There is so much uncertainty during this time that it may be likely that you, your friends or even your family pet has taken on a bit (or a lot) of anxiety. Luckily, you’ve got me, a resident GAD (general anxiety disorder) Content Writer to give you a few ideas on how to stay calm when everything seems out of your control. Here are some tips that this writer has learned about how to keep calm as well as some knowledge gained by the World-Wide-Web.
These techniques often have folks give an eye-roll – don’t worry, I understand why. Breathing? How can breathing help calm a nervous person? Let us tell you how! When some people feel anxiety, they tend to shorten their breath without even realizing it. Shortened breath in itself can inhibit feelings of anxiety. When breathing techniques are used people are focused more on their breathing than their anxiousness and therefore a sense of calm may wash over you. There are several types of breathing techniques. Next time you’re feeling anxiety, try out one of these (my favorite is equal breathing).
Challenge “What Ifs”
This is one of the things this Content Writer/overthink-to-the-max struggles with. The “what if this happens” or “what if that person feels this way.” There is one thing we as humans know to be true: we don’t know what is going to happen. All we can really do is be prepared, so, how do we prepare for those “what ifs” that cause us anxiety? Ask these questions:
- What is the worst (realistic) thing that could happen?
- If this worst-case scenario thing does happen, what will I do? How can I prepare?
- How will I cope with this?
These are just a few questions that you may ask yourself. After you answer these questions the idea is that those “what-ifs” are nothing to worry about. This may work for you, it may not, but it’s worth a shot.
Move to release
The age old “exercise will make you feel better” concept. Time and time again healthcare professionals say, “Hey! Exercising is good for you” and they aren’t wrong (obviously). Oftentimes feelings of anxiety manifest themselves into physical feelings. For this writer, my hands shake 24/7 and I have to check-in with my breath to make sure I am breathing properly. Moving to release sensations of anxiety can be seen in many different forms. Yoga, running, weightlifting, and hiking, among others, work because it releases endorphins and makes you focus on the activity rather than what is making you feel anxious.
5 Sense Grounding
This calming technique has you go through your 5 senses. This allows you to come back to the present moment and re-focus. Follow these steps to help ground you:
- Acknowledge FIVE things you see around you.
- Acknowledge FOUR things you can touch around you.
- Acknowledge THREE things you hear.
- Acknowledge TWO things you can smell.
- Acknowledge ONE thing you can taste.
These are just a few options that may assist you in calming down. There are many other calming techniques that people use. It’s important to understand these are not universal. They won’t work for everyone but, it’s worth a try.