Dealing With Anxiety: Calm Yourself by Treating Physical Symptoms
Let’s face it, most people don’t know that they are experiencing symptoms of anxiety until it is too late. By then, you may feel like you are debilitated by your thoughts and find it quite difficult to go on with life as normal. While the mental and emotional indicators of this condition are bad enough, the physical symptoms can really take a toll on your body as well.
However, what people don’t realize is that by treating the physical issues associated with the disorder, you can also experience a general sense of well-being and relief. Whether you are experiencing bursts of shallow breathing, rapid heartbeat, muscle tension, fidgeting, or more, there are a few things you can do. This article discusses all the steps that you can take to eliminate these problems:
Improve Your Breathing and Ward Off Hyperventilation
One of the more common symptoms of severe anxiety is rapid breathing. See, when you are anxious or stressed out, the muscles that control your breathing begin to tense up. Due to this, you can find it quite difficult to breathe properly. This results in shorter, quicker breaths which can lead to hyperventilation. Now, even if you don’t proceed to have a panic attack, you probably know how uncomfortable rapid breathing can be.
The first thing that you will need to do is to push air down into your lower lungs since this doesn’t happen when you take short breaths. To make sure you are doing this right, place one hand on your chest and the other on your stomach. Now, breathe in deeply so that you can feel your stomach expand while your chest remains still. Hold your breath for three counts before exhaling through pursed lips.
For this technique to be truly effective, you should get used to doing it. So, give it a try when you feel like a stressful situation is about to take place. This will help to stop you hyperventilating. An additional benefit of this relaxing breathing method is that it can help to calm an erratic heart rate as well. This can go a long way in helping you compose yourself.
Get Rid of Muscle Tension
When you become anxious, your body becomes hyper-stimulated. This is true even if you are just overthinking a particular situation or have been overcome with irrational fears. Now, if your body is to stay in this hyper-stimulated state for too long, you can be left with headaches, muscle aches, and a general feeling of discomfort.
A good way to get rid of muscle tension is to massage the muscles that take the brunt of your anxiety. This has been proven to help relieve you of your symptoms and to help you relax. If possible, you should try to visit a masseuse whenever you feel like you are responding negatively to a situation in your life. If this is too expensive, you can simply learn the art of self-massage. Using your fingers and palms, you can rub circles on your skin and muscles to help dispel the tension and to improve your mood.
Channel Your Fidgeting to Calm Yourself
Have you ever noticed that when you get truly anxious, you start fidgeting? Sometimes it may simply be a bouncing knee or tapping fingers that you have to worry about. In other cases, your nervous tics may facilitate as a constant need to move about. Well, believe or not, all of this movement has a place in your body calming itself down. Research has shown that this may be a way for your body to soothe itself so that you will eventually calm down.
Well, you can build off of this theory. If you find that you need to move around and are unable to do so, give your body another outlet for fidgeting. For instance, getting yourself a fidget spinner can work to keep your fingers busy. In turn, your body will be satisfied and allow you to feel more at ease.
Use Mindful Meditation to Sleep Better
It isn’t all that surprising that many people who suffer from an anxiety disorder also suffer from sleeping problems. After all, it can be a bit difficult to fall asleep when your mind is clouded with worries from both the past and the future.
This is where mindful meditation comes in – it helps your mind to free itself from all of the anxieties that are anchoring it. The key here is to focus on a positive word or phrase while you are breathing in or out. Some people choose to simply monitor their breathing instead. If you choose the former route, simply say or think this word to yourself every time you inhale and exhale.
You shouldn’t be worried if your mind has a tendency to wander, as this is normal. During these moments, simply steer yourself back to your word or phrase. Now, you should note that it will take a while for your mind to fully embrace this method. So, you should be able to notice an improvement in your sleep patterns after a few weeks. The main thing is to stick with your meditation tactics until they begin to take effect.
As you can see, monitoring the physical symptoms of your anxiety disorder can actually help to alleviate some of the mental and emotional indicators as well. At the very least, you will be able to help your body calm itself when you begin to feel anxious.