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Chronic worrying Ways to help calm anxiety also be a major symptom of Generalized Anxiety Disorder GADa common anxiety disorder that involves tension, nervousness, and a general feeling of Ways to help calm anxiety that colors your whole life. Chronic worrying is a mental habit that can be broken.
You can train your brain to stay calm and look at life from a more balanced, less fearful perspective. Constant worrying can take a heavy toll. It can keep you up at night and make you tense and edgy during the day. And even though you hate feeling like a nervous wreck, it can still be so difficult to stop.
For most chronic worriers, the anxious thoughts are fueled by the beliefs—both negative and positive—that you hold about worrying:. Negative beliefs about worry. While negative beliefs, or worrying about worrying, adds to your anxiety and keeps worry going, positive beliefs about worrying can be just as damaging. Positive beliefs about worry. You may believe that your worrying helps you avoid bad things, prevents problems, prepares you for the worst, or le to solutions. Once you realize that worrying is the problem, not the solution, you can regain control of your worried mind.
This is where the strategy of postponing worrying can help. Rather than trying to stop or get rid of an anxious thought, give yourself permission to have it, but put off dwelling on it until later. If you suffer from chronic anxiety and worry, chances are you look at the world in ways that make it seem more threatening than it really is. For example, you may overestimate the possibility that things will turn out badly, jump immediately to worst-case scenarios, or treat every anxious thought as if it were fact.
These types of thoughts, known as cognitive distortions, include:. But worrying and problem solving are two very different things. Problem solving involves evaluating a situation, coming up with concrete steps for dealing with it, and then putting the plan into action. Worrying, on the other hand, rarely le to solutions. Productive, solvable worries are those you can take action on right away.
Unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. If the worry is solvable, start brainstorming. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of.
Try not to get too hung up on finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the power to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. If the worry is not solvable, accept the uncertainty. Worrying is often a way we try to predict what the future has in store-a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the outcome. Focusing on worst-case scenarios will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. To stop worrying, tackle your need for certainty and immediate answers.
If you worry excessively, it can seem like negative thoughts are running through your head on endless repeat. But there are steps you can take right now to Ways to help calm anxiety all those anxious thoughts and give yourself a time out from relentless worrying. Get up and get moving. Exercise is a natural and effective anti-anxiety treatment because it releases endorphins which relieve tension and stress, boost energy, and enhance your sense of well-being.
Even more importantly, by really focusing on how your body feels as you move, you can interrupt the constant flow of worries running through your head. Pay attention to the sensation of your feet hitting the ground as you walk, run, or dance, for example, or the rhythm of your breathing, or the feeling of the sun or wind on your skin.
Take a yoga or tai chi class. By focusing your mind on your movements and breathing, practicing yoga or tai chi keeps your attention on the present, helping to clear your mind and lead to a relaxed state. By being fully engaged in the present moment, you can interrupt the endless loop of negative thoughts and worries. Simply find a quiet, comfortable Ways to help calm anxiety and choose one of the many free or inexpensive smartphone apps that can guide you through the meditation process.
Practice progressive muscle relaxation. This can help you break the endless loop of worrying by focusing your mind on your body instead of your thoughts. By alternately tensing and then releasing different muscle groups in your body, you release muscle tension in your body. And as your body relaxes, your mind will follow. Try deep breathing. When you worry, you become anxious and breathe faster, often leading to further anxiety. But by practicing deep breathing exercisesyou can calm your mind and quiet negative thoughts.
While the above relaxation techniques can provide some immediate respite from worry and anxiety, practicing them regularly can also change your brain. Research has shown that regular meditationfor example, can boost activity on the left side of the prefrontal cortex, the area of the brain responsible for feelings of serenity and joy.
It may seem like a simplistic solution, but talking face to face with a trusted friend or family member—someone who will listen to you without judging, criticizing, or continually being distracted—is one of the most effective ways to calm your nervous system and diffuse anxiety. When your worries start spiraling, talking them over can make them seem far less threatening. Keeping worries to yourself only causes them to build up until they seem overwhelming.
If your fears are unwarranted, verbalizing them can expose them for what they are—needless worries. And if your fears are justified, sharing them with someone else can produce solutions that you may not have thought of alone. Build a strong support system. Human beings are social creatures. Your anxious take on life may be something you learned when you were growing up. When considering who to turn to, ask yourself whether you tend to feel better or worse after talking to that Ways to help calm anxiety about a problem.
The centuries-old practice of mindfulness can help you break free of your worries by bringing your attention back to the present. This strategy is based on observing your worries and then letting them go, helping you identify where your thinking is causing problems and getting in touch with your emotions. Acknowledge and observe your Ways to help calm anxiety. Let your worries go.
Stay focused on the present. Pay attention to the way your body feels, the rhythm of your breathing, your ever-changing emotions, and the thoughts that drift across your mind. If you find yourself getting stuck on a particular thought, bring your attention back to the present moment. Repeat daily. Using mindfulness to stay focused on the present is a simple concept, but Ways to help calm anxiety takes time and regular practice to reap the benefits. Try not to get frustrated. for a free mindful breathing meditation.
Worry and Rumination — Workbook, information sheets, worksheets, and other self-help resources to help you stop worrying and get anxiety relief. Centre for Clinical Interventions. NAMI Helpline — Trained volunteers can provide information, referrals, and support for those suffering from anxiety disorders in the U. Call National Alliance on Mental Illness. Find a Therapist — Search for anxiety disorder treatment providers in the U. Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Support Groups — List of support groups in the U.
These tips can help calm your worried mind and ease anxiety. How much worrying is too much? Why is it so hard to stop worrying?Ways to help calm anxiety
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Stress Management: Relaxing Your Mind and Body