Ways to reduce anxiety

Most individuals struggle to deal with anxiety, and for approximately 12 percent of Canadians, normal anxiety turns into an anxiety disorder. Anxiety hits at the most inopportune times, and it's difficult to figure out how to deal with anxiety in an effective, healthy way. Next time anxiety hits, use one of these life hacks to manage and reduce it.

Ways to reduce anxiety

1. Schedule time for worry

It's easy to let anxiety affect your life throughout the day. Reduce the power anxiety has over you by scheduling a time for worry. Choose a time of day that you'll focus on your worries.

For example, schedule 15 minutes after dinner to think through your worries. When worries occur, instead of letting them make you feel anxious, set them aside until your worry time. This allows you to regain control over your worry and anxiety.

2. Sigh

One of the best things you can do when anxiety hits is to start focusing on deep breathing. Deep breathing actually activates the relaxation response in your body.

Sometimes anxiety makes it difficult to dive right into deep breathing, so get started by taking a moment to sigh. Sighing expels air and helps start relaxation, allowing you to begin the deep-breathing process.

3. Engage with your immediate environment

Simply engaging with your immediate environment can shift your mind away from anxiety, calming you down. For some people, trying to find pictures in the clouds may provide a distraction from worry and anxiety. Having a small Zen garden to interact with may help relax you when anxiety overwhelms you. You can buy your own Zen garden, or you can make your own personalized one.

4. Practise Relaxation

Relaxation reduces anxiety, yet it's difficult achieve a state of relaxation without practise. Practise relaxation daily so you have a technique you can use when anxiety hits. Try meditation, yoga, deep breathing or any other relaxation technique that works for you. The more you practise, the better relaxation techniques will work when you need them.

5. Change your environment

Sometimes you need to change your environment when anxiety overwhelms. If you're feeling anxious, head out on a walk and enjoy being in a new environment. If you're worrying in bed and you can't sleep, leave the bedroom and do something relaxing. You can't always change your environment when anxiety hits, but when you do, you often leave anxiety behind.

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