Nobody is a stranger to stress and anxiety in this day and age. However, too much stress and anxiety can affect health, and interfere with activities of daily living. To combat anxiety in a stressful situation, psychologists suggest that you take certain measures that can help relax you. Just use these coping exercises whenever you find yourself spiralling down:
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1- Pick a soothing sound or object:
Therapists often recommend their patients to find something that soothes them. If there is something that scares you or induces anxiety then use that sight or sound to centre yourself. It could be anything, from the sight of clouds to the sound of birds, even looking at a picture of a water body can soothe your nerves. If sounds of nature calm you down, then you can download an app with these sounds and listen to them whenever you feel the knot of anxiety forming in you.
2- Breathe yourself to calmness:
In a stressful situation, the heart rate and the breathing rate are always the first to increase. This will ultimately lead to hyperventilation and dizziness. Therefore, focusing on your breath in a tense situation is very important. Whenever you feel tense, sit in a comfortable position, and put a hand on your chest and another on the stomach.
Now slowly inhale, and as you do, your stomach should move more than the chest. Look at your hands as they move, and slowly centre your mind; you will notice your anxiety abate as you see yourself breathing calmly. Do this for ten times minimum.
3- Break down the time before you:
If you are heading towards something anxiety-inducing, just focus on the ‘right now’. Tell yourself that you have to worry about the second that’s before you, and not think about later on. This exercise is useful when you are preparing for say, an interview or a meet-up that’s causing you anxiety.
4- Meditate with a mantra:
Meditation has proven time and again its benefits in reducing stress. It soothes the mind and relaxes the muscles—thus combating the effect of tension on the body. Having a mantra and repeating it is even more beneficial.
For instance, if you are doubting yourself because of other people, then remind yourself that you don’t have to live by other people’s standards and you are “good enough” for yourself. Now meditate, in a quiet room, early in the morning, or late at night, and repeat this mantra “I am good enough” over and over again, and you will find yourself in a completely stress-free zone, not worrying about other people’s approval.
5- Visualization exercise:
Whenever you are feeling tense or anxious, bring yourself to a relaxation spot. This can be a real or an imaginary place, where you feel no stress. Imagine yourself being in this place, and do it in great detail. This technique will divert the energies of the mind, and relax it. In your head, make this place as real as possible, and see yourself enjoying this place. Regulate your breathing, with slow, inhales and exhales, and focus on your happy place. Do this for ten to twenty minutes.
If you are physically and mentally suffering from stress, then take measures to get rid of it. Book an appointment with a top psychologist in Lahore, Rawalpindi and Islamabad through oladoc.com, or call our helpline at 042-3890-0939 for assistance to find the RIGHT professional for your concerns.