By Reem Abdulrahman Jassim al-Muftah
I deal with anxiety on a daily basis and I’m continuously learning how to cope with it as I grow older. With time you are able to identify and understand your triggers. Hopefully you are able to gradually see what causes you to have anxiety. You also might have no clue what your triggers are, so here’s a list I have put together of a few potential triggers and suggested coping techniques.
Potential triggers and coping techniques:
Avoid too much caffeine or sugar so you are not too hyped up or in the wrong state of mind for your anxiety. Do note that sugar make you feel better temporarily but when the effect goes, you are at risk of your anxiety getting worse.
Dehydration is also linked to anxiety in terms of increasing the heart’s palpitations during feelings of anxiety so maybe drink a glass or two of water and see if that works.
Do you have generally low blood sugar or maybe didn’t get enough to eat? Low sugar levels can cause nervousness and anxiety so be sure to have a well-balanced diet throughout the day.
Stay in the present and do not obsess about the past or the future. The 3-3-3 rule: look around and name three things you see, three sounds you hear and finally move three body parts, one at a time. This technique can help re-focus your mind and get your mind back on track by distracting it from your anxiety. This will eventually bring you back to you and the present.
Do you have a daily mantra? Maybe you need a boost of self-love and confidence building. Positive affirmations are useful to those who practice saying them daily and there has been strong, positive feedback regarding morning affirmations and how they can set the mood and level of energy for the day as well as reduce stress and nervousness.
Are you always sitting indoors or on the go? Being out in nature is proven to do wonders for the mind and body so it would most probably have a positive effect on anxiety and most probably calm it down.
Do you have any time with yourself to take a break or dedicated time for you and your thoughts? Alone time helps increase mindfulness so try to take a break from everything around you and do something you like, alone. Don’t forget that turning off your phone can help getting away from everything completely. You don’t need to continuously use your phone or be around it all the time. And don’t forget that hot baths and showers also work well when it comes to relieving stress and anxiety.
Exercise might be the key to your anxiety. Start by seeing if going for a walk helps and use some of that adrenaline. Then observe if the anxiety has reduced and maybe go for a jog or even to the gym next time and see how that works out. In my books, stretching is also a type of exercise and can simultaneously help your mind and body especially when combined with slow, deep breathing.
Most common coping techniques:
Talk to someone, this is why you need to ensure you have support nearby. Talking to someone is probably one of the fastest techniques to dealing with your anxiety, maybe a professional or even a friend you are comfortable with but even better, if someone who also deals with anxiety too.
Write it out and calm yourself down, maybe you need to see your words rather than think or hear them to actually believe them. You also may have to write it out in terms of explaining to yourself what is actually happening and why you are having these feelings of anxiety or even to write down how to calm yourself down and then follow those instructions.
Relax to a certain song or fragrance that reminds you of calmness and happiness. This works by association so if you do not have a positively associated smell or song get on it and start creating some for yourself.
Relabel the reaction. Try not calling it anxiety or an anxiety attack and call it “me time” where you have to stop and focus on supporting yourself and turning it into a positive reaction. If that doesn’t work for you, maybe sit down and verbally tell yourself that you are going though a normal bodily reaction and that you have dealt with this before and that you will get past it as usual.
I honestly know and understand that dealing with anxiety can range from simple to highly complicated, but regardless, stay strong and take care of yourself. I hope these suggestions helped and do make a difference with your anxiety struggles, but please do not hesitate to contact me directly on my account to share your personal stories and coping techniques.
* The author is a wellness advocate and influencer @keys2balance.
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