Life is truly like a rollercoaster ride. Ups and downs, highs and lows, they are present. The high points are the reason why many people are afraid to try rollercoasters, yet they give the experience an exciting twist. On the other hand, the lows are total relief and breathing time in the middle of the thrill. Unlike in that extreme ride though, in real life, highs are fully enjoyed and sought-after. Meanwhile, lows are never fun and never wished for.
It’s just that in life, there may come a lot of things that bother you and situations that put you out of ease. Some moments, you are too stressed out to wear a smile, even a fake one. There are times when the surroundings are chaotic whilst the mind is bombarded with troubles. Sometimes, even if you try so hard to shove them off, they are just tough, and you think you become helpless. Add to that overthinking which interferes in a lot of processes in life which are supposed to be flowing smoothly. You know, worrying seems normal for everyone, but the levels are not the same for all. All these belong to life’s lows.
Many displeasing lows in life are caused and ridden by fear and anxiety. While fear is external, anxiety is internal. When there are signs of approaching danger, and you feel uneasy, that’s fear. On the flipside, if you experience negative physical changes due to thinking about a danger which has no hint of occurring but makes you worry as you think of the what-ifs, that’s anxiety. Not everybody understands the huge difference. Along with that, not everyone realizes the weight of them, especially the latter.
People with anxiety experience various unwanted physical responses like chest pain, difficulty in focusing, restlessness, sleeplessness, shortness of breath, shaking and absent-mindedness. The anxious feeling gives a sense of insecurity even if nothing wrong is happening around. As this is a state of mind which is focused on the future, it becomes a heavy burden to unload for those who experience anxiety.
Anytime you become anxious or start to worry about experiencing it again, there are things which you can do to relieve yourself and to fight that irksome and nerve-racking feeling. There are things that seem little and plain when you are not experiencing anxiety but are tremendously helpful and alleviating when you are. Know how important and advantageous they can be. Here are 8 of them:
1 – INHALE. EXHALE.
Inhaling and exhaling are very beneficial when you are beginning to feel anxious as they aid in regaining a calm mental state. Proper and clear breathing can supply a better sense of mental clarity, enabling you to pull yourself together and mitigate the feeling of panic. This boosts self-possession and shoos stress away. Breathing in and out supports you to manage your concentration and mood. Doing so helps you recollect yourself when you feel anxious and out of focus.
2 – HYDRATE. DRINK H2O.
As much as you have to make sure that you’re physically fit, you must take care of your mental health. Drinking water is more important than a lot of people think. It is essential not only for physical rejuvenation and energy but also for brain function and improvement.
Not just your body is cleansed, but also your mind is revitalized. Toxins are eliminated while nutrients are welcomed and efficiently transported to your brain. Because blood circulation is enhanced and oxygen flow in the brain is upped when you drink water, your mind is able to pay attention better. You become more mentally aware and alert of what’s happening. You can immediately act upon anxiety situations while thinking sharply.
3 – LISTEN TO MUSIC.
You’ve got a friend in music. Merry days are made merrier with music, and gloomy days are comforted with the same.
When there is anxiety, unnecessary noise fills the mind. You need something to soothe and unwind your head. Music and songs you consider your go-to when you feel unwell — put them on play. It doesn’t matter if it’s a ballad or a rock song that cheers up your mood. Whatever it is, it can help you handle your emotions better and make you happy. Music tones down pain in and out.
4 – WRITE IT OUT.
Some people think that writing about how you feel when you are anxious is a long and full-of-effort mending technique. The truth is that it is one of the most effective ways to understand yourself and to let the blues off.
Your anxious thoughts have to get out of your head. Those wearisome emotions need to be released. Writing allows you to put them all into words, so you comprehend better what’s going on, thus, you can do what you must do about them. Although words are sometimes said to be insufficient when expressing feelings, even the simplest words will help free up space from your overly occupied mind when you write them down.
