Anxiety problems are a very common source of discomfort. In fact, anxiety disorders are among the most common psychopathologies in virtually all age groups, and are even extremely common in cases where we suffer from anxiety but do not develop a diagnosable disorder, i.e. say the cases in which we have subclinical anxiety but which is a problem for us in certain contexts).
But luckily, no one is doomed to suffer from constant anxiety or have a passive attitude towards this problem. While it is true that no human being can fully control their emotions or mental state in general, there are many things we can do to best modulate stress, anxiety and obsessive thoughts, feedback, etc.
Therefore, in this article we will go over several psychologically healthy habits that help us manage anxiety, either by managing it once it has appeared, or by preventing it from growing too much in us.
How does this affect anxiety?
What we call anxiety is a consequence of biological and psychological predispositions that cause us to be on high alert when we sense that we have to face a challenge, which forces us to take control of our actions to avoid a risk or a danger.
It is therefore closely linked to stress, a set of physiological reactions that it makes us more sensitive to stimuli that come to us from the environment and leads us to keep our muscles tense to react quickly, among other things related to the alarm function of our body.
Neither anxiety nor stress is a problem that we should try to eliminate completely from our lives; we are often predisposed to act quickly when faced with problems that need to be resolved as quickly as possible. However, it is important to develop the skills to deal with them psychologically.
Why is it important to learn to manage anxiety?
As we have seen, anxiety is one of the natural predispositions present in the functioning of the human body and in most cases it not only does not harm us, but it helps us to cope with problems and situations. complicated of life. .
However, Sometimes anxiety causes us to internalize unfounded worries or dysfunctional ways of dealing with anxiety., so that becomes part of the problem. For example, this is what happens when the fear of failure paralyzes us and causes us to avoid thinking about what we need to solve, causing the problem to get worse as we lose. time.
In fact, one of the hallmarks of dysfunctional anxiety is the ability to put us in a loop. It happens when the actions we take to momentarily relieve the discomfort it is causing us, they make us more vulnerable to future anxiety problems in the medium and long term.
Some clear examples: smoking to try to relax or to eat without feeling hungry, even if it is not good for our health and can even cause feelings of guilt, dissatisfaction with our body, discomfort to emerge in us if we don’t have one. access to these physical resources, etc. And the dependence we establish on these “fixed” ways of dealing with stress or anxiety also means that our surroundings have more elements that remind us of what worries us.
That’s why it’s essential to learn ways to harness the potential of anxiety and prevent it from plunging us into one of those vicious anxious circles.
Habits to promote good anxiety management
Although anxiety is largely a physiological phenomenon, that doesn’t mean that when faced with the problems it causes us, we sometimes have to come to terms with the symptoms.. The distinction between the biological, on the one hand, and what can be learned or corrected by behavior, on the other hand, is artificial, which is why depending on what we do, we can experience the anxious processes of a more or less appropriately. .
So, there are a number of habits that help us regulate anxiety while maintaining the right emotional balance and not replicating the patterns of behavior that help keep it high.
1. Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness has been shown to be very effective in learning how to regulate stress and anxiety., and even the discomfort generated by chronic pain. This set of practices allows us to focus our attention on the here and now, avoiding getting caught up in the loop of intrusive thoughts or confusion between what we fear most and what is reasonable to expect. of the future. Basically, it is about experiencing stimuli and our mental states as they are in the present, without prejudging them or endowing them with moral qualities related to what we remember or expect to happen.
2. Controlled breathing exercises
Controlled breathing and enjoying the full potential of our diaphragm is another way to position ourselves in the present while we favor in us a physiological state which corresponds to calm. It’s a relatively simple and effective way to not get carried away with fear and focus on what we can do here and now.
3. Fixed audio schedules
Clearly knowing when to bed and when to wake up is essential to maintaining consistent sleep schedules. It should be noted that lack of sleep makes us much more vulnerable to anxiety as our bodies enter a state of “damage control” where the priority is to meet the demands of the present, and not to ensure our well-being by maintaining biological processes linked to medium and long-term health (such as the use of the immune system, a metabolism that allows cell repair fast, etc.).
4. Make time for successful social relationships
It’s not just that talking about our feelings helps us to assimilate them and stop fearing certain contents of our memory by putting words into what causes us anxiety; In addition, good company motivates us to improve ourselves, exposes us to inspiring examples, and makes us more aware of the network of social support we have.
Yes Yes quality is more important than quantity: It is better to connect with friends and relatives who really support us and show us affection and empathy, whereas if we are used to interacting with those who only laugh at us or despise our successes, this loss of self-esteem will hurt us when it comes to managing anxiety.
5. Eat a healthy diet and don’t take medication
As long as we’re not obsessed with avoiding calories or consuming over-processed ingredients, good nutrition is a protective factor that helps prevent anxiety. In this regard, it is especially important to avoid drugs, which includes minimizing or completely eliminating the consumption of alcohol, a substance which is not harmful because it is very normal both physically and mentally.
Are you looking for professional psychological support?
A Adhara Psychology we offer mindfulness and meditation therapy and training services for people of all ages with a humanistic approach.
HUMANIST PSYCHOLOGY CENTER
You can find us in our psychology center in Madrid, or use the online video call session mode.