What you will find in this article
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In this article, I will reveal three things that have helped me to learn how to easily control any anxiety or panic attack. And I will share with you the one thing that is often overlooked but is actually the key to understand how to calm anxiety effectively.
So, you are here because you currently are suffering from anxiety. In today’s world, it has become a normal thing and more and more people start to understand what it is and what the symptoms are. Over the years I’ve become an expert and I’ve learned how to calm anxiety easily. Seven years ago I experienced virtually all known symptoms of anxiety daily. Every single day, for two years. Some days it was worse, some days it was better. But I learned to live with it.
The autonomic nervous system
In that period I spent a lot of time investigating everything about anxiety and what it meant for me, my life, and my inner peace. You have to understand that the symptoms of anxiety are a natural reaction of your body when you’re in a stressful situation. This is when the autonomic nervous system initiates the sympathetic response, which is also commonly known as the fight or flight response. It’s automatic, and it regulates the amount of cortisol and adrenaline that is released into the body. This causes the blood pressure to go up, the breathing rate increases, and it generates the rest of all the other physical symptoms of anxiety.
Long-term stress causing anxiety
Now, when you are in a situation of acute stress. Like when your life is in real danger, for example, when you’re on the edge of a cliff, or when you’re out in nature and a wild animal attacks you. This is a good thing, and it can be helpful to save your life. In our modern world, these occasions are not very frequent anymore. However, you put yourself under continuous stress, at work, at school, at home. You always have to be alert. Deadlines need to be met, projects need to be delivered, Instagram and Facebook demand an update, and expectations seem to be higher and higher all the time. You need to be ready to perform, there is no time to relax.
This new digital, social media world we are living in right now is taking its toll and causing many of us to live in a state of perpetual stress. It has become the new normal and often you seem to have lost your capacity to detect whether your body is under tension and your mind is anxious. And that is how you’ve ended up with long-term stress, causing you to experience all kinds of health issues. They can range from mild discomfort in your digestion to symptoms that mimic a heart attack and can have you ending up in a hospital.
How to calm anxiety easily
In that kind of situation, you want nothing more than to be able to calm your anxiety quick and easily. So, how do you go about that? Let me share with you the four main things that have helped me to easily gain control in moments of anxiety.
First of all, you must understand that you need to change your mind about anxiety and how to get it under control. For most people, a natural reaction to physical symptoms of anxiety is to fight it, to do something to make it go away. What you don’t realize is that more often than not this puts you under even more stress.
Remember? Fight or flight. That is what your body is telling you. So, you either fight it, or you try to run away from it. But since there is no obvious cause of the stress that has put you in the situation where you are now experiencing anxiety or maybe even a panic attack. You will never manage to conquer it by fighting or fleeing. Therefore, the best things you can do to calm your anxiety may come across as tremendously counterintuitive.
Your body tells you to do one thing but you need to do the exact opposite to achieve the result you are looking for.
So, understand that the decisions that you take while having an anxiety attack will either lead you to be able to soothe the anxiety or to perpetuate it or in some cases even to make it worse. This means, that to control the circumstances you need to be fully aware of the decisions you make at that particular moment.
Slow down your breath to instantly control your anxiety
Once you are aware of this, you can consciously decide to slow down your breath. Don’t try to take deeper breaths, don’t force it. Just slow down your breathing.
It is by far the most effective technique that you can apply to instantly and easily calm down your anxiety. I’m pretty sure you’ve already heard or read this somewhere. The problem is, you don’t do it. Just slow down your breathing. Stop the chit-chat in your head and simply take one minute to get your breathing under control. You will see that once a minute has passed, or maybe two or three, you will feel more calm and ready to apply the next techniques to continue the process to relax your mind and body again.
Exercise for anxiety relief
Then once your breathing is under control you can do the second contradictory thing that will help you to calm the anxiety massively; exercise. Any kind of exercise will do but of course, don’t take it too far. You don’t want to stress your body even more. Just some light exercise that makes you move your body, break a little sweat, just for a few minutes.
Do some jumps, some push-ups, go for a little run, do some yoga, get the blood flowing through your body and your brain, release endorphins that are sometimes also referred to as “happy hormones” because they do the exact opposite as the cortisol and adrenaline I mentioned earlier. They make you feel happy and relaxed.
The third thing you should do is not specifically meant to be applied in the exact moment of anxiety or a panic attack. However, you cannot achieve long-term results if you don’t do this.
It’s that simple. Of course, the root cause is not the situation that causes you to feel the stress. Because it’s in how you perceive the situation that provokes the stress for you. But that’s not what we’re talking about in this article. Right now we’re looking into what you can do to calm the anxiety. So, avoid things that stress you out. Abstain from listening to loud music, going to overcrowded public places, watching horror movies, spending time with people you don’t like, or anything else that causes stress for you.
Experience the anxiety
Now, the fourth point I want to make is a key element that is being overlooked most of the time. And that is to actually experience the anxiety in your body. Feel it, live it, understand it. Only by doing that you can let it go. To feel more or less comfortable doing this I recommend you first get a medical check-up. I’m not someone who normally suggests going and see a doctor. But I can tell you from experience that it did help me a lot to get through those delicate moments that could easily be mistaken for other much more severe physical problems. Once you have the confirmation that physically you are fine, you will find it much easier to fully let yourself live the experience.
The beautiful thing about this technique is that the moment you put your complete and undivided attention on the symptoms that your body is displaying to you and you do not try to fight them, control them or guide them in any way, they immediately start to dissipate. It might take you a few attempts to identify whether you are still trying to fight and control the feelings or if you truly surrendered and gave up the fight. No fight, no flight. Just give in, hand over control, and succumb to the feeling of fear. Feel it, observe it, and see how it dissolves like ice in a warm bath.
On your way with consistency
These were the four things that helped me most to calm my anxiety. There are plenty of other things you can do that will help you to get your anxiety under control. But maybe we’ll speak about those in another video. Remember for the next time you experience some sort of anxiety; start to slow down your breathing, get your blood flowing and break a sweat if you can, avoid any situation that causes stress for you, and finally don’t fight the symptoms of anxiety, feel them, live them and embrace them. If you consistently apply these four techniques I am very confident you will be well on your way to be able to easily calm your anxiety under any circumstance.
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