What’s amazing about writing down your anxieties to get rid of them is that you will soon see yourself growing and improving. Keep writing them down ‘til the day you realize you are no longer writing with a heavy heart and a blurry mind. You will then realize how stronger you have become than how you were back then. It’s rewarding because you kept getting up through it all and didn’t give up.
5 – SWEAT OFF. EXERCISE.
A healthy body includes a healthy mind and heart.
Enroll in a fitness class, or have a solo workout training. Pick up the gym equipment or the one you have at home. Watch an online fitness tutorial, or hire a personal trainer. Sweat off those toxins, and set loose your mind from anxiety.
Exercising drifts your mind from something actually not worthy of your precious attention. As you move around, stretch and work the body out, tension is diminished, enabling you to relax. Endorphins are released. Sleep is refined. You become more driven to progress and live a more worthwhile life. Exercising keeps you busy with something that is highly essential for your life. It will help you realize that you are more determined to fight and overcome every anxiety there is!
6 – WATCH FUNNY AND WHOLESOME CONTENT.
You have heard it more than a hundred times, and you’ll read it here again: Laughter is the best medicine. Well, it’s true.
Instead of staying fully updated with every bit of daily news which is usually bad, why not choose content that will not make your head ache? Funny and wholesome TV shows or videos on the Internet are better than the distressing news, fake scoops and inappropriate content that fill the media. Laugh your heart out responsibly; it’s totally fine.
Laughter sparks healthy mental and emotional effects. It unfailingly fosters a good mood. When you laugh, there’s an invisible shield that wards off the destructive results of stress. Anxiety spreads a dark feeling, but laughter sprinkles brightness all around! It eases pain, encourages hope and lets you set aside negativities.
7 – GO OUTDOORS.
Anxiety may make you feel suffocated. Especially when you feel like there’s no place to go or to run to, you feel like you’re catching your breath. Again, inhale and exhale.
Going outdoors might help you breathe better too. Sometimes, you need to see a different place, smell fresher air and meet people. Oh, don’t forget about nature! Plants, mountains, flowers, waters, trees — just seeing them with your eyes makes you feel embraced by nature’s augustness and comfort. They have chief healing properties which can’t be compared to anything.
8 – PRAY.
Talking with someone is a helpful way to reduce anxiety and stress. The thing though is that most of the time, people suffering from anxiety are not open about sharing stories regarding their anxious feelings. It’s a challenging journey which they are not willing to let others know about. Maybe that’s because they don’t want loved ones to worry about them, they don’t want people to see them as “weak”, they don’t want to be judged, or they don’t trust anyone so much to tell them about their anxieties. These are just some reasons.
If you are experiencing any anxiety, pray. Yes, together with all the other friendly steps you take to stop yourself from getting anxious, pray.
In the absence of everyone, God is there. He knows your hardships. Peace is a promise the Savior keeps. He will give it to you who’s anxious and weary. Only with selfless love does He look at His creation despite the imperfection of humans. Go to God with your unpretentious self, anxiety shown and tears poured out, and you will be strengthened. You can be your most honest self in front of the One who knows you inside out.
You are loved by the One who gave His life for you, so don’t ever think that you are defeated by your anxiety. Trials and attacks may be giving you a hard time now, but they will never be able to knock you down. With your faith in Him and your unrelenting efforts to overcome, you will overcome. These anxieties are meant to be crushed down.
YOU ARE STRONGER!
Yes, it’s terrible and tiring, and you may have been going through it for so long already, but here’s something you must remember if you are having anxiety: It is temporary, and it shall pass. It’s a process, but be patient with yourself. What’s weighing you down will not last any longer. You can and you will be free from the prison cell of everything that makes you anxious. You are stronger than what your anxiety tells you.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Nicole Ann Pore is a writer, an events host and a voice over artist. She finds quality and well-researched writing as a worthwhile avenue to enlighten and delight others about things that matter. For her, it’s restoring and fulfilling to the heart and a great way to clear the mind while loading it up with fresh learning. Film critiquing and filmmaking are among her interests too. Giving all the glory to God, Nicole graduated Cum Laude from De La Salle University Manila, Philippines with a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Arts.