#GetCalm: Tips for Coping with High Anxiety

According to the Merriam Webster dictionary anxiety is described as “an abnormal and overwhelming sense of apprehension and fear often marked by physical signs (such as tension, sweating, and increased pulse rate), by doubt concerning the reality and nature of the threat, and by self-doubt about one’s capacity to cope with it.” If you are someone that frequently or even occasionally gets very anxious in stressful situations you know that if not controlled, it can almost be debilitating in the moment.

Pay Attention to Triggers

You can’t heal anxiety if you don’t know what triggers it. The next time you start to feel anxious, write it down in your phone. Who were you around? What were you talking about? Were you home or at work? Once you know the things or people that trigger you, then you can figure out a game plan. For example, if it happens to be your boss and you have to walk into his/her office eight times a day for various things, try to consolidate your tasks and questions so that you are face to face less. The point is to start thinking of ways to change interactions with people or things that cause your anxiety.

Practice Breathing Calmly

It may sound cliché and you have probably heard it over and over but when you learn how to breathe properly it can help you calm down and prevent hyperventilation, which can occur when a panic attack starts. Your brain needs a good oxygen flow to burn fuel and derive energy for whatever work it needs to do. Take a long slow deep breath, hold your breath to the count of three and slowly exhale making sure your lips are pursed. Do this a few times and try to make sure your shoulders, jaw, and upper body are in a relaxed position.

Eat an Anti-Inflammatory Diet

This kind of diet lowers inflammation and helps to stabilize blood sugar which in turn helps to oxygenate the brain. And when the brain breathes better it helps with brain function, healing, and helps lower stress levels. According to medicalnewstoday.com great anti-inflammatory foods include dark leafy greens, including kale and spinach, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries, dark red grapes, nutrition-dense vegetables, such as broccoli and cauliflower, beans and lentils, green tea, avocado and coconut, olives, extra virgin olive oil, walnuts, pistachios, pine nuts, and almonds, cold water fish, including salmon and sardine, and turmeric and cinnamon.

When you feel yourself starting to get anxious about anything, try and distract yourself. Walk away if possible and go to the bathroom or get some fresh air. While getting fresh air, listen to music for a few minutes or call a good friend and talk about something other than what you are feeling anxious about. After you do that, take deep breaths and follow that up with a positive affirmation out loud like “I got this. I can get through anything. I am calm. I am relaxed. I am at peace.”


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