You must have thought that breathing is just a simple thing. You do it all the time without even noticing. However, there’s a good chance that you aren’t doing it properly. If you breathe properly, there’s a great chance of reducing anxiety. Use the 4-7-8 breathing exercise a few times a day to ensure that you provide oxygen to your body the right way. This will calm you down and keep you grounded.
Start by exhaling completely. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a mental count of four. Now hold your breath to a count of seven. Finally exhale through your mouth making a whoosh sounds to a count of eight. Repeat this exercise a few more times.
PROGRESSIVE MUSCLE RELAXATION
This involves relaxing your muscles in a two-step process. Identify each muscle group, starting with your toes and moving up. First tense the muscle or muscle group. Then release and relax them. Notice how you feel as you release the tension. You can do this with your fists, neck, shoulder and pretty much any other muscle you are able to control. But progressively moving up the body, one muscle group at a time, will be most effective.
CHANGE YOUR POSTURE
Have you ever heard of power poses? These are body movements that increase your confidence and tend to be more powerful than traditional confidence-boosting exercises. Identify yours and make sure you practice holding that pose throughout the day. Also identify low power poses and remove them from your personal body language. Power poses basically trick your mind and tell it that you’re amazing! This feeds your subconscious mind, and increases your ability to be positive and anxiety-free.
PRACTICE YOGA DAILY
Practicing Yoga is a great way to relax and centre your mind to become calm and collected. Plus it has many, many benefits to your physical body, too. Learn a few simple Yoga poses, or asanas, and spend a few minutes every day practicing them. If you are happy with the results, you could perhaps take a class and develop your skills even further!
PRACTICE NEURO-LINGUISTIC PROGRAMMING
Neuro-Linguistic Programming was researched and studied to understand what made certain therapists more effective than others. It is an alternative medicine practice used for psychotherapy, medicine and personal development. Get to know the basics of NLP and how incorporating it into your day-to-day life may greatly reduce your stress and anxiety.
TIME YOUR PANIC ATTACKS
Panic attacks have certain patterns. Time how long it takes to build up, the duration of the panic attack, how long it takes to calm down and at what point you are finally able to resume your normal activity. It may not be easy doing this, but timing your panic attacks will enable you to have better control over it the next time it happens. You will also be able to tell those around you before an attack occurs, how long it is liable to last, and how they can help you.
CREATE YOUR OWN PERSONAL SUCCESS MANTRA
We all have different goals and challenges in life; therefore it’s highly important that we create our own life motto to keep us on track. This mantra will focus your mind and stop you from being anxious and overwhelmed when life throws you yet another curve ball. Identify your challenges, weaknesses and goals so you can craft your own personal mantra.
EMOTIONAL FREEDOM TECHNIQUE (TAPPING)
This method focuses on reducing anxiety by correcting the bioelectrical short-circuiting that occurs during an anxiety episode. Using specific ‘finger tapping’ methods, practitioners learn to moderate moods and stabilize anxiety. Research has found that EFT increases positive emotions, such as hope and enjoyment, while reducing negative feelings.
Meditation has been known to mankind for centuries and has been practiced throughout the world. When you start meditating, it’s important not to resist your thoughts. Let them move through your mind. Visualize them then ‘surf’ through your emotions in a calm and collected manner. Imagine those emotions floating away as you remain calm and cantered. You can read more on how to successfully utilize meditative mindfulness techniques right here.
This is a form of psychotherapy aimed at creating a change in your subconscious to form better responses, thoughts, behaviour, feelings and attitudes. It’s a great treatment for anxiety disorders as it treats the root causes by changing your deep perception of specific obstacles that are manifesting in your life as anxiety.
TAKE A ‘FOREST BATH’ TO UNWIND AND REFRESH
Forest baths have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels in multiple studies. Traditionally, we have a deep relationship with nature, but over the last few centuries we all have become increasingly disconnected from it. A walk through a forest will make you feel refreshed and provide a soothing effect so If you have one nearby, that’s great. If you don’t, go to your city park and spend some time in the midst of trees and other animals. Instant refreshment awaits you!