Anxiety disorders are one of the most common forms of mental illness in the United States, affecting approximately 18% of the adult population, costing us more than $42 billion a year in healthcare services.
And that’s just the people who have actually been diagnosed – in our hectic, stressed-out, achievement-driven society, many people deal with stress on a regular basis, even if they’re not actively seeking treatment for their condition.
Your body’s response to stress is designed as a protective mechanism to remove us from danger, to get things done that we need to accomplish, and to keep us alert. The problem is many of us find ourselves stuck in overdrive, and this can program our minds to have heightened responses.
If you are looking to reduce your daily anxiety, here a few things you can start doing now:
Meditation and Mindfulness
There are different levels of meditation, from sitting in silence to hours to just being aware of your thoughts and not trying to change them, but starting somewhere can have profound effects on your anxiety levels. Studies have found, practicing mindfulness meditation can be more powerful than general stress management techniques. By sitting quietly and focusing on their awareness, people experienced improved anxiety, less stress, and better eating and sleep habits.
Anything you do 4,000 to 20,000 times a day will influence you in ways you never may have considered. Your breathing controls 95% of your fuel-to-energy production and flow. The entire autonomic nervous system and the functioning of our internal organs are largely driven by our breathing patterns, be they good or bad. By changing our breathing we can influence millions of biochemical reactions in our body. Practice conscious, deep breathing for about 1 minute at a time, 10-15 times per day every time you are waiting for something.
Emotional Freedom Technique
Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) is based on the Chinese meridian system, with the body comprised of – and divided into – energy fields. Any blockages to these energy fields are viewed as the primary source of psychological and physical problems. EFT makes use of aspects of Chinese traditional medicine, particularly acupressure to relieve a wide range of issues including emotional issues such as depression, fears and phobias, panic attacks, compulsions; including stress and anxiety. This is achieved by a series of tapping motions on selected pressure points. As well as these emotional aspects, EFT provides relief for a range of physical ailments including headaches, pain management and weight issues.
Manage your body.
Taking care of yourself physically can improve your mental health. Be sure to:
- Eat right
- Avoid alcohol, nicotine, sugar and caffeine
- Ongoing self-care
- Drink plenty of water
Reiki and the use of the healing chakras provide a different way of dealing with past issues. It allows people to “let go” of worry, anger and past hurts. It is a method of deep relaxation that can provide the sense of wellbeing. Reiki helps us reconnect with our heart, our true center, realigning us with our Higher Self. Reiki helps us reconnect to ourselves — to Love.
There are many uncomfortable physical expressions of stress and anxiety in the body, such as feelings of tension, tightness, and pain sensitivity. Yoga postures, known as asanas, help ease the physical discomfort that is caused by anxiety. Asanas work to stretch, lengthen, and balance the muscles. These postures can assist in releasing built-up muscle tension and stiffness throughout the body.
Connecting certain fragrances to an emotionally uplifting situation will trigger a relaxation response. For example, try lighting some of your favorite incense or fill your home with the aroma of essential oils while you sit back and meditate your worries away.
Repeat your Manta
As the Law of Attraction States, thoughts are things. So when you think negatively, negative things will come into your life. The reverse holds true as well, when you think positively, positive things will come into your life. Having a Mantra is a great way to control your thought pattern and relieve anxiety.When you’re feeling anxious, have a mantra or short prayer memorized that you can repeat in the moment.
Don’t let your mind bully your body into believing it must carry the burden of its worries. -Astrid Alauda
In our idealistic world, we wouldn’t live a life that produces stress or anxiety. Yet almost inevitably life is going to deal us some tough situations and pressures. So remember, there are lots of steps you can take to change your thoughts, calm the brain, relax the body, and get back in the game. And, as always, be sure to reach out to a professional if these tips don’t cut it and you need a little extra help tackling a more significant anxiety issue.
With a Grateful Heart,