Have you ever found yourself ruminating endlessly about something from your past or in your future, leading you to feel tense, nervous, apprehensive or stressed? If so, you may have experienced anxiety.
For those who find anxiety a frequent but not debilitating occurrence, the following exercises can help quiet your alarm in the present and keep it less active in the future.
Have you ever hear of square breathing? This technique can help you calm down in any situation. It helps regulate the amount of oxygen and carbon dioxide in your body, which can balance you during anxiety bouts.
Here’s how you do it. Hold inhale for four seconds, hold for four seconds, exhale for four seconds, and hold for another four. Repeat the cycle for several seconds and promote relaxation and clearer thoughts.
Be in the present and live in the moment! By engaging your five senses you can practice mindfulness anywhere. Mindfulness can be practiced anywhere and applied to any activity. For example, consider the process of taking a shower: Most of us just go through a pattern of steps, rushing through the routine to move forward with our day. A mindful shower would involve paying attention to the smell of your soap, the feel of the warm water on your different body parts, the sound of the water hitting your back and the steam enveloping the bathroom, for example. By observing things in real time and being aware, we can calm the part of the logical mind fixated on what comes next. This helps us appreciate things more and reduces stress and worry.
Progressive muscle relaxation
One common physical reaction to anxiety is muscle tension. When we begin to experience anxiety, our bodies can stay tense without us even realizing it. Ironically, our brain then perceives this tension and treats it as a warning sign that there is reason to be worried, and the anxiety alarm starts to sound. It is a vicious cycle. Progressive muscle relaxation seeks to help your brain recognize what it feels like for your muscles to be in a relaxed, tension-free state. To initiate this practice, get comfortable in a seated position. Starting at the tips of your toes and working your way up, flex each major muscle group for a count of 10 seconds, then release for a count of 10 seconds. Move on to the next group of muscles, flexing for 10 seconds, then releasing for 10 seconds. This exercise can help you relax and release tension in your body when you are anxious.
Make sure to reach out to your doctor if you are experiencing severe anxiety.
Tags: acute anxiety, anxiety, anxiety exercises, anxiety help, anxiety relief, anxiety tips, mindfulness, Progressive muscle relaxation, square breathing