Anxiety is an emotional state caused by the expectation of danger or threat. Fear is a human emotion associated with the instinct of self-preservation and appears immediately at the moment of danger. In the normal state, the self-preservation function encourages action, but there are also moments of apathy when anxiety intensifies.
Unfortunately, in the modern world, increased anxiety is almost the norm. Residents of large cities are often prone to panic attacks, for example. And the Internet makes the situation even worse. Research shows that many people are afraid of being followed online. And it’s not even about other people. You can log into the network under a fake name. But, for example, if you say “flowers” near your phone, the next day you will see an advertisement for bouquets. Lack of privacy negatively affects the emotional state of many. In this article, we’ll show you how to cope with anxiety and determine the level of anxiety. We will talk about meditation and breathing, about switching and another useful ways to deal with it.
What causes anxiety
The main factors provoking us increased anxiety: loneliness, problems at work, problems in relations, health, environment, and various kinds of conflicts.
Of course, the main influence has our lifestyle. For example, we are more often experiencing an anxiety state if we constantly hang on the phone or see the news on TV. Digital made our life faster and better, but we get an additional stress level, new fears, and complexes due to the news flow.
Try to minimize the number of hours spent on the Internet. Walk in the fresh air, read, engage in yoga, cook, knit cross, collect Lego – options much more than it may seem.
Stages of anxiety
- – Anxiety of waiting. People who foresee the most unfavorable of all possible situations suffer. Such anxiety can appear at certain moments or haunt a person constantly.
- Anxiety in the form of phobias is associated with certain situations and objects. For example, fear of loneliness, spiders, or darkness. It can be a clinical case if it is expressed in the form of panic attacks.
- Neurotic anxiety. This form of anxiety is the most serious and is found in many psychological diseases: hysterical, schizoid. There is a pathological level of fear that destroys a person’s mental health.
Anxiety often arises from uncertainty about actions and feelings. First, try to figure out what is causing the concern. For example, you are worried that you might be fired from your job. Before you panic, look at the facts. For example, estimate your workload, and predict the task plan for the next month. And this applies not only to work but to any area in which you feel anxiety.
Usually, this exercise helps to see the real picture. If you understand that while everything is under control, you can breathe out. If not, proceed to your detailing. Describe a detailed plan of action that will help avoid uncertainty and suggest how to act in any situation:
- Describe your skills. As an example, possession of an Illustrator or Photoshop.
- Edit your resume and prepare some cover letters to the employer about yourself.
- Form a range of your services for yourself, starting with the most preferred activities and ending with the least interesting.
- Make a list of potential employers to whom you can offer your services. The bigger, the better.
- Write to them!
Sometimes anxiety arises from the belief that we can’t cope with this or that action. A visual picture of your skills will always help to believe in yourself. When you read your list, you will realize that you can achieve a lot.
Switch from one activity to another. For example, switch from physical to mental activity. So, when you go in for sports, the brain functions are recovered due to the oxygen. And with mental stress, the muscular system is recovered by improving blood flow in the muscles.
A simple alternation of work and study with a small amount of physical activity will improve the body’s metabolic processes, and accelerate the recovery of the nervous system, contributing to its strengthening.
Meditate and breathe
Meditation and breathing are faithful helpers in overcoming psychological instability. A Johns Hopkins University study found a relationship between meditation practice and reduced symptoms of depression and anxiety. The team of researchers found that the effect of meditation is comparable to that of depressants. Also, meditation helps to switch the work of the brain and focus on yourself.
Control your sleep schedule
The BBC TV program “Trust Me I’m a Doctor” in collaboration with the Oxford University conducted a small experiment on the effect of sleep on our psychological state. The study involved people who have “sound sleep”. During the experiment the participants were given conditions: in the first three nights, they had to sleep for 8 hours, which is the norm, and for the next three nights, they had to sleep for 4 hours. Each day, subjects answered questions that helped identify changes in their psychological state, behavior, and emotions. The results showed that after two nights of lack of sleep, negative emotions began to prevail.
The study also says that insomnia is not always a consequence of mental disorders. It is also the lack of sleep that provokes the appearance of psychological problems. Breathing techniques are equally beneficial: they improve blood circulation and help accelerate the general metabolism. Deep breathing techniques in combination with relaxation exercises are good at reducing nervous tension.
Routine helps reduce anxiety levels. Engage in a hobby, watch movies, get out, play sports – try to periodically disconnect from the news stream and take time for yourself and your body.