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Health and Fitness News

Serenity Now

Anxious? Here are six ways to relieve anxiety in the moment.

An upcoming deadline at work, a bill that’s due before payday, or a relationship that’s on the rocks are understandable reasons to worry a little. But maybe you suffer from anxiety concerning little things that aren’t worth worrying about like being around people, little spiders, getting sick, or making a mistake.

Millions of people suffer from generalized anxiety disorders (GAD). For people with GAD, anxiety doesn’t occur just when bad things happen. Rather, it’s a daily part of their lives that affects relationships, work, and social activities.
When you’re feeling anxious for any reason, whether valid or not, here are six ways to calm your mind in the moment.

Breathe Deep

During times of stress, it’s normal for your breathing patters to change. Relaxing breaths sudden turn to fast, shallow ones. Breathing this way triggers an adrenaline response that leads to shortness of breath, dizziness, tingling in the hands and feet, and nausea, all symptoms of hyperventilation and panic attacks.

Learning to control your breathing reverses those symptoms and tells your body to relax. Breathe in slowly through your nose. Hold your breath for several seconds then breathe out slowly through your lips. Repeat this pattern for a minute or two until the anxiety passes.

Focus on the Moment

Rather than worrying about all the things that could possibly go wrong in the future, play a mind game in the moment. Right now you are okay. Stay in the moment by focusing on what’s going on around you. One at a time, slowly think through your five senses. What do you see, hear, feel, taste, and smell? Doing an activity like this takes your mind off what’s causing anxiety and puts it on something else. Before you know it, you can’t even remember why you were anxious.

Take a Run

Anxiety triggers the adrenaline response that preps your body for action. Sitting around feeling anxious causes your adrenaline hormones to build up and make you tense. This is one reason why exercise is such a great stress reliever. It burns away those hormones, eases muscle tension, forces you to breath deeper and heavier, distracts you from anxiety, and releases endorphins that improve your mood.

The next time you feel anxious try doing some sort of aerobic activity. Go for a walk, run, or bike ride. If you don’t have time or it’s raining, do some jumping jacks or push-ups.

Turn on Music

Music has a powerful effect on your mood. It’s amazing how the right kind of music can calm your anxiety. The key is to choose songs whose melody and words represent the way you want to feel. Listening to heavy metal with depressing lyrics is probably not the best option. Find a go-to album or song you can listen to when anxiety starts building. Sing and dance along to distract yourself from your worries.

Mentally Escape

When your mind won’t give you any rest, it’s time to mentally escape. Think of a safe and relaxing place you’ve been before or maybe somewhere you’ve seen in a magazine or on television. This could be at the beach, by a mountain stream, or even in your soft bed. Take your mind off of your anxious thoughts and imagine yourself relaxing at this place.

Schedule Your Worry

Give yourself one hour a week to worry. Schedule a time twice a week for half an hour or three times a week for 20 minutes. During this time, do all your thinking, worrying, and obsessing. When you start to feel anxious at other times during the week, tell yourself it’s not time to worry. Knowing you have a set time to be anxious frees you from feeling the need to worry all the time.