Are you feeling anxious? Do you experience anxiety followed by panic attacks? Perhaps you feel like your thoughts are running away from you or spinning in circles like a desperate hamster. No matter how much you try to push those thoughts out of your mind, they keep coming back like moths to a flame. If you also feel like this from time to time, it’s nothing to worry about because, like the majority of the population, you’re probably stressed. Every now and then, we all experience anxiety. The occasional anxiety is a normal response to uncertainty about what’s coming next, whether in the near future, days to come, or even months from now.
In fact, about 75% of people feel the same way, even if they cannot put their emotions in words. However, the question on everyone’s mind is probably how to stop these thoughts. So, if you’re thinking about it, you’re not alone because tips for overcoming anxiety are undoubtedly a highly searched topic over the internet. And well, it’s why we’re here! There are some psychological tips that you can use to slow down that manic train of thoughts and regain a steadier pace.
Tips to Stop Feeling Anxious
Now we’re sure you’re all aware of the basic tactics of staving off anxiety. Like the best medicine is prevention. To save yourself from the overwhelming feeling like you’re about to drown. Getting loads of sleep, exercising regularly, and socializing are all good goals.
However, according to different therapists at renowned rehab centers such as Vista Pines Health, some techniques are specifically designed to prevent anxiety or keep it from accelerating. And some of them are:
The Rule of 3-3-3
If you feel as if your thoughts are spiraling out of control, use the 3-3-3 Rule. It’s a technique common among therapists and psychologists and proves to be successful in achieving its desired outcome — calming down one’s anxiety. Alternatively, it is called the 5-4-3-2-1 Rule.
The primary purpose is not the numbers but the counting. The principle, no matter the number, is to look around a room and name some things that you can see, that you can touch and feel, what you can hear, what smells you detect, and what you can taste.
The purpose is to use all of your five senses to keep you anchored to reality. The anxious thoughts can lead us away from the present and bring out darker thoughts and emotions. If you are experiencing this kind of morbid feeling, you might find this technique helpful. Using a loud voice can help.
Organize Your Thoughts
Similar to naming things within your surroundings, this requires listing stuff by a particular category or classification. Whatever you feel most comfortable with, 90s songs, best action movies, or ice cream. Ice cream is always a good category. The more you associate with a specific category, the more you enjoy it, which will increase your chances of distracting yourself from the anxiety. It is an effective technique that you can apply anywhere, at any time, regardless of your surroundings or whether you are in a public or private space.
Removing the Anxious Feeling
Everyone knows a good laugh can cure anything. Well, almost anything. And the kind of laughter, where you’re giggling uncontrollably, laughing so hard that tears roll down your faces, is undoubtedly the best remedy. You know yourself, your habits, likes, and dislikes. What relaxes you? If you feel a wave of anxious thoughts waiting to drown you, where do you turn? Listen to some of your favorite music, whip out a good comedy movie to watch, or perhaps funny videos on YouTube.
The thing is, when you laugh, some of the anxiety does ebb away. It can prevent you from getting buried too deep into your thoughts. So redirect your anxious, nervous energy into something useful like a good old laugh or something that thrills you, like a horror movie, mystery series, or true crime series. Even research supports it. So, if you’re feeling anxious or overwhelmed, do give it a try.
Take a walk
Physical exertion helps to diffuse the tension. Both physical and emotional. The activity allows our mind to become focused, taking it away from the anxious thought bumping around in our brain. Many researchers observe that body movement can reduce anxiety symptoms or reduce them. Physical activity brings a welcome distraction and helps you build up the resilience of intense, painful emotions. Whether you walk or jog for 10 minutes doesn’t matter as long as you have some body movement.
Your environment matters too. Taking a walk in a forest or park is a soothing experience. In terms of psychology, green is a soothing and pleasing color associated with serenity and tranquility. It helps you collect your thoughts and refocus.
Try splashing some cold water on your face
We assure you we are not kidding in the title. When your anxiety pushes to the forefront of your mind and takes the reins (