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   Reducing Anxiety


Steps for Reducing Anxiety:

Reducing anxiety in our daily lives is not hard to do once we know how. In our fast paced and stress filled world, anxiety has become a normal part of life. In small amounts, anxiety keeps us alert and out of danger, sparks us to action, and helps us to live a long and more fruitful life. When anxiety becomes so severe that it limits our functions and cripples us from living a normal life, we need to start thinking about reducing anxiety.

If you find yourself at a point where you need help in reducing anxiety then you have two options: seek professional help if you feel you cannot do it on your own or use some practical methods to help reduce your everyday stress.

I am a sufferer of chronic anxiety. In the past I sought out professional help, but now use many practical methods on my own to reduce anxiety. The main objective is remembering what you are capable of doing.

One method professional counselors use to help reduce anxiety is to get the person to limit the amount of "stressors" in their daily life. Psychologists call this avoidance learning. The main idea of avoidance learning is when you know there is something causing stress and anxiety in your life, you need to make an extra effort to avoid the situation or object.

An example of a stressor would be if something traumatic happened like being embarrassed when giving a speech or presentation. In the future, you're going to make every effort to avoid giving another presentation thereby limiting your anxiety.

The problem with the use of avoidance learning as the only method for reducing anxiety is that avoidance learning does not take into account the mental aspects of anxiety. The cause of an anxiety disorder does not have to be physical; mental images and thoughts can cause heightened anxiety. Any plan for reducing anxiety must include gaining control of damaging thoughts and mental images.

One way to change thought patterns is by limiting time spent thinking. Find a hobby or a distraction that you enjoy, preferably one that has a high degree of mental concentration. Painting and drawing are good examples. With both these activities, your mind is on the task at hand so you have very little time to picture or think about what causes you stress. The main point is to find something you enjoy that can be done for a long period of time.

Relaxation exercises are also good for occupying mental capacity. Relaxation exercises are techniques to relax muscles and relieve tension by using controlled breathing and muscle flexing. They usually involve sitting down in a comfortable chair, closing your eyes and systematically tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body, usually starting with the legs and feet.

As you slow down your breathing and work your muscles, you are supposed to mentally put yourself in what you would consider a relaxing situation. The best thing about relaxation exercises is that they can be done almost anywhere and at anytime. Remember to use a sitting position when doing the exercises rather than lying down since you do not want to fall asleep.

In addition to the clinical methods for reducing stress there are at least seven practical methods that can be used to reduce anxiety; I have had problems with anxiety in the past and have used not only the clinical methods described above, but also the following practical ideas to help in reducing anxiety in my life.

  • Exercise. take a walk, play a game of basketball, or ride a bike. The point is to exercise because when you do, your body will release endorphins, which contribute to feeling good.

  • Call a friend when feelings of anxiousness or fear arise. A friend is not a replacement for professional help when needed, but a friend can be there to listen when you are having a bad day. Sometimes letting off a little steam can help relive tension and anxiety.

  • Reduce your caffeine intake. As you probably already know, caffeine is a stimulant. The last thing a person suffering from an anxiety disorder needs is a stimulant.

  • Share a laugh. Nothing breaks the tension like laughing. If you walk around feeling miserable, you will be miserable, but if you laugh life seems better. So if you are down, watch a funny movie or TV show to laugh.

  • Take ten minutes and relax. Do something that you find relaxing: a hot bath, a video game, a book, anything to make you forget for a few moments about your anxious feelings.

  • Get a massage. A good massage will take away some anxiety and tension.

  • Know your personal limits. One of the chief causes of anxiety is when a person takes on more than he can handle. Know your limits as to what you can do and how much you can do. It will go a long way in reducing anxiety in life. Reducing anxiety is not hard to do once a person knows how to it. The one principle to keep in mind is if you have any doubts about reducing anxiety on your own, seek professional help.

Coping With Anxiety - Stress Response:

Coping with anxiety begins with an understanding of the body's stress response. The body undergoes three stages of stress. These stages are as follows:

Fight or Flight: During this stage, the body perceives threatened danger. A surge of energy overtakes the body, enabling a person to fight off the threat or flee from the danger at hand.

