How to control anxiety, in 7 useful steps

Anxiety is at the root of many unpleasant experiences in which we live on a daily basis. Fear of speaking in public, fear of failing an exam, wanting to go home after spending a long time in an unfamiliar place … The number of contexts in which this psychological phenomenon is hidden is very important .

So, knowing how to control anxiety is something that can be very helpfulAs there are strategies to achieve this that can be applied in virtually any situation and in a relatively straightforward manner.

    How to control anxiety? Tips and strategies

    Anxiety is a state of activation of the nervous system oriented towards the anticipation of a danger, real or imagined. Being such a general thing, it has a physiological side and a psychological side: in the first there are phenomena such as tremors, sweating and acceleration of the pulse, and in the second there are phenomena such as the emotion of the fear, the desire to avoid an aversive stimulus, and difficulty controlling emotional responses to a situation.

    Now … how do you control anxiety and make its effects dampen or even go away? Let’s see.

    1. Eliminate anxiety attacks

    Many people fall into the trap of going to the refrigerator to cram food whenever they notice that the anxiety is getting too much.

    This can be a very short term solution, but it has a very bad effect in the medium and long term. Because? Because it enters into a reward dynamic of the onset of anxiety episodes. The body gets used to this busy emotional life and that, of course, turns out to be anything but healthy.

    So, something as simple as setting clear limits with meal times can help a lot in not continuing to lead to the onset of anxiety.

    2. Pay attention and do moderate sport.

    We often forget that anxiety is also linked to our self-esteem and our self-image. If we believe that we are insignificant beings and whenever we think about ourselves we focus only on our imperfections, we will obviously come to the conclusion that everyday life is full of dangers for us, and that we must therefore always be vigilant.

    Something as simple as exercising regularly, trying to eat a healthy diet, and maintain good personal hygiene it will make us feel better about ourselves. The results are amazing and are usually noticed within a few days. If it changes the way we think about ourselves, it also changes the way we see the world.

    3. Practice breathing techniques

    In many ways, our mood and emotions largely depend on the degree of activation of the nervous system. If oxygen is lacking, we will experience more stress as our body will go into alarm phase to find a solution to this situation. What is happening is that part of this oxygen deficiency can be due to the way we breathe.

    Breathing techniques help us get the most out of our lungs, allowing us to gain a significant advantage at specific times when we feel overly activated. Plus, giving ourselves a simple exercise to focus our attention on helps us lose sight of that unpleasant feeling of being overwhelmed by the need to multitask, which is very typical of anxious contexts.

      4. Leave what you’re doing and go for a walk

      Often times, anxiety is because we are surrounded by items that remind us of something that is worrying us. Therefore, it helps to disconnect, even for a few moments, and then come back with renewed strength.

      When we go for a walk we have the opportunity to find new stimuli that demand our attention and allow us to “refresh” the mind. Concretely, if you go out in completely unknown places, the references which evoke memories related to what worries us will be much less abundant. In this way, environments in which nature prevails, Like large fields or parks, have been shown to be particularly effective against anxiety.

      These phases in which distraction prevails help to rest, And in this way, we gain the power to change what worries us once we get back to the routine.

      5. Avoid caffeine

      If you consume products that contain caffeine, like coffee or certain cola drinks, you will be cheating. Remember that the distinction between body and mind is only a mirage and that many substances that we usually consume affect the way we feel. Caffeine makes us prone to waking up to stimuli that we wouldn’t normally give much importance to. Controlling anxiety is also through diet.

      6. Sleep well

      This condition is essential, as in a state of sleep it is very easy for everyday situations to overwhelm us. Sleeping well makes us much more prepared for the day-to-day. In fact, not getting enough sleep has been shown to dramatically increase the risk of developing anxiety disorders. In addition, mental wear and tear due to lack of rest makes us less efficient and we have difficulty concentrating and reasoning, which can encourage the accumulation of responsibilities.

      So it is best to organize a clear schedule that details the times of the days of the week that you will go to bed, taking into account the tasks that you have to do before, so as not to create low expectations.

      7. Rumination control

      Psychological rumination is a very common occurrence in the daily life of many people with excessive anxiety. This is the phenomenon by which intrusive thoughts with a negative emotional charge ‘invade’ the person’s consciousness and this struggle to get rid of it, which increases the level of anxiety, because it puts itself on alert in case one of these mental images reappears, which favors the appearance of these by means of of a self-fulfilling prophecy.

      The most effective way to combat rumination is not to try to completely eliminate these intrusive thoughts and accept their presence, but without giving it more importance. This makes it easier to direct your attention to other sensations and stimuli.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Gu, R .; Huang, YX, Luo, YJ (2010). The anxiety and negativity of comments. Psychophysiology, 47 (5): pages 961 to 967.
      • Kendler, KS (2004). Major depression and generalized anxiety disorder. TO CONCENTRATE. 2 (3): pages 416-425.
      • Rosen, JB; Schulkin, J. (1998). From normal fear to pathological anxiety. Psychological Review, 105 (2): pages 325-350.
      • Waszczuk, MA; Zavos, HMS; Gregory, AM; Eley, TC (2014). The phenotypic and genetic structure of symptoms of depression and anxiety disorder in childhood, adolescence and young adulthood. JAMA Psychiatry. 71 (8): pages 905 to 916.

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