Anxiety is something we all experience as human beings. It’s a natural reaction to stress and the uncertainties life throws at us. But there are times when anxiety can become too much to handle, when it starts to interfere with our daily lives and well-being. These times often happen post 11 pm, when we are caught in a state of restlessness and sleep eludes us, doing a quick google search on “how to deal with anxiety”.
As a psychologist, there are some common tools I educate my clients about. In this article, we’re going to delve into techniques that are grounded in mindfulness and controlled breathing – these are simple yet powerful tools that can help individuals regain control over their anxiety.
Before we delve into these techniques, it’s essential to understand that anxiety is a part of being human. It’s our body’s way of responding to stress and potential threats. It is a common and healthy natural reaction to a stressor. Yet, when anxiety becomes overwhelming, it affects our ability to focus or relax and it can disrupt our lives. This is where mindfulness and breathing exercises come into play, helping us understand and manage the symptoms of anxiety.
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present in the moment, without judgment. It’s about observing your thoughts and feelings as they arise. Through mindfulness, you can learn to disengage from the autopilot mode that often fuels anxiety.
- Mindful Awareness: One of the first steps you can take is simply pausing and acknowledging your anxiety. Describe how it feels – the racing thoughts, the physical sensations, and the emotions. This act of observation, without judgment, can help reduce the grip of anxiety.
- Grounding Techniques: Grounding exercises can be incredibly helpful. Connect with the present moment by naming five things you can see, four things you can touch, three things you can hear, two things you can smell, and one thing you can taste. It’s an effective way to bring your focus back to the present.
- Mindful Breathing: Combining mindfulness with breathing exercises can be a game-changer. Focus on your breath, whether it’s the rise and fall of your chest or the sensation of air passing through your nostrils. When your mind inevitably wanders, gently guide it back to the breath.
Breathing Techniques: Calming the Storm
Controlled breathing techniques can be a crucial aspect of your anxiety management toolkit. They directly influence your body’s stress response, shifting it from “fight or flight” to “rest and digest.” Here are some techniques that may work for you:
- Deep Belly Breathing: Place one hand on your chest and the other on your abdomen, inhale deeply through your nose. Focus on feeling your abdomen rise, not your chest. These slow, deep breaths activate the body’s relaxation response.
- 4-7-8 Technique: This technique involves inhaling for a count of four, holding for seven, and exhaling slowly for eight. Repeat this cycle several times. It’s remarkable how it can calm the nervous system.
- Box Breathing: Inhale for a count of four, hold for four, exhale for four, and hold again for four – this technique is simple yet effective, especially in anxiety-inducing situations.
Incorporating Techniques into Daily Life
Make it a point to integrate mindfulness and breathing exercises into your daily routine, whether you’re feeling anxious or not. These practices build resilience, making it easier to apply them when anxiety strikes.
Additionally, identify your triggers and stressors. Regularly practicing these techniques can make you more attuned to your responses, helping you proactively manage potential sources of anxiety.
Anxiety can feel like a formidable opponent, but it doesn’t have to control your life. Mindfulness and breathing techniques are not just strategies; they are lifelong skills that foster emotional resilience and well-being. By integrating these practices into your daily life, you can embrace a calmer, more centered existence, free from the grip of anxiety. These techniques have made a profound difference in many lives, and they have the potential to do the same for you.
Begin Online Therapy
If you’re ready to start learning how to manage anxiety in therapy, I am so happy for you! I offer individual therapy online. I would be honored to discuss your concerns and tell you about the many ways I can help you find healing. To begin online therapy, follow these steps:
CONTACT FORAM ZAVERI THERAPY
Meet with psychologist Foram Zaveri and learn more about managing anxiety and imposter syndrome through online therapy.
Begin your mental health journey with sessions dedicated to nurturing a sense of inner calm and building the confidence and self-esteem you’ve always aspired to cultivate.
Other Counseling Services at Foram Zaveri Mental Health Services
I offer a variety of mental health services at my online counseling practice. My therapy services include therapy for anxiety, depression, marriage/couples counseling, infidelity/affair recovery, pre-marital, and teen counseling. I also offer online therapy. Reach out to me for more information or to learn more about my counseling services.