The mind is a powerful tool that has the ability to affect our mental, emotional and even physical health. Our brain is akin to the body’s control tower. It controls many of our bodily functions and affects how we feel and think. Unsurprisingly, therefore, anything that affects the mind can affect all other bodily functions.
Fear and anxiety are one of the most powerful emotions that have a strong impact on our minds and bodies. Anxiety is a progressive level of apprehension that has the ability to severely sap your mental energy which in turn could affect the way the rest of your body is regulated.
Anxiety is a common mental health condition faced by many these days. Here are some simple tips from experts that can help you calm your anxious mind.
- Be open and curious about your anxieties
Sometimes, people deal with anxiety by suppressing it. This is not going going to be helpful long term because it will not get dealt with and will in fact surface again in a different way. It might even become worse if the underlying causes are not dealt with.
It might be more constructive to be curious about why you are anxious. Be open to learning more about yourself and allow yourself to explore the triggers or possibilities of what could have brought on the anxiety. Allow yourself to feel the emotions. Keeping a journal to jot down the times when the anxiety starts could also help you understand if there is a pattern to it and if you can then take steps to tackle the underlying issues.
Fear that stays hidden in the regions of your subconscious mind will be difficult to conquer. As such, it will be more helpful to allow your fears and anxieties to come to the surface so that you can meet them and overcome them.
When you turn towards your anxieties rather than running away from them, you start noticing aspects pertaining to your fear that you didn’t know before. This consciousness will aid you in countering it better. Maintaining a journal and jotting down anything that seems important could also help with this. Transferring your stressors into writing can facilitate you in demystifying them. They are no longer so big and so insurmountable.
To get the anxiety regulating benefits of exercise, one does not need to run a marathon or lift a barbell. Any regular movement helps from a short brisk walk to a swim!
Physical activity may perhaps be the last thing you want to indulge in when your mind is anxious. But in reality, exercise is one of the most effective anti-anxiety solutions. Working out tends to raise endorphins and serotonin levels that facilitates one to feel emotionally good. And when you feel better on the inside, your overall outlook is improved. To nurture a healthy mind, it is advisable to indulge in at least 30 minutes of physical activity. But if that seems too insurmountable, start small. Even 10 minutes will help at the start!
3. Stay present
A lot of stressors are rooted in either past events or speculation of future events. However, in reality, the past is already history and the future has not yet happened. Staying in the past or worrying endlessly about future events that may or may not happen is unconstructive. What we have is the present moment. Staying present reminds us that we are alive and is a centring and grounding practice that slows down the mind, thereby reducing anxiety.
Mindfulness is deeply rooted in living in the moment and has been found to lessen stress. This may not come naturally to us and we will have to train the mind. Every time you feel that we are going into “worry mode”, bring your mind back to the present. Focus on your breathing, the texture of your clothing or your immediate surroundings.
Being aware of your thoughts is one of the most significant steps in combatting anxiety. You must take charge of your thoughts, instead of allowing your thoughts to control you. A useful way to do this is to categorise your thoughts. For instance, if a negative thought comes to your mind, you must list it and entitle it as negative and something that you must not indulge in – in other words, learn to recognise your thought patterns and practice those changing those negative thought patterns.
*This article does not amount to medical advice and we advise readers to seek medical advice should they require it.