletion that stress causes, level up your self-care efforts. Feed yourself with meals that both taste great and make you feel energised. Sleep regularly and without your smartphone nearby. Enjoy a tech-free day every now and then.
Care for yourself as any great parent would with their child. Be a nurturing parent to yourself. Practice mindfulness activities, like breathing exercises, or taking time out to be with friends you can relax around, just making space for yourself like painting, dancing, hiking etc without the feelings of guilt. It maybe over the weekend or once in two weeks, but when you do things for yourself, notice where is anxiety. Though I would like to say self-care is a balm for every anxiety, it’s not. It can have an adverse effect sometimes. Take note and if needed consult a therapist who can help with therapy.
3. Follow Your Gut
Consider what makes you feel calm. Think about the activities that make you feel the best of yourself. Identify which environments tend to help your mood to lift and which ones do the opposite. Make a list of each of these. Perhaps you enjoy being around animals, gardening or your nerves are calmed when you make time out for a soothing bath each evening. Make plans for your coming week that include a generous handful of activities from your positivity list. Bear in mind the activities (and people) that agitate your mood also and be mindful of how often you engage with them. It’s okay to make yourself a priority when it comes to your mental wellbeing. I enjoy painting and colouring and being creative. This helps me to calm myself.
What about you? I have come across clients who find it difficult to relax with calm activities, they may need anxiety therapy to first work on their root triggers.
4. Create A Support Network
Take some time to identify who you can trust with your emotions when you feel triggered. Let these individuals know how much you trust them and the level of value this part of your relationship has for you. Then, ask them if they would be willing to be a support buddy. This might be in the form of a check-up text once a day, or they might become the person you call when you need to talk through how you’re feeling. Talking things over will help you remove the guilt of asking for help. It will also help them know what they need to do to support you best.
5. Access Nature Therapy
Not all therapy comes with an invoice. Accessing outdoor spaces as often as possible will help you to balance your mood and level your emotions. Getting some gentle exercise while enjoying a dose of nature can boost serotonin (the happy hormone) and help you feel you have accomplished something. If you don’t have time for a long hike, simply take every opportunity you can to connect with the outside world. Even an open window near your office desk can help.
6. Use Creativity to Release Thoughts and Emotions
Writing out how you’re feeling in a notebook can help you to climb down from heightened emotions in a way that feels cathartic. It doesn’t matter what the writing looks like, or how eloquently you voice your feelings. Forget spelling and grammar for now. Focus on writing as fluidly as possible without pausing to criticise what you’re saying. Keep your writing if it helps you to self-reflect, or recycle the pages if they make you feel anchored.
7. Enlist Professional Support
If you were in pain or discomfort of any kind that was not associated with mental health, you would most likely seek a qualified professional to help you treat the illness or injury. If you are struggling to manage your anxiety then reach out to someone who can – and will – help you. There are a range of forms of therapy (and therapists) out there waiting for you. The sooner you put appropriate treatment in place, the sooner you can heal. Your symptoms may reduce simply from knowing you are in control of the situation rather than the other way around.
Anxiety cannot be absolved overnight. Panic is not a creature that leaves all at once. Healing will take a little time. But it is entirely possible. You don’t need to live in fear of what tomorrow will bring or when your anxiety might spike next.
Those midnight hours where you lie awake worrying about what might happen (or what has already gone ‘wrong’ from your perception) don’t need to be a permanent fixture in your life. You can overcome your anxiety —and you really will, in time.