By: Annie Morgan
To those of us who struggle with anxiety – it almost seems like our body is acting out in ways we can’t seem to control.
From a racing heartbeat (which can even lead to a panic attack because we think we’re having a heart attack) to a feeling like we’re going to faint – anxiety can be tough on both the mind and body.
The good news is, there are things you can do both before and during an anxious moment that can help your body fight back against anxiety.
When our body is put into “flight or fight” mode – it’s totally normal for our nervous system to make us feel out of balance.
But with a few simple actions – you can regain control of your body and keep calm.
Remember To Breathe
Sounds like a given, right?
But believe it or not, often times when we are anxious and worked up – one of the things we struggle with is remembering to breathe!
If you are feeling anxious, try taking 3 deep breathes and taking a moment to pause.
And we’re talking really deep breathes with a long 10 second inhale and exhale.
This will help combat symptoms of dizziness and calm down your nervous system.
Often times when we are anxious we are either worrying about things that already happened (that we can’t change) or focused on things in the future (that haven’t happened yet and most likely will not).
One trick experts use to ground the body is using our 5 senses to literally force our body and focus on the present.
Healthline recommends using the 5-4-3-2-1 method:
“Working backward from 5, use your senses to list things you notice around you. For example, you might start by listing five things you hear, then four things you see, then three things you can touch from where you’re sitting, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste.”
And don’t overthink it! The reason this technique works is because it forces our body to focus on the present reality.
Even simple things like noticing the sound of the cars outside, or the lawnmower help ground us back to the present.
You’ve Got To Sleep
Think about how defenseless you are when you don’t get enough sleep.
You’re mentally exhausted. Your eyes can barely stay open. You’re either really cold. Or really hot.
And overall – you’re just not thinking clearly.
Take these physical symptoms – and throw in anxiety and you’ve got a recipe for disaster.
Without enough sleep – you’re more prone to emotional outbursts of despair or anger.
Things that might not normally upset you could push you over the top when your anxious – like a crazy driver or the mailman being late.
Taking care of your body and making sure you are well rested is an important step to keep your body physically able to fight back against anxiety in real time.
And do whatever you need to feel calm at night – whether diffusing lavender essential oil or sleeping with a weighted blanket – find what works for you and helps your body relax.
If you struggle with anxiety – you’re not alone.
Try incorporating these tips the next time you start to feel anxious – and remember taking care of one’s body beforehand is just as important!
Hopefully, next time anxiety rears its ugly head – you’ll no longer feel powerless.
Do you struggle with anxiety?
What are some ways you’ve trained your body to overcome this crippling feeling?
Tell us your thoughts in the comments below and be sure to share this article with your friends and family to let them know how to fight back against anxiety!