Updated: Jun 27
Do you constantly feel anxious? Are you often worried about being worried and have crippling panic attacks or feel terrified by simple everyday situations? Do you regularly find yourself asking, why do I feel anxious?
If you find yourself wondering why some people experience anxiety only occasionally, while others seem to be immobilized by it, let me tell you, you’re not alone.
Why do people get anxiety? The causes of anxiety disorders aren’t fully understood and there can be many things that can ignite anxiety in people. Life experiences such as traumatic events from the past appear to trigger anxiety disorders in people who are already prone to anxiety. Inherited traits can also be a contributing factor. Anxiety often appears in a variety of ways and can have different types of triggers for different people.
But what if you could train yourself to feel strong, to feel passion and joy?
Instead of constantly asking yourself “why do I feel anxious?”, what if you could push those thoughts and feelings away through visualization, mental conditioning and a change in mindset? Yes, you can.
To be clear, this training does not mean that you will never end up feeling anxious ever again. To expect that is to set yourself up for disappointment. Everyone feels anxiety to some degree and at some point in their lives. You can’t change the fact that stressful moments in life will happen, but you can decide to move past them and control your emotions.
This training will give you the tools you need to understand your sense of anxiety, deal with it and move on.
Here are 6 Powerful ways to deal with anxiety and depressive thoughts.
1. Make a Quick Shift
When you are feeling anxious getup, pull your shoulder back and stand confident and tall. Try visualizing yourself as an able and confident person handling the current situation. Make this image in your head as clear as you possibly can. Take slow concentrated breaths and imagine a steady heartbeat. Get yourself to think of a time when you had absolute conviction and confidence that you can handle whatever situation is thrown your way. A time when you felt confident and competent. Though mental conditioning takes time and persistence, it’s well worth it to reduce anxiety and get more out of each day.
2. Focus On Your Breath
Breathing is one activity that can center you, ground you and bring you back to balance. When we are under stress, we tend to breathe from our upper chest and our breaths are short, shallow and rapid.
Pay attention to your breathing for instant relief. First of all sit or stand in a quiet, relaxing place. You will need about 10 minutes by yourself for this activity. After sitting or standing comfortably, lift your ribs and straighten your back. Breathe through your nose, not through your mouth. Take slow and deep breaths so they fill up your abdomen and not your chest. Count to 5 as you are breathing in and count to 8 as you breathe out. By balancing out your breath, you’ll slow your heart rate which will help calm you down instantly.
3. Change You Physical State
Use your body to change your emotions. The quality of your life depends on the constant emotions you experience on a day to day basis. And you can control your emotions by controlling the way you use your body. Jump up in excitement and tell me if that doesn't bring a smile on your face. Do something funny while using your face and body whenever you feel low, this will help you change your emotions in an instant.
You can also train your mind to consistently feel positive emotions every day by staying physically fit and healthy. Get up each day and physically move. Wake up your metabolism and train your mind to feel powerful, confident and positive from the very start of your day. Find a form of exercise that you can enjoy, something that is not very time consuming (so you can not find excuses to avoid it) and gives you positive results. If possible, make time to play your favourite sport.
Keeping your body and mind healthy by exercising regularly, eating balanced meals and getting enough sleep is a great way to stave off anxiety symptoms.
4. 90-Second Rule
When you feel anxiety and depressive thoughts, try the famous 90-second rule. The next time you find yourself becoming anxious, accept that you feel fearful in the moment and look at a clock; you have 90 seconds to feel terrible. Allow yourself 90 seconds to acknowledge these thoughts, give them the due regard and feel self-pity or fear or anger or worry. But once those 90 seconds are up, it’s time for you to move on for good. Tell yourself that these emotions are in the past. Take action in that very moment and start moving towards your goal regardless of your emotions. Once you do this a few times, you will find that getting rid of anxiety and negative thoughts will become an easier endeavor because you are accepting your feelings instead of pushing them away.
5. Give Gratitude & Visualise
Whatever we focus on, we tend to feel and attract. Focusing on unimportant things is a recipe for stress but focusing on things that matter is the secret to living a phenomenal life. Change your focus and change your life.
Train your mind to look for positive moments and commit them to memory from your day to day life. These two practices when adopted in daily life can not only help you deal with anxiety but also help you build a phenomenal life.
Every day give gratitude and visualize. Every morning take 10 minutes to think about everything you are grateful for, start with yourself, include your family, your business associates, all simple and special moments you experienced in the previous day. Visualise all these moments as you close your eyes and fill your heart and mind with sincere heartfelt appreciation. Make sure you find at least 5 things to be grateful for even on the worst of days.
Step two is to visualise everything you want in your life and see it as if you have already achieved it and are grateful for it. Remember, your brain can not tell the difference between something you vividly imagine and something you actually experience; whatever you focus on, you will find ways to move towards. The more clearly you can see the future in your imagination the better it is and with every passing day of continued practice, you will realise that this image of a beautiful future will get more and more clear.
Listen to relaxing instrumental music with sounds of water flowing in the background as you do this exercise and if you still struggle to maintain focus, start with focusing on your breathe for the first few minutes.
6. Change You Associations
If your fears are keeping you from living a phenomenal life, it’s time to learn how to get rid of them. Once you become more fearful of not taking action, then what scares you will feel less daunting.
You have to train your mind of being petrified by the prospect of settling for less. Be afraid of living a life that’s below what you deserve or desire. Do not let your fear hold you back. Instead, let your fear push you to achieve the things you want in life. It can be difficult, but you have to challenge your mind to be scared of not achieving your goals. This shift in mindset will not only help you learn how to get over anxiety but will also help you establish empowering beliefs that can support you to achieve your dreams. When you realize that your fears real or imagined, are less painful than not achieving your objective, you will find it easier to break free from anxiety.
For some people, getting completely rid of anxiety is not possible or even necessary. But if you are able you use the energy of anxiety or fear to move forward, you can use them positively. Remember, you don’t have to feel good to be productive. Instead of anxiety being a limitation use it as a force that propels you forward.
If you notice that these tips have not been helping, you may want to consider seeking professional help. A mental health professional can help streamline your triggers and maintaining long-term strategies through behavioral therapy and medications can be highly beneficial. For example, if your anxiety stems from a trauma you experienced in your past, it can be helpful to work with a licensed therapist. On the other hand, if you’re brain chemistry predisposes you to chronic anxiety, you may even need to take medication to manage it.
Anxiety may continue to be a part of your life, but it should not take over your day to day routine. Even the most extreme anxiety disorders can be treated by proper care. Once you find what treatment works best for you, life should be a lot more enjoyable and a lot less daunting.