If you suffer from anxiety, you probably have a conflicted and complicated relationship with your mind. You feel like your mind is torturing you. He gives you all these thoughts about what you should be afraid of and the horrible things that could happen to you. Your mind is telling you to worry, analyze, and seek reassurance about all of these things. He never leaves you alone. It’s like your mind is torturing you.
And yet… you take what he says very seriously. You believe that if your mind says something, it must be important. No matter how mean your spirit is to you, you give it the utmost respect and trust. That is the problem.
Thoughts are just thoughts.
Thoughts are not facts, it’s how you process your mind that matters most. If you believe in all these negative ideas that go through your head, tormented scenarios that can plunge you into a melancholy state, know that you are at the end of it and you risk suffering from anxiety disorders.
5 tips to get rid of anxious and negative thoughts.
The following tips and tricks can help people manage their stress levels and calm their anxiety.
Drink less caffeine:
Adrenaline is a hormone involved in the body’s response to fear (fight or flight). Caffeine causes adrenaline to spike, which can make some people feel anxious or edgy. Coffee is considered to be one of the foods with high caffeine content. On the other hand, other sources of caffeine should be avoided such as:
- Cola contains 45 mg of caffeine,
- Energy drinks.
- Drinks based on dark chocolate and coffee.
If you are one of those people who link their caffeine intake to their anxiety. It would be possible to remove caffeine-rich foods from your diet. However, do it slowly to avoid caffeine withdrawal. Withdrawal can cause physical symptoms similar to those of anxiety.
Listen to music:
According to a recent study, listening to music can help reduce stress and anxiety. The study, conducted by the University of Sussex, found that music can lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol and improve mood. Study participants were asked to listen to 30 minutes of slow or fast music. The results showed that both types of music were effective in reducing stress, but slow music was more effective in reducing anxiety.
Scientists believe that the relaxing effect of slow music may be due to its ability to slow heart rate and breathing. This isn’t the first study to link music to stress reduction. However, it is one of the first to study the specific effects of different genres of music. The results suggest that music can be a practical tool against stress and anxiety.
Use visualization techniques:
Guided Imagery (GI) is a type of meditation. GI involves mentally visualizing peaceful scenes to promote a state of relaxation.
A 2015 study looked at the combined effects of GI and music (Music-Guided Imagery) on work-related anxiety. For this study, the researchers divided 20 participants into two groups. One of the groups followed a 9-week IGM program. The other group received no treatment.
Compared to the no-treatment group, the IGM group showed significant improvements in stress management and well-being.
Practice diaphragmatic breathing:
Diaphragmatic breathing is a type of deep breathing technique. A 2017 study found that diaphragmatic breathing lowers cortisol levels in healthy adults. To help relieve anxiety, people can practice the following diaphragmatic breathing technique for 10 minutes several times a day:
- Lie flat on your back with the soles of your feet on the floor and keep your knees bent.
- Place one hand on your upper chest and the other on your stomach, below your rib cage.
- Breathe slowly and deeply through your nose. Pull the breath down, towards the stomach, so that the hand on the stomach comes up. Make sure that the hand on the chest remains still.
- Exhale slowly through pursed lips, bringing the navel down to the floor. The hand on the belly must return to its initial position. The hand on the chest should remain still.
Anxious people may tend to put off important tasks or projects to temporarily avoid stress. However, procrastination often results in a last-minute rush to complete tasks before a deadline. This leads to even greater stress and anxiety.
In fact, research shows that this type of stress can trigger a whole host of stress-related health issues. To get rid of procrastination for good, read this article: 8 tips to end procrastination.
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5 tips to calm negative and anxious thoughts.
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