Being Anxious has its good and bad points. For example, if you are anxious before sitting an exam this can help to keep your wits about you. It is when anxiety leads to severe panic attacks that the issue needs addressing.
*Note: If you have a disability or an illness please consult with your doctor before trying the muscle tensing exercise below.
What is Anxiety?
In simple terms, it is the opposite of being calm and tranquil. The feeling is unpleasant making the person extremely unsettled inside. It triggers off negative emotions such as being unable to concentrate, fearful, tearful and irritable. Some people experience a feeling of doom and gloom without knowing why they feel this way.
Anxiety, partners along with nervousness and anxious people will bite their nails, pace back and forth and are unable to sit down for too long. Some of the physical signs are sweating, dizziness, feeling nauseous, headaches and shortness of breath, tiredness and finding it difficult to sleep.
What Can Help Reduce Anxiety and Panic Attacks?
Try this breathing exercise; it is better if you are sitting down but that may not always be possible if you are in a crowd etc. Breathe in through your nose and hold your breath for a few seconds then exhale slowly through your mouth over a few seconds, repeat this and gradually your anxiety levels will reduce.
*This next exercise will need to be done at home and takes about 15 minutes. It is an important muscle relaxation technique. Find your most comfortable position, sitting, standing or lying down. First identify a muscle group such as those in the calves of your legs, shoulders, arms, stomach, neck, and back. Tense or squeeze each muscle group for 5 seconds and exhale as you relax the tension. Leave a 12 to 15-second relaxed muscle group before going to tense the next set of muscles. Take care and don’t overdo the tension. If it starts to hurt STOP you don’t want to injure yourself. With practice, you will find your muscle groups easily. Mentally you need to feel the difference between a fully tensed muscle to a fully relaxed one.
Exercising is another way to reduce anxiety levels and panic attacks. Give these exercises a try and see if you start to feel less anxious. Going for a brisk walk, swimming, dancing are great ways to reduce stress levels.
If you want to check your level of anxiousness there is a questionnaire you can fill out and your score will reveal your level with some advice on what to do. This does require that you answer each question honestly for your correct level to be identified. All you have to do is tick a box, then add up your score at the end.
Here is the link to view the Anxious Questionnaire.
Jan Horner, Life Coach You