Recovering The SelfA Journal of Hope and Healing

Anxiety and Depression

How to Overcome Anxiety

by Adrian Brito

It is common for people to get nervous or experience some anxiety during life-changing moments or important events. However, as we get exposed to stress and pressures from around us, we can turn into an anxious mess. There are many other reasons for a person to develop anxiety, which can revolve around a troubled childhood, or a condition you were born with.

It can sometimes be tricky to figure out if you have anxiety, but some common symptoms will help you understand if you are experiencing it. General anxiety symptoms revolve around feeling nervous, hyperventilating, increased heart rate, panic, sweating, trembling, and more. Multiple types of anxiety disorders vary in terms of their intensity as well. Some of them are anxiety disorders due to medical conditions, generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, separation anxiety disorder, phobias, and more.

Overcome Anxiety

With each day, people have started being victims of intense mental stress, making anxiety inevitable. Although there are many drugs that you can use to make your situation better, it is not a long term solution. Hence, there are many tips you can follow to help overcome and control anxiety.

Stress Response

There are generally two kinds of stress responses that your body chooses when you get nervous or have an anxiety attack: flight or fight. If your body experiences these responses too often, it may take a toll on your overall mental health. The best tip to control these emotions is to realize that a panic attack is harmless and temporary. By being able to make yourself understand that this is a way for your body to be strong, you will more likely control your thoughts. Many complementary therapies, like yoga and tai chi, can also help you react better during stress and deal with anxiety.

The 3-3-3 Rule

When you are having an anxiety attack or a panic attack, your mind and heartbeat can function very fast. One of the best ways to control yourself during these times is to break that speed and focus your thoughts on something completely unrelated. The 3-3-3 rule will help do exactly that. Look around you and name three things you see, name three sounds you hear, and move three parts of your body. Doing this will break the intensity of your feelings and force you to focus on something else, breaking the deep concentration on your thoughts. Your thoughts that were once in a never-ending loop of emotional stress will break to bring you back into reality.

Become Active

Exercising is one of the best ways to deal with any mental discomfort you might be feeling. Although it might seem like the last thing you would want to do, it is the best step you can take. Physical activity does a great job of raising your endorphins and serotonin to make you feel emotionally elevated. It is also a neat trick to make your brain focus on something else other than your problems. Doing about 30 minutes of physical work can make you physically and mentally profound. You do not have to do heavy workouts but can instead choose dancing, jogging, running, or anything that will get you moving.

Food and Sleep

Food may seem like a unique tip on overcoming anxiety but is an indirect and highly effective booster to make you feel better. If you do not manage your food or skip meals, your blood sugar will drop, making your body release more cortisol (a stress hormone). On the contrary, indulging yourself too much on junk food, drinking, and sugar can also cause multiple physical symptoms like anxiety, nervousness, and shivering. Similarly, not having a good sleep can lead to chronic sleep deprivation that makes you highly susceptible to anxiety.

Prioritizing Your Choices

Your choices should always be your priority, even if you do not have anxiety-related problems. As humans, we generally tend to have an interest in many fields that can sometimes overwhelm us. In such a case, we should not only take other people’s thoughts into account but also prioritize ourselves. Learn to say no. Take time off to prioritize your thoughts and emotions. You can start journaling, spend time talking to a friend you can trust, or calm down from the stress in the way that suits you best. Either way, make sure you take your emotions into account.

Recognize What Makes You Anxious

Anxiety is a type of fear associated with worry that persists for a longer time. A secret to figuring out why you are anxious can make you recognize and take account of your fears. While you cannot run away from them, you can always take the applicable measures to understand and overcome the anxiety associated with it. Do not stay in denial but, try recognizing your fear and face it if you can. Exposing yourself to the reason behind your anxiety is one of the best ways to overcome it. It will help you overcome the pattern of facing a situation and not managing your fears.

Other Strategies to Help Overcome Anxiety

– Limit alcohol and caffeine

– Take deep breaths

– Welcome humor

– Talk to someone you trust

– Jog, Walk, Bike, or Dance

– Be patient

– Take a time-out

– Get involved with volunteering

While anxiety can be a beast in your life, there are still multiple ways to battle it without medication. Most times, the biggest trick to overcoming or coping with anxiety generally revolves around lifestyle changes. There are situations when you need medicine to feel better and control your anxiety, but recognizing your situation sooner and applying some of these tips can help you get past a difficult phase in your life. Despite saying this, everyone is unique and manages their emotions in different ways. The same thing that is applicable for one person may not be so for someone else. That is why following what is best for you can help you efficiently overcome anxiety.


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Recovering The Self is a forum for people to tell their stories. Individual contributors accept complete responsibility for the veracity, accuracy, and non-infringement of their reporting.
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