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5 Ways to Change Your Relationship to Stress, Fear, and Anxiety

Change your relationship with Stress, Fear, and Anxiety by using these techniques

Westend61/Getty Images
Westend61/Getty Images

We might experience stress, fear, and or anxiety during moments of our day on separate occasions or sometimes all at once.

If you are experiencing more stress you are not alone.

Based on an annual survey conducted by American Psychological Association in 2017 their recent poll reported a spike in the stress levels of Americans compared to previous years. From 2007 to 2012, displaying pretty steady and consistent results, with miniature spikes in 2013, and 2015. Results from this year’s survey showed that Americans were mostly concerned by finances, work, and the economy as very or somewhat significant sources of stress in their lives.

Trends of the most common stress factors for Americans:

Sometimes these emotions can easily pass, but there can also be those moments where these emotions stick around a bit longer than you like them too, and it can paralyze us from participating in what we need to focus on.

These emotions can be crippling, especially if we can’t seem to recognize them or know how deal with them. These unfriendly, and sometimes unwanted emotions can be triggered at any time by any stimulus, for instance in a meeting at work, browsing social media, talking to your friends, or watching Netflix. It can interfere with our decision making process, and our ability to connect with those around us.

If you are experiencing any emotions that you can’t shake, here are some steps that could be helpful to get you back on track.

1) Breathe:

Pretty easy, and we as adults get to do it about 12 – 20 breaths a minute. When taking your next 3 – 5 breaths, taking deep belly breaths could help clear up any stubborn emotions that might be lingering.

      2) Recognize it:

Sometimes the hardest step is understanding what it is that we are experiencing in the current moment. If that emotion is unfamiliar or you can’t put a name to it, take note of it.  By recognizing these emotions it can bring some added awareness to your current state, so, if you experience similar emotions on a different occassion it might feel a little bit more familiar, and identifying that particular feeling can be easier.

3) Change your Scenery:

Sometimes if we focus our attention on something else, it can change our focus. By changing our focus, we can better navigate our focus from the emotions we are currently experiencing. It can be as easy as simply getting up, and taking a walk. 

4) Chat it Up:

Also, just another way to help shift your focus is by just chatting with a coworker, a barista, or maybe even spend some time with your pet.

5) Mindfulness/Meditation Practice:

Another way to change your relationship with stress, fear or anxiety is starting a mindful or meditation practice. It can be as long as you need it to be, and to start out 3 -5 minutes might just work. There are so many different ways to be mindful and meditate, and here are a few options to consider Visual Meditation, Loving –Kindness Meditation, and Transcendental Meditation.

These changes may help in the moment, but if you want to ultimately transform your relationship with stress, fear, or anxiety it may take dedication, and being mindful in each those moments when you experience these feelings.

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