Good Ways to Beat Anxiety Naturally
Prevent Anxiety Before It Starts
What Causes Anxiety?
One of the best ways to learn how to relieve or beat anxiety is to determine where those feelings of uneasiness, tension, worry, and/or edginess are coming from. If you're able to understand the origin of your anxiety, you can take direct steps to either change the situation -- or change the way you respond to it.
There are a variety of causes of anxiety. The factor that figures into anxious feelings most often is that of negative reactions to stress. There may be other factors, too, such as genetics, brain chemistry, environmental and/or medical factors, substance abuse or a combination of these factors working together.
Here, you'll discover good ways to naturally beat anxiety caused by stress.
Anxiety from the other potential factors needs to be discussed with your health care provider or a mental health professional. If anxiety is taking a toll on your everyday life, you may have an anxiety disorder; again seek the advice of a medical or mental health professional.
What Causes Stress?
"Stress," as used in, "I'm feeling stressed out," is the word used to describe the tension, anxiety, anger and more that comes about from your perception of an event or situation. What I mean by this is that something like an argument with your teenager maybe perceived by you as stress-inducing, but perceived by your teen as just another minor detail in adolescence.
Your perception of any situation is neither right nor wrong; how you view what goes on around you is uniquely filtered through your life experiences, type of thinking and attitude.
The perception of loss of control in a situation is a frequent cause of stress. Stress and anxiety often occur when you feel more demands are being made of you than you can address.
Now that we have detailed some of the major causes of stress that in turn causes anxiety, let's get to those good ways to relieve anxiety naturally.
How to De-Stress Naturally
Positive Thinking, Positive Attitude and Perception
If anxiety and stress result from your perception of a situation, conversation or event, then it stands to reason that if you're able to alter your perception of these things, you may naturally avoid or reduce the feelings of anxiety and stress.
This is not to say that every event that induces an anxious or tense feeling is only about perception, but there are many events that could be received or processed in a way that doesn't cause these feelings.
An upcoming test, hazardous road conditions, meeting future in-laws -- these events naturally bring an element of anxiety with them, and only some of the anxiety is due to perception.
On the other hand, an upcoming meeting with your boss or a conversation with a friend that has implications of criticism are anxiety-inducing due to your perception of those events and what they might or might not mean to your short and long-term future.
A good way to understand what perception is and the role that positive thinking can play in altering your perceptions is that you receive all sorts of messages through your five senses, hearing, seeing, touch, smell and taste. Your mind processes those messages through filters that are your life experiences, core beliefs and basic thinking and attitude to equal your perception of what is going on.
You can't change your life experiences, but you can change how you think about them. Your core beliefs can also be altered or changed through conscious efforts to re-frame your thoughts into positive ones.
Positive thinking can then manifest itself as a positive attitude. And while you are striving to make these changes consciously, your core beliefs and the filters in your brain will begin to change, too. Your perception of events will begin to change, reinforcing the positive thinking and attitude you've been developing.
Anxiety and stress that came about from your old filters and perceptions will begin to decrease and may disappear altogether in time.
This is not the fastest way to beat anxiety and stress, but as you employ other short-term methods, you'll be developing a lifelong system for preventing much of the anxiety, angst and stress you are currently experiencing.
Many of our anxieties come from a core belief that we are not equal to the task at hand, that we're not "good enough" or have major flaws somehow. Even if you don't feel your self-image is an issue in your anxious feelings, I encourage you to read Learning to Love Yourself First. You may be surprised at what you learn.
Twelve Easy Ways to Relieve Anxiety
Exercises You Can Do at Your Desk
Techniques for Natural Relief of Anxiety and Stress
Those long-term methods for dealing with and preventing anxiety and stress are great, but what you really want to know is how to naturally relieve them immediately, right? One or more of the following techniques is sure to reduce your anxiety:
* Make use of your sense of humor: Whatever you need to do to bring a little humor into a situation is fine, just as long as you keep to yourself anything that might be offensive to others. Public speakers are encouraged to visualize their audience naked or wearing Groucho Marx masks -- or whatever brings a smile to your face. You can use this advice in everyday life to alleviate tension and anxiety.
* Think of the worst thing that can happen: Chances are you're concerned about what might happen if... Go ahead and take that thought to its conclusion. If you're late, you may receive a written warning. If you don't fix his favorite meal tonight he'll be disappointed. If you don't get that raise, you will have to move to a smaller apartment.
Whatever the concern is, consider what the outcomes might actually be instead of stopping the thought midstream. When you allow yourself to think about the potential outcomes, you'll be able to realize how you would handle them or that the outcomes are not the end of the world as you know it.
* Picture yourself successfully facing or accomplishing whatever it is that concerns you: Athletes do this all the time; they see in their mind's eyes themselves jumping the high hurdles or navigating a difficult course. Your thoughts attract to you that which you envision.
* Take deep breaths: Concentrate on your breathing. Slow it down a notch or two. Breath in slowly through your nose, using your abdominal muscles to draw in the breath. Hold it briefly, then slowly exhale through your mouth. You can do this any time and any where you need to.
* Let the music take you away: Play some soothing background music or listen to calming music. If you're not some where where you can play music aloud, either make use of ear pieces or even play a song or two in your mind. Both the music itself and the momentary distraction from your anxiety allows you to return to the task at hand with fresh energy and time to re-frame your thoughts.
* Get busy: Take a break from whatever is going on and get physically active for a bit. Dance to the music. Walk around the block. Scrub the bath tub. Get on the treadmill and walk away your nervous energy. It doesn't matter what you do, what is important is that you do something active with your body.
* Learn stress relief methods and practice: Meditation, guided imagery, massage, reflexology, biofeedback, acupressure, yoga, tai chi, reiki -- these are all popular methods and disciplines that aid in stress reduction and relief. Most of them are mind/body practices that will fully engage you, not only allowing you distraction from anxious thoughts, but providing you with ways to calm and center your thoughts.
* Talk it out: Talk with a trusted friend or family member. Learn how others have managed feelings of anxiety or tension or just express your feelings. A co-worker or supervisor may provide insights in how to handle a situation or project. A fellow student might offer support and guidance. Spiritual leaders, health care providers and mental health providers are also there for times when your feelings of anxiety are overwhelming or ongoing.
Resources and References
This hub is informational in nature and not intended to replace or be a substitute for medical advice.
Many individuals feel anxious from time to time, but anxiety that lasts for long periods of time or interferes with daily life may be symptoms of an anxiety disorder. You should seek advice from your health care provider or mental health professional.