Tips to reduce anxiety

A blog by Genine Raats

Founder | Therapist

EcoMindz

Dealing with anxiety daily can be really debilitating and affect all areas of your life. I remember the constant worries about “what if’s” and going over an upcoming meeting or event over and over in my head. So much so that I could not think of anything else.

Sweaty hands, racing thoughts, and heart palpitations came next on one occasion. Before I knew it I fainted, just for a few seconds and as I oriented myself I was in a cold sweat. This happened about 3 or 4 times and each after a significant event which I was unable to cope with as I did not have the know-how at the time.

anxious woman with her laptom

EMBARKING A NEW JOURNEY FREE FROM ANXIETY

It was only when I started pursuing my interest in psychology, in particular Hypnotherapy, Neuro-linguistic programming as well as general studies around the human potential that I was able to take control back and overcome anxiety for good.

Today I still experience stressful situations but I am able to cope with them naturally. Stress itself is not unhealthy it is ongoing stress that can lead to anxiety, depression, anger outbursts, and even physical ailments.

A FEW THINGS TO CONSIDER ABOUT ANXIETY:

We do not have control over external factors, we can at the most influence things outside of us. We do however have control over our responses to external factors.

We may not have control over every thought that pops into our head but we do have control over which ones we pay attention to and which not.

It is helpful to remember that good things will happen in our future and so will bad things but the truth is much of our future will just be neutral.

When we worry about something that has not happened yet we tend to negate any good or neutral outcomes and only focus on the worst outcomes.

Some things are possible but not really that probable and it is useful to remind ourselves to make that distinction.

Useful rumination leads us to action and useless rumination loops us back into the problem.

female standing with hand in side
“I know what you are going through, ask for help,
you can overcome anxiety!

HELPFUL TIPS TO COMBAT ANXIETY

Question worrying thoughts:

Is the thought valid? if it is ok, then ask Is it useful? Most of the time it will not be, then park it.

3rd question you could also ask is how else can I reframe this?

Check for external validation:

Then check your thoughts with outside evidence. Check if your worry is about something you have no external evidence for. If that is the case, park it.

Move to action:

Ask yourself how can I mitigate the perceived fear. What can I do about this? Can I plan for such an event should it happen?

Getting into action will get you out of your thoughts which inevitably is not a real event but a perceived threat. The problem is our subconscious mind does not differentiate between a real or imagined threat and whether it is a tiger in front of us or an upcoming meeting we are fearing the outcome of.

Our body thus responds the same way with the fight or flight or freeze response.

Practice deep breathing:

Take deep breaths, 4 counts in, pause for 4 counts, and 8 counts out. Breathing deeply from the diaphragm activates the parasympathetic nervous system which is our body’s calming mechanism.

woman deep in thought

Shift your thoughts:

Catch the thought and get really clear about it. Are you hearing sounds, is it someone speaking or do you only see a picture of the event going wrong?

Whichever it is modify it in your mind, if there is a voice, change the voice to a french accent or cartoon character. If it is a picture change the colour, then the size. If you are feeling it somewhere in your body like in your stomach, give it a colour, give it a shape and then move it, make it bigger, make it smaller, spin it around, then the other way. This way your brain can never ever recall that memory the same way again.

Exercise:

Exercising is another way to calm a busy mind, getting out of your head and doing something physical.

This does not mean you have to go to the gym, you can go for a walk, get onto your bicycle or do whatever activity you like doing.

Get out in nature:

Just being in nature, whether that is at a lake, in a forest, at a public park with trees and grass, or the sea, it does not matter, it does wonders for the mind.

lady lying on grass smiling

Get help:

Constant worrying, racing thoughts, avoiding certain situations, anger outbursts, depression, muscle aches, and insomnia are a few symptoms of anxiety. Some move to unhealthy coping habits like smoking or excessive alcohol consumption to calm down. Whatever the symptoms are, if you feel out of control, get help.

There is a variety of therapists you can explore like psychologists, counselors, holistic practitioners, NLP practitioners, and then Clinical Hypnotherapists.

I myself founded Ecomindz and specialize in anxiety and related mental health challenges partly due to my own experience with overcoming anxiety, managing stress, and quitting smoking with the help of hypnotherapy.

There is help out there and there are very passionate therapists who can help you by instilling new skills and coping mechanisms on a subconscious level, therefore treating anxiety at its roots.

Hypnosis for anxiety is an evidence-based approach that yields faster results than more traditional therapies. When you get to a Hypnotherapist who practices the modern form of Hypnotherapy you will find a tailored approach, which is not script-based and will get long-lasting results.

I really hope my blog will reach someone who has been suffering from anxiety and provide some insight and help. Anxiety can be overcome!

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Clinical Hypnosis and Strategic Psychotherapy clinic and online sessions available

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Tips to reduce anxiety

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