You may be wondering why you don’t feel completely calm if breathing is all it takes to let some of your nervousness go, but it isn’t quite as simple as just breathing in and out. There is a technique you can use that will allow you to inhale and exhale in a way that helps soothe your angst. In fact, a lot of law enforcement officers and first responders are taught it to help them calm themselves when going to a high risk call.
To do it, breathe in slowly through your nose to a count of four, hold your breath for four and then exhale through your mouth to a four count. Do this five to ten times when you feel full of tension and you should start to feel immediately better. This slows your breathing, which slows your heart rate, which makes you feel less edgy and more in control.
2. Imagine the Worst
Now, if breathing as a suggestion didn’t cause you to say “Huh?,” then asking you to imagine the worst likely did. After all, aren’t you supposed to imagine the best? Or, at least be positive?
Here’s the deal: If you spend your days worrying about what is going to happen, you likely think right up to the point when things can’t get any worse and then you stop. It’s like your visualization ends there, which leaves you fearing that the worst will happen and your world will just stop spinning.
However, if you run the scenario through the worst that could happen and come up with some solutions as to how you would deal with it effectively, you will see that you will still survive (and maybe even be better because of it). Essentially, “the worst” becomes not all that bad and you lose your fear of it, curing some of the anxiety that the potential situation created.
3. Let It Out
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If you’re the kind of person that keeps things all pent up inside of her, then it’s no wonder you feel anxious. You have all of these negative emotions and feelings floating around inside of you and no way to let them out – and no room for calm and rational feelings to take their place.
Of course, there are a few constructive ways to let your anxiety out in a way that will help you. This includes having a nice long talk with a friend, clergy, therapist or someone you trust as sometimes it helps to just have someone else to bounce feelings and thoughts off of; someone that cares about you and wants to help you feel better.
You can also write your concerns in a journal if you’d rather let them out without sharing them with others. Put your issues down on paper to give them a voice because maybe they just want to be heard and then they’ll go quietly away. At a minimum, you’ll at least get them out of your head and make room for more positive thoughts and feelings to appear.
4. Keep Your Faith
When you feel as if things are way beyond your control, you don’t have the strength to continue to fight the anxiety, or you simply don’t know where to turn, keeping your faith can help tremendously. You give your struggles to a higher power and let him, her or it deal with them. You rely on the fact that things will work out, regardless of what way they are looking at the moment.
This isn’t always easy, especially when you are in the thick of an anxiety provoking situation that you feel there is no way out of, but it is extremely freeing when you no longer carry the weight of the world on your shoulders. You lighten your burden and feel a sort of peace inside of you.
Now, this isn’t to be confused with throwing your hands in the air and doing nothing. You can and should still take positive actions to get where you want to be in life, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t believe that you’re on the right path, even if you can’t quite see where you’re headed at the moment.
5. Take Care of Yourself
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Most women feel this immense need to take care of everyone around them – everyone but themselves, that is. While it’s great to step into that motherly role and help others be the best that they can be, when you do it at the expense of yourself, you’re likely to suffer some anxiety from your ever growing to-do list that never gets done and all of the obligations that you say yes to when you know you barely have enough time to do the things that are already on your plate.
Take some time to yourself and take care of your own needs every once in a while too. The world will not stop if your kids have to make their own dinner one night or your husband has to do the dishes. If they all deserve breaks, why wouldn’t you too?
Schedule yourself for a relaxing massage or join a fun new exercise class (which exercise helps relieve anxiety too!). Make it a point to sit down and watch your favorite show without guilt or get a sitter for a few hours and simply run your errands without your little ones in tow.