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How to Control Anxiety

Do you tend to get worried over small issues, get worried about something that hasn't happened yet? Then you need to learn how to control anxiety! This article has some very simple exercises and techniques that can help you overcome anxiety. Read on to know more.
When someone suffers from an anxiety disorder, most of the time is spent worrying and panicking, that too over issues that are yet to take place. The morning starts with worry, and worry doesn't end till night. The sleep is disturbed, and you are not at peace even when you are awake! Lack of proper sleep leads to lack of energy to face the day, which is also accompanied by irritation, muscle tension, headache, chest pain, and lack of attention. You need not worry about your anxiety and stress levels, if you are not facing the symptoms mentioned above. But if you have been experiencing the problems mentioned above, then you need to take effective steps to control anxiety without any further delay.

Effective Ways to Keep Anxiety Under Control

Our mind reacts to what we perceive and so does our body! Our body consists of a defense mechanism to fight against the threats that our mind perceives. When we sense these threats coming towards us, the body automatically releases hormones to prepare it for taking a physical action. These hormones accelerate the nervous system. Therefore, anxiety to some extent is normal, just like getting angry or tired. But anything more than required, can create problems in our life and also in the life of those with whom we live! When one suffers from anxiety disorder, false alarms are given to the mind and body, due to which we tend to over react. This results in increased heart palpitation, sweaty palms, muscle tension, headaches, and what not! If the matter is left unattended, this can invite many severe health problems, hence it is very very important to learn how to control anxiety attacks at the earliest stage itself! The following are some ways on how you can keep your anxiety and anger under control.

Natural Ways to Control Anxiety

Most of us don't even realize that our reaction to a situation is way more than what is required! Consulting a doctor isn't always the first preference, is it? Here are some techniques on how to control anxiety without medication.
  • Breathing Exercises: Breathing exercises are very effective and beneficial in controlling anxiety naturally. Performing breathing exercises as soon as you get up in the morning helps a lot. Even during the day, if you feel that you are about to have a panic attack, start breathing slowly and deeply. One of the most effective exercise is to stand up straight and dropping your shoulders and start taking deep breath, all the way down till your stomach squeezes in, hold your breath for a second or two, and then fully release the breath out, emptying your lungs completely! Repeat this exercise whenever required and notice the difference. Holding your breath before exhaling, calms and relaxes your mind. Practice more of it and you will find that you are taking control of your anxiety gradually.
  • Flowers Do Empower: Another cure among the many natural anxiety cures is the effect of flowers. Bach flower remedies are also very useful for curing anxiety. Among the many flowers used by Dr. Bach, the use of white chestnuts is significant for controlling anxiety. It's essence makes a person's mind relaxed and calm. The unwanted and unnecessary thoughts are controlled and the mind gets more balanced and controlled energy in dealing with problems.
  • Relaxing Activities: Certain relaxing exercises and activities can also help a person in controlling anxiety. Activities like yoga meditation, getting a massage done to loosen up your muscles, Aromatherapy, Acupressure, listening to some soothing and relaxing music, reading self-help or mind relaxing books includes among the most effective relaxation techniques for anxiety.
  • Avoid Alcohol, Drugs, and Caffeine: When a person is suffering from anxiety disorders, consumption of these elements can have a negative effect on the situation. For example, caffeine can stimulate the already triggered nervous system and worsen the matter. So try to avoid or minimize the consumption of these things. Also avoid medicines that constitute of decongestants.
  • Have Plenty of Sleep: Sleep is a natural way of relaxing our body and mind from the physical and mental tension that comes across in the day. Inadequate sleep makes the body and mind tensed. So no matter if your day was full of worries and anxiety, try to relax your mind before you sleep with the help of some relaxation techniques mentioned above, or doing anything that relaxes your mind.
  • Focus on the Present: This would not be easy when you start, but with constant efforts, you will get the hang of it. Don't start worrying about things which have not taken place. Instead learn to focus on things which are there in the present. The Bible quotes the following words, "Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
  • Look at the Brighter Side: People suffering from anxiety disorders tend to focus more on the negative than on the positive. Every cloud has a silver lining, so change your mindset and focus that the bright side is just across the worry.
  • Question Yourself: Wherever your mind takes you, asking yourself some questions at that point of time, will certainly help you get the answers. Ask yourself questions like, " Do I have any strong evidence to support my thinking? Am I helping myself by thinking this way or just getting more miserable? Do others think the same way as me? What can I do to help myself?" At times questioning yourself and answering the questions by yourself makes you realize what others cannot! Try this technique and see if it works for you.
Controlling Anxiety at Work

Controlling anxiety at workplace is a little difficult. This is so because at our respective workplaces, we need to maintain a certain decorum and certain etiquette. I mean you can't start doing yoga exercises to calm down your anxiety, when your boss asks you to do a presentation!! Apart from the exercises and techniques mentioned above, here are some additional tips to overcome anxiety:
  • Keep Your Work Desk Clean and Tidy: How does this help overcome anxiety? Well, let's say for example, you get a panic attack at work, many times it is because your boss has asked for a file, or a report, or some presentation that needs to be done right away, what I mean to say is that it will be work related! Now judge yourself, if a clean work space will help you control anxiety or what effect will a messy and chaotic work place have wen all you are worried about is, getting things right!
  • Take Mini Breaks: Taking mini breaks at work place allows you to take a deep breath from the busy and stressful schedule. This definitely helps in controlling anxiety and also calms your mind to work productively.
  • Pray: If you are religious, then not only at your work place, but also otherwise, start praying. I can't help but quote a verse from the Bible,Philippians 4:6 says, "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God." A little 2 minute prayer can help you overcome anxiety. Give your worries to the Lord and he will take care of it all. :)
  • Don't Do Anything That You Think Is Unmanageable: I do understand that work demands to accept challenges. But then, if you think that there is something you will not be able to manage, don't go for it until you are mentally prepared.
  • Target your Goal: Once you are there at your work place, your growth depends on how you perform and not what you are going through. Therefore, target your goals. Once you are clear about your goals, you will also be clear about the responsibilities you would want to take. This would prepare your mind and hence, anxiety will be there, but you will be able to handle it!
  • Practice At Home: One of the ways to relief stress and anxiety is to practice work related activities at home. For example, if you have been asked to give a presentation, practice at home, imagining the members sitting in front of you while you are presenting the presentation. Or if you have been asked to give a speech, then practice in front of the mirror. This will make your mind and body prepared to face the situation and help control your anxiety when you actually face it.
  • Talk to a Friend: Talking to a friend or a confidante can prove to be of help. At times sharing how you feel and seeking others opinion on the matter helps reduce anxiety.
Anxiety can be stressful and critical, but if proper action is taken on time, it is absolutely curable. If your level of anxiety can't be cured by taking the above mentioned steps, then it is advisable to seek a doctor's assistance as soon as possible. Anxiety medication has its own pros and cons, and only a doctor will be able to guide you correctly. All the best!
By Shalu Bhatti
Last Updated: 9/21/2011
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