I don’t quite recollect when anxiety became a part of my life. But what I comprehended was that it was there to stay. What seemed normal to get nervous about an important event or a presentation, slowly drifted to intense worrying over things that were beyond my control.
Today, uncountable people live with anxiety disorders. How to calm anxiety is a question that is often googled. With a million options that they throw up, you know what works best for you. Anxiety disorders can range from a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD), which is intense worrying that you can’t control, to panic disorder that is an onset of sudden episodes of fear, restlessness, heart palpitations, trembling or sweating. I have faced this all.
How to Calm Anxiety
This is a question I ask my therapist all the time. ‘How to calm anxiety?”. The fear of depending on medicines, which I had to take to calm me during the panic and anxiety attacks took a toll on me. I needed to wean away from the medicines, rather than being dependent on them for the rest of my life.
After two years of being on and off on medicines, and after reading a zillion books on self-help, I chose to set a routine. Follow certain things in life that gave me a sense of calm and not trigger my ‘How to calm anxiety” woes.
How to calm Anxiety: Stop feeling anxious right now.
These are some routines I love to follow and I would like to share them with you. I hope it resonates with someone and I can do my bit to make a change in their life.
Write it down
Writing down my fears, my anxieties and worries gives me a sense of freedom. It also ensures that I do not unknowingly pass my burdens onto someone. While it’s always nice to have a 3 am friend, somethings must be kept to yourself. I’ll share a ritual I follow. On days, when I have the worst panic attack, I write EVERYTHING that is bothering me. I burn the papers on which I have written my worst fears. A part of me feels lighter and liberated because I’ve expressed my fears.
Learn what triggers your anxiety
Is someone constantly putting you down? Is something triggering your self-worth and self-esteem? Do you feel you are not capable enough? My biggest anxiety was that I wasn’t a good mother! Every time you feel the anxiety trigger, note what caused it. See if there are patterns that play in a loop. Work towards getting out of the loop.
Learn to say no
Not all stress factors will be within your control, but some are. It is important to take control over parts of your life that can be changed and cause stress. Call it setting boundaries or saying no to things that you cannot do. Setting boundaries gives you the space you need to calm you down.
Get some sleep
If your mind is wandering a lot, rest it out. There is nothing as refreshing as a good 6-8 hour sleep. Insomnia is a common symptom of anxiety. But to get the right sleep, you’ll need to follow some rules:
- Sleep only when you feel exhausted.
- Avoid using your phone or iPads in bed. (Trust me, you’ll be flitting from one video to another!)
- Avoid caffeine or alcoholic beverages before you sleep.
- Keep your room well ventilated and close the blinds.
- Make it a habit to try and sleep at a particular time every night.
- Indulge in some aromatherapy to calm your senses.
Set an intention for the day. Practice gratitude. Journal your positive thoughts, Don’t dwell in the past. Live in the moment. Be grateful for what you have. Smile. Laugh. Be present. Listen to your body. Listen to your inner thoughts. Be happy.
Practice deep breathing
When you feel the anxiety or panic attack about to start, take deep breaths. Deep breathing is known to quicken your relaxation response. When you deep breathe, you are more aware and focused on your breathing. Take slow and deep breaths, inhaling and exhaling slowly. This exercise works or me to reduce the intensity of my stress an make me calmer.
Wrapping it up
Mental health is a taboo in most countries. People refrain from talking about mental health for the fear of being judged. Covid -19 saw a steep rise in mental health issues. Mental health awareness is a topic that we all should be concerned about and not shy away from talking about it.
I am participating in the #CauseAChatter series in collaboration with Blogchatter. I’ll share snippets from my journey of mental health issues and my thoughts on pure mental health awareness. I believe that together we can make the change. And stop judging people and be more aware towards people who face such issues. This was my story on how to calm anxiety and deal with it.
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Note: If you face severe anxiety or panic attacks, it is best to consult your doctor for the right treatment.