Coping With Anxiety

What a wonderful place the world would be if everyone worked in harmony and everything went as planned. Instead, we subsist as modern day warriors, living from situation to situation, planning and expecting things to work as per plan. When they don’t, we worry, oblivious to how worry takes over our mind, making us fret and sweat about the petty! This in turn, wreaks havoc with our heart rate and blood pressure, bringing on anxiety… and some of us break into a sweat, burst into tears and even faint!

Anxiety stops us from thinking clearly, challenging our ability to rationalise as we are flooded with fear – the governing emotion. Living in an environment where there is daily struggle will steadily increase anxiety levels and fatigue. Many of us get anxious about the smallest of things. If you live with stress, anxiety will seep into your mental and physical well-being and lead to physical issues.

Life is meant to be lived to the fullest. We are meant to feel light and free from within. Ups and downs are bound to happen. If we don’t deal with stress and small anxieties, these can lead to Anxiety Disorder. You need to consciously work towards maintaining a positive and healthy space. Start with baby steps:

  • Start by recognising your ‘anxiety pattern’. When things don’t go as per plan, tell yourself, “It is okay. This too shall pass.” Try to find a constructive distraction to get your mind from obsessing about things that didn’t work out. Get involved in something before you start stressing about what else can go wrong and what would happen as a consequence. Give yourself time to think it through.
  • Close your eyes, visualise a memory or a place where you have been surrounded by nature, and have experienced true joy. It could be a gentle flowing stream, mountains, green fields. See yourself sitting there taking in the sounds, smells and atmosphere. Breathe deeply as you imagine this and exhale slowly. Get a grip on yourself. (Ensure that there is no sudden disturbance when you do this).
  • Once a little calmness has set in, try to look at things objectively – become the ‘observer’. Think about the situation and try to look at it from a third person’s perspective.
  • Ask yourself, “What next? Where do you go from here?” There will be a breakthrough for you when you realise the futility of being anxious. It is time for action rather than reaction. This practice will help you snap out of your state before you actually go into full blown anxiety. If you feel that there is cause for anxiety then you at once need to start looking at remedial measures. Do not linger on the emotion. Let your rational side take over and find ways to deal with the situation which in turn will reduce your anxiety.
  • Music can be very calming. Listen to soft music that pleases you.
  • Talk to a friend or someone close, who can help relieve your stress.
  • Hobbies like painting, pottery, gardening, cooking can be stress relieving. Practice something that encourages you to remain calm. Crafts, or working with your hands is said to be therapeutic.
  • Laugh a lot – it truly is the best medicine.

Keeping your emotions in check is easier said than done, but you need to put in a conscious effort, for the sake of your own mental and physical wellbeing.

Tai chi has proven to be effective in dealing with feelings of stress and anxiety. Tai chi works at the physical as well as the mental and emotional level. It brings in the needed change in your mental makeup which helps restore an inner sense of balance.

Some qi gong points that will help:

Rub the area of the occipital lobe (lower back half of the head) up and down and across for 1-2 minutes. Do this twice a day.

Press (pulse) or massage the centre of both palms for 1- 2 minutes. Twice a day.

An affirmation that you can repeat to yourself to empower yourself:

“I am peaceful, happy and calm.”

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