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Friday, May 18, 2007

Ways to Ease Your Anxiety

Terrorism, the war in Iraq, Hurricanes, global warming, higher prices at the gas pump, crime in the streets… it all ads up to increased anxiety and worry for many Americans.

What are some simple techniques for lowering your anxiety level?
• Learn breathing techniques. When we become anxious our breathing quickens and our breaths become shallow. Practice relaxation breathing by inhaling through your nose and count to 4, hold for the count of 6 and then exhale through your mouth for the count of 8. This will calm your system and lower your anxiety
• Become active. We always talk about exercise and it’s powerful effects on reducing anxiety. Try walking, swimming, or riding a bike. These activities and others will increase your serotonin “feel good” endorphins and reduce our stress levels.
• Learn meditation. Quieting the mind can help you reduce anxiety. Research shows that people who join stress reduction classes and learn meditation and mindfulness experience lower anxiety levels.

You always tell us to seek the help of a professional counselor. What do counselors generally do to help us minimize our anxiety?
• Break our negative thoughts. Therapists help people identity how our thoughts shape our anxiety and fears. Therapists are trained to assist in breaking negative thought patterns that are destructive.
• Break distorted thoughts. Many of our thoughts are unrealistic, or filled with beliefs that might not be realistic. Therapists teach us how to balance our thoughts with positive realistic ones.
• Stress reduction. Therapists teach us techniques for managing our anxiety and skills to monitor our anxiety through increased awareness.

Are there any other things that will help us minimize our anxiety?
• Talk to someone in your support network
• Use visual distractions (TV, movies, video games)
• Use sensory-motor distractions (gardening, crafts, etc)
• Find an alternative positive obsession (crossword or jigsaw puzzle)
• Practice positive affirmations


anxiety remedy said...

Thanks for the post! Deep breathing exercises are excellent for anxiety and many people report positive results from meditation. Some other natural anxiety remedies to look into are St.John's Wort, SAMe, L-Theanine, and Tryptophan.

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panic said...

Yeah. Right breathing technique is very effective in reduction of anxiety. And people think that it is not, just because its simple and easy. Anyways very informative and well written post. Thanks for sharing.

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