Everyone has times in their life when they are anxious or stressed. Sometimes, this is due to simple day-to-day stressors. However, many people experience symptoms of anxiety that hold no logical explanation. This type of anxiety is known as general anxiety disorder (GAD). According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, over six million American adults have GAD.
Anxiety occurs when you feel threatened or perceive a negative outcome in the future – even though one might not exist. Those with GAD may become overwhelmed by thoughts of impending doom without any external stimuli causing them fear. They often try to reduce their symptoms by avoiding whatever situations trigger these feelings, but this only makes the problem worse.
People with GAD can reduce these symptoms by practicing some natural calming techniques such as deep breathing, muscle relaxation, and meditation. These methods reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety. Further, they reduce the underlying emotional state that contributes to anxiety.
In this article, we will briefly go over the three natural calming techniques. For those with GAD, these can reduce symptoms and prevent them from occurring in the first place.
Anxiety must be addressed at its core level – not by avoiding things or only managing the surface symptoms.
Rather than filling your body with adrenaline through strenuous exercise or becoming overwhelmed with shallow breaths, take a few minutes out of your day to practice deep breathing exercises. This is an evolutionary adaptation designed to reduce stress and keep our bodies calm when we perceived threats in our environment.
Technique: Take a few moments each day to sit or lie down comfortably and close your eyes.
Take a slow breath in through your nose and fill up your lungs fully. Then, exhale slowly through your mouth with some force so that the air rushes out of your nose.
If you practice this exercise throughout the day, you will reduce anxiety and calm your mind. It is difficult to remain stressed or overwhelmed when you are taking full, slow breaths.
Practice being grateful:
Those with GAD often fixate on the worst possible outcomes. This exacerbates stress and self-doubt. One way to reduce these negative thought patterns is to practice being grateful for what you have in your life.
When you find yourself worrying or becoming stressed, take a few minutes out of your day and write down all of the things that you are grateful for in your life. You can do this by writing down anything from your favorite meal to your cat’s unconditional love to the safety and security of living in America.
According to one study done by UC Davis, those who took time each day (similar to deep breathing) to reflect on their gratitude were more likely recover from depression rather than those who did not. This is because the act of gratitude encourages positive thoughts and reduces anxiety.
Many people with GAD are often dealing with elevated heart rates, sweaty palms, nerve twitches, or trembling hands. When we become overwhelmed with stress and worry, our body reacts as if it is facing a threat even when there is no immediate danger. Muscle relaxation techniques reduce these physical symptoms of anxiety by teaching individuals how to reduce their muscle tension throughout the day.
Curl your toes downward toward the ground and hold this position for ten seconds before releasing and relaxing your feet completely. Repeat this process by curling and relaxing each muscle in your body from your feet to your head. While it may seem slightly uncomfortable at first, this exercise will reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety and calm your mind.
Another great way to reduce anxiety is through meditation. Meditation allows you to reduce stress and practice mindfulness by focusing on the present moment as opposed to worrying about what might or might not happen in the future.
There are many forms of meditation, but below we have listed a simple version that anyone can do anywhere with no prior experience required. To perform this type of meditation, all you need is about five minutes out of your day, a quiet space where you won’t be disturbed, and an open mind.
1) Sit comfortably in your quiet space with your spine straight and your eyes closed.
2) Focus on your breath as it enters and leaves your body. Try to reduce the number of unnecessary thoughts that enter into your mind. If you notice yourself getting distracted by a stray thought, acknowledge it without judgment, remind yourself to come back to the present moment, and allow those thoughts to pass from your mind until they are replaced with better ones.
3) Continue this cycle for approximately five minutes or until you feel calm.
Each technique may not work for everyone suffering from GAD depending on their personal anxiety triggers, but practicing just one of these techniques will reduce feelings of anxiety.
There are thousands of positive hypnosis audio sessions and binaural beats videos available to listen to online to reduce anxiety. For those looking for a quick fix, we recommend that you frequently listen to this video which offers a great introduction into the world of mindfulness and meditation:
7 Days to change your life by Paul Mckenna. I use several of these sleep hypnosis sessions on a daily basis, and they have had a positive influence on my life.
We all want to get rid of panic attacks and general anxiety naturally and permanently. The adverse effects of the medications they propose for you are far more severe than dealing with anxiety on your own.
Nothing is worse than having to live life in fear of the next panic attack or general sense of dread. These feelings of anxiety are not only uncomfortable, but can make it impossible to enjoy anything.
Practice these tips and techniques on a daily basis and gain control of your mind and body. Trust us, you will reduce anxiety naturally!
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