As a mental health counselor and anxiety therapist, I often times listen to concerns which manifest feelings such as worry, fear, panic, insomnia, and fatigue. These are all common symptoms of anxiety. Other symptoms people may experience include irrational thoughts, muscle tension and nausea. While anxiety is a natural reaction and we cannot eliminate it, there are techniques you can learn to reduce the symptoms and live a less anxious life.
Exercise is one of the best ways to manage your anxiety. Not only does it help work out the stress, but it naturally increases the levels serotonin and dopamine in our brains. Anxiety therapists suggest exercising for 30 minutes a day.
Deep breathing techniques can help reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety such as heart palpitations. It can also help slow down the racing thoughts in your brain. Try inhaling for a count of 5, holding for a count of 5, and exhaling for a count of 5. These techniques are often suggested and used by anxiety counselor and therapists.
Progressive Muscle Relaxation and Meditation
This technique helps slow your body down. You will want to find a quiet place where you can either lie down or sit comfortably. A good way to start learning this technique is through a guide either in person or through a recording. If you would like to try this Counseling Services of Colorado suggests downloading an application on your phone such as Insight Timer –https://insighttimer.com/.
Limit Caffeine and Alcohol
Both of these are mood-altering substances and can increase levels of anxiety as well as depression. Many studies have been done stating the negative impacts of caffeine and alcohol on mental health.
Get Adequate Sleep
While insomnia is common for people who have anxiety, it is important to try to get the recommended amount of sleep. Lack of sleep will also increase anxiety. Try a deep breathing or muscle relaxation exercise to help you relax before trying to go to bed.
Coloring (Yes, with crayons or Markers!)
Counseling Services of Parker Colorado often suggests breaking out the crayons or markers and buying a coloring book. Adult coloring books have been proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Give them a try and have a little fun and make something beautiful. Many of my friends who are anxiety therapists shared the following link to affordable and popular coloring books for adults –http://www.amazon.com/Adult-Coloring-Book-Relieving-Patterns/dp/1941325122/ref=zg_bs_books_9.
Adverse feelings such as anxiety are normal. You’re not alone. The goal is not to eliminate the feelings rather to learn how to manage them. If you need help working through your thoughts and feelings, get in touch with a local anxiety therapist or anxiety counselor. We have a lot of experience helping people through their anxiety.
These techniques done in conjunction with therapy can help you learn your best practices for coping with your anxiety. You may also want to consider talking with your doctor about medications that can help with the physical symptoms. Counseling Services of Parker Colorado is happy to discuss this further with you. Please feel free to contact us whenever you’re ready.