You wake up in the early hours with your heart racing. You have a pit in your stomach. You feel restless, light-headed, and hot. Your mind starts to race, and before you know it, you’re worrying about the list of things that need to be done, a upcoming meeting or an event you are going to. Though mind and body reactions may vary, these symptoms are often an indication of anxiety.
Occasional anxiety is normal, but those of you with anxiety disorders experience powerful, excessive, and constant worry and fear about normal circumstances. Does your anxiety result in episodes of intense fear, panic attacks, and do these feelings interfere with your everyday life?
Fortunately, there are a few ways you can control anxious thoughts, it just takes practice to master the techniques.
6 Tricks to Stop Anxious Thoughts In Their Tracks;
Distance yourself from the worrisome thoughts. Learn to look at your anxious thoughts in a different way.
- The key is to reshape how you think about things. When you get an anxious thought, immediately identify it as a sign of your worry and not reality.
- Labelling your thoughts correctly raises self-awareness and makes it
easier to control them. It also gives you something else to focus on
instead of constant worry.
Ask yourself questions. When you get an anxious thought, stop and ask yourself
- What is the real reason for this anxious thought? What am I really afraid of?
- Is there real danger, or is my mind simply playing games with me?
- Is the negative outcome I’m imagining likely to happen?
- How can I stop or change these negative thoughts into something positive?
View your thoughts as data. Sometimes it’s helpful to view your thoughts as data and your mind as a data processing centre.
- You’ll get a lot of data coming in throughout the day. Some of this data can be incorrect and confusing. This is an example of anxious thoughts.
- You may also interpret the data incorrectly. This means you allow the anxious thoughts to take over and control you. You let them grow and fester.
- As the data processing centre, you get to decide how to handle all the information. Remember you’re in control. This means you can choose to toss out or ignore the incorrect data.
- Also, keep in mind that the brain is designed to detect danger and is hypersensitive to it. You may pick up on things that aren’t even real.
Focus on the present. Many anxious thoughts are focused on either the future or the past. You can break free by focusing on the present.
- Avoid thinking too much about the past or future by interrupting these thoughts. Notice when you’re thinking about the past or future and guide your thoughts back to the present moment.
- Sometimes thoughts from the past can make you afraid of the future. Remember that the past doesn’t have to repeat itself. You have the power to change how your future will be shaped.
Take action. Anxious thoughts often prevent you from taking action. They keep
you stuck in fear and worry. Learn to take action even when you’re afraid.
- Find one thing you can influence positively in that moment and take an action.
- Action can actually decrease the number of anxious thoughts you have on a daily basis. It can show you that there’s nothing to be afraid of, that you’re powerful, and that you can make a positive difference.
Get rid of unhelpful thoughts. Some thoughts may be true, but they aren’t helpful.
- Learn to tell helpful and unhelpful thoughts apart.
- Then, start to filter out the unhelpful ones. For example, if you know that the odds of making a perfect presentation at work are low, but you still have to do it, this is an unhelpful thought. It doesn’t encourage you to do your best.
Natural anti-anxiety remedies;
This popular herb is a go-to for calming. In fact, one study found that those with generalised anxiety disorder who took chamomile supplements had a significant decrease in symptoms of anxiety. Brew yourself a cup of tea at night or opt for a chamomile supplement.
Have you ever experienced a “runner’s high,” the sense of mental clarity and calmness you feel after vigorous exercise? Aside from its physical health benefits, exercise can act as an immediate and long-term antidote to depression and anxiety. Physical exercise also produces endorphins, which are chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers. For an extra boost of relaxation, head to the sauna after your workout, the warming sensation can impact the neural circuits that control your mood, including those that affect serotonin.
When you’re anxious, it can feel like your brain is constantly racing. A great way to calm anxiety and quiet your mind is through meditation. Meditation focuses on replacing chaotic, anxious thoughts with a sense of calm and mindfulness.
Aromatherapy is the practice of inhaling the scent of essential oils to improve overall well-being; it’s a great option for anxiety relief and relaxation. Those who use essential oils find they help with sleep and mood as well as reducing heart rate and blood pressure. While each essential oil has its own use and effect, bergamot, lavender, clary sage, grapefruit, and ylang-ylang are great options to calm anxiety.
Eat…the right way
It can be tempting to reach for comfort foods when you’re anxious, but there are actually ways to nourish your body that will reduce uneasy feelings. Low blood sugar, dehydration, and the chemicals in processed foods can alter mood in some people, so it’s important to take note of how you feel after eating them. It can be helpful to hydrate, cut back on processed foods, and eat a healthy diet of complex carbohydrates, fruits, vegetables, and lean proteins. Try incorporating sources of omega-3s, like salmon, canned tuna, or walnuts, into your diet. Evidence suggests that omega-3 fatty acids can lessen symptoms of anxiety and increase mood by decreasing levels of adrenaline and cortisol.
If you feel a pang of anxiety in the middle of the workday, take a 15-minute break for some sunshine! Aside from removing yourself from what may be a stress-inducing environment, increased vitamin D levels can decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. And while you’re at it, bump up those endorphins by taking a brisk walk around the block.
Anxious thoughts don’t have to control your life. You can use these tricks to effectively take control of your mind when you find yourself worrying. If these tips aren’t enough, consider talking to a therapist for additional help.
How do you naturally relieve anxious thoughts? Let me know below!