5 Ways to Reduce Anxiety
It’s rare that any of us will get through life without experiencing anxiety at some point. But some people have the burden of dealing with anxiety on a daily basis. Whether it’s over something big or insignificant, anxiety stops us from living a normal life full of joy and potential.
Here are 5 ways you can begin reducing your anxiety:
1. Recognize You Are in Control
When you are in the grips of anxiety, it feels very much like it has total control over you. But the reality is, you are in control. While external events can trigger our emotions, ultimately, we have the choice whether we feel those emotions or not. So the good news is, you don’t have to suffer with anxiety, you simply have to decide to show it who’s really boss.
2. Diaphragmatic breathing
This physical strategy is very helpful to relax in stressful situations. While breathing, focus on breathing into the belly while keeping your shoulders down and relaxed. As opposed to expanding your chest, focus on letting your abdomen expand while inhaling.
3. Move Your Body
Exercise is a great way to alleviate the muscle tension that goes along with chronic anxiety. Plus, exercise releases feel good chemicals in your body like serotonin. But don’t sweat it, you don’t have to do a grueling workout at the gym to gain these benefits. Just a half hour a day of walking, biking, swimming or yoga can significantly help reduce your anxiety.
4. Start a Gratitude Journal
Get into the habit of writing down three to five things you are grateful for each night before retiring. This is a simple way to train your mind to focus on all of the good that surrounds you. For other ideas about how to use Gratitude to reduce your anxiety and improve your overall mental health, you can look at this blog post about gratitude.
5. Speak with a Professional
The cure for any physical or psychological ailment is to get to the root cause of it, not simply manage the symptoms. A therapist can help you access your inner world to uncover what is triggering your fear and also offer coping tools and strategies. The good news is that therapy can be very, very effective for anxiety. In fact, anxiety is one of my favorite things to treat, because I see clients get better and sometimes very quickly. While we tailor counseling sessions to meet your unique needs, I can share that anxiety treatment usually include teaching you some quick techniques for coping with anxiety in the moment and then helping you gradually (with support) “face your fears.”
If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment for anxiety and life in the Columbia, MO area, please reach out contact us today. I would be happy to speak with you about how one of our therapists may be able to help. You do not have to live with constant anxiety.
Jessica Tappana, LCSW is the founder, director and a therapist at Aspire Counseling in Columbia, MO. She began Aspire Counseling in May 2017 to provide quality, evidence based mental health services to individuals in the Mid Missouri area looking for healing from trauma, grief, anxiety and overwhelming stress. The practice now has several therapists. Jessica is proud of the care that is taken at Aspire to match each client with a therapist who is uniquely suited to meet that client’s needs based on personality, training, specialty and experience. If you’re interested in beginning your healing journey, you will find a safe and inviting space in our office.