Resistance: This stage occurs when danger remains beyond the fight or flight period. The body secretes several hormones in order to mobilize the body during long-term stress.

Exhaustion: If the body successfully completes the first two stages, it will enter a third stage, exhaustion. This is a time when the fatigued body replenishes itself.

Coping With Anxiety - When Does Stress Become a Problem?

Coping with anxiety is a necessity in our modern fast-paced world. Busy schedules, intensified by traffic jams, money problems, and relational difficulties keep many people in chronic states of stress.

Stress becomes a problem when a person undergoes a sense of prolonged danger. During the fight or flight and resistance stages, the body produces many helpful hormones. However, excessive amounts of these same substances can cause damaging effects to the body. For instance, adrenaline helps with energy production during stressful periods. Prolonged use of adrenaline by the body, however, leads to a weakening of the heart. Cortisol and vasopressin, both released during the resistance stage, raise blood pressure and blood sugar levels and may narrow artery walls by increasing blood platelets.

During prolonged stress, the body rarely has time to replenish itself. The body remains in a cycle of fighting, fleeing, and resisting, with little or no time to rest. This affects the body's sleep cycle, only increasing the body's fatigue and decreasing full restoration.

Coping With Anxiety - Symptoms:

Coping with anxiety begins with the understanding of the symptoms of excess stress. These symptoms include: exhaustion, sleep problems, tension headaches, constant worry, dark circles under the eyes, bowel disturbances, lowered immune function, irritability or angry outbursts, lack of concentration, and so on.

If you think you are experiencing the symptoms of anxiety, check with your health professional. He or she can diagnose anxiety by evaluating your medical and personal history. Dealing with anxiety is easier when you have help.

Coping With Anxiety - Steps to a Worry-free Existence
Coping with anxiety entails that a person actively engage in positive changes. There are steps that one can take to encounter safety from a worrisome world.

Coping with stress and anxiety includes the following steps:

Laugh: Don't take your life so seriously. A sense of humor helps overcome worry by distracting the mind. Laughter may also produce endorphins, which help ease pain and offer a sense of relaxation and joy. Tell a joke, watch a comedy, and laugh when disaster strikes. You'll feel better with a smile on your face.

Make plans: Worrying solves nothing. It cannot change situations or outcomes. The only way change comes about is through action. Instead of worrying, empower yourself by acting toward change. Worried about money? Create and implement a budget or seek professional financial counsel. Productivity creates an atmosphere of positive change that worry cannot achieve and makes overcoming anxiety possible.

Herbs: There are several herbs one may use to help alleviate feelings of stress. Among them, Kava stands out. Kava enables the body to relax physically and mentally. Those with liver problems or Parkinson's disease should not use Kava. Adaptogenic herbs, such as the ginsengs and milk thistle are good herbs to consider. Adaptogens, or nerve tonics, help strengthen the body's resistance to stress. As always, follow the directions on the bottle and check with your doctor before beginning any herbal routine.

Seek professional help: Having someone with whom you can discuss your worries may help lessen anxiety. A good counselor will listen attentively, enabling you to discover your underlying concerns. Together, you can create productive means of handling stress, so that you may heal emotionally and physically

On Reducing Anxiety:

  • Meditate or pray.

  • Avoid alochol, because this may lead to sleep problems or even trigger panic attacks.

  • Stop smoking. The nicotine can cause panic attacks in some people.

  • Stop having caffiene. Caffiene sources include coffee and soft drinks.

  • Exercise burns up stress causing chemicals such as adrenaline and cortisol, and this will help you to relax.

  • Exercise also boosts serotonin, which is an feel-good endorphin, it’ll also help reduce sleep abnormalities, a factor in a stressed brain.  If your depression is linked to your appearance, then exercise will positively help boost self-esteem by reshaping the way you look at yourself.

  • Create small, obtainable goals for yourself, then once you reach your goal, reward yourself.


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