Ever get butterflies in your stomach before a big presentation or job interview? Or maybe you’re NOT a frequent flier and are anxious about getting on that airplane. The truth is that all of us experience anxiety from time to time. But what to do?
Here are few ideas, courtesy of Psychology Today:
Meditate. Calm is an inside job. Give yourself the gift of serenity and start the day with ten minutes of solitude and positive energy. Think calm, measured and open-minded, and your daily activities will correspond.
Practice self-care. Get a massage, a mani-pedi, or a haircut. Nothing says polished and well-maintained like a sexy, healthy glow. If money is tight, look for a discount salon or a training school which offers quality services for people on a budget. So they don’t serve peppermint tea on a silver tray — close your eyes and imagine that five-star service while you take in the pampering you deserve.
Eliminate soda. That morning jolt of Joe can jumpstart your day and provide warmth and comfort, but anything with high fructose corn syrup and 177 other ingredients will not. If you’re accustomed to that 3:00 p.m. Dr. Pepper, switch it out for a soothing green tea. Not only does the caffeine jack up your central nervous system, soda depletes vitamins and minerals from your diet and wreaks havoc on your smile. Teeth become susceptible to cavities when the acid level of your saliva falls below a certain point.
Get outside. When you spend time in nature, you give your mind and body a much needed break from the hustle and bustle which causes you to Google things like “How to get rid of anxiety” in the first place. Chances are no matter where you live, there’s a serene, interesting, and charming place nearby.
Go to bed early. This may sound impossible if you’re accustomed to staying up late to catch up on a to-do list. But this one’s a MUST. Sleep deprivation is a huge anxiety culprit. Inadequate shuteye can amplify the brain‘s anticipatory reactions, upping overall anxiety levels, according to research. Don’t burn the midnight oil in hopes of catching up on the weekends. Unused sleep minutes don’t roll over.
Challenge negative moods. Record your thoughts periodically. Pay attention to when you feel stressed out. Write the feelings that accompany the thoughts. Think one-word responses like frustrated, angry, worthless, and defeated, etc. Challenge reality. This is hard because we tend to lack objectivity about the truth. Is there proof you don’t deserve that job promotion? Were you written up because of shoddy work performance? If you commit to recording your daily thoughts and feelings, along with reality testing, you’ll see that many of your negative feelings are created in your mind, and not based in reality.
The good news is you created the negative thought, and you can uncreate it.
Which suggestions for reducing anxiety would you add? Did any of these surprise you? I know the one on cutting out soda surprised me.
Finally, nobody deserves to feel bad. A qualified mental health professional is your best bet if your anxiety is unbearable.