10 Tips To Stop Anxiety In Its Tracks ......
Mind expert, Brian Costello, shares his top tips on how to reduce anxiety quickly
1 HOW FORGETFUL ARE YOU?
Do you find yourself struggling to remember things? Whether it’s a friend’s birthday, collecting a delivery or where you left your car keys, many of us struggle with forgetfulness. A common cause of memory loss (not related to wider health concerns) is overloading the brain. Did you know we can actually only hold 5-9 thoughts in our mind at any one time? Trying to focus your attentions on too many things at once (which us women are particularly guilty of ) can leave you feeling overwhelmed and anxious. An easy way to ‘empty’ your mind is to write everything down – this process will help clear your thoughts and allow you to see more clearly what you need to focus on right now.
2 DEAL WITH SMALL PROBLEMS FIRST
The smallest problems we put off tackling because they aren’t urgent are actually the ones most likely to cause anxiety. Whether it’s the dishwasher needing fixed, booking a dentist appointment, or that pesky peeling piece of wallpaper that’s been bugging you for ages, the small problems that we tolerate are the most dangerous because they exacerbate our feelings of stress when the bigger problems come along. They also have a habit of mounting up which again, can lead to feeling overwhelmed. Try to tackle things as and when they need done.
3 ARE YOU A BIT OF A FIDGET? Often if you observe someone that is feeling anxious you will notice they are prone to fidgeting and their breathing will be uneven. This is a direct result of the adrenaline coursing through their body. The quickest way to combat these feelings is to control your breathing. Concentrate on the breath – take a long breath in, hold for three seconds and exhale slowly. Do this 10 times and if you find your mind wandering, pull it back and concentrate.
4 WALK AWAY FROM YOUR MOBILE
Many of us use our mobile phones for reassurance, we can find ourselves mindlessly scrolling on social networking, or through news and email apps. But mobiles, TV and laptops all contribute to our minds being over stimulated. We force our minds to absorb all this unimportant minutiae and overload it. Try and place your phone somewhere out of reach when you don’t need it and instead indulge in some relaxing ‘you’ time instead. Have a bath or read a book.
5 THOUGHTS CAUSE FEELINGS
It’s difficult to really take this on board but feelings of anxiety are a direct result of our thoughts, we think something negative and logically our mind responds by alerting our ‘danger’ senses. Your thoughts become feelings. (If you are in any doubt of this fact, take a moment and try to visualise a lemon. When you do so, your mouth waters. You thought of something and your body responded physically – you felt your mouth water.) So if you think of something negative your body responds with a physical feeling such as anxiety or fear. Only you can change how you feel about negative situations and it’s by changing your thought process.
6 DON’T DISMISS YOUR DIET
You wouldn’t imagine that what you put in your body could possibly relate to feelings of anxiousness but foods and drinks that contain caffeine, or lots of sugar, all lead to us being over stimulated which in turn is the perfect environment for anxiety to breed.
7 GO GREEN
Research reveals a walk in a green space reduces anxiety and stress. A study by Stanford University split participants into two groups. The first half of the participants walked through a green space surrounded by nature, whilst the other half strolled through an urban area. The ‘green’ group showed significant improvements in their mental state whilst the urban group showed no improvements.
8 DO YOU STRUGGLE TO MAKE DECISIONS?
If so there is a good chance you have decision fatigue.10 years ago you would have walked into a coffee shop and ordered tea or coffee. Now you are asked what size you’d like? What sort of beans do you want? Full fat or skim milk? Do you want to add a flavour? Do you have a loyalty card? One transaction can result in 10 different decisions that exhaust our mind – it isn’t built to handle all the requests.
9 SECRETS BREED ANXIETY
Keeping up appearances is a typical Scottish trait, we feel like we should keep a face on and not share our problems with every man and their dog, but keeping up this mask is stressful in itself. The truth is anxiety breeds in secret. Confide in those you trust, whether it is an expert or a friend. Tell them what you need from them – sometimes you just need to offload. Be careful who you confide in – if you have a friend that loves a drama or is a bit of a gossip, then they are not the perfect confidante.
10 DO UNTO OTHERS
When people treat us badly it can leave us experiencing a range of emotions ranging from anxiousness right through to anger. But how we deal with these difficult people impacts on our own feelings. The key is to respond, but not retaliate. If someone behaves badly and you respond with the same type of communication – for example swearing, shouting or accusations, the situation will escalate. By responding calmly and clearly you take the heat out the situation and avoid those feelings of anxiousness that often descend after a heated conversation.
Brian Costello’s book Breakthrough: A Blueprint For Your Mind is now available on Amazon. For more information, or to get in touch with Brian visit www.headstrongnlp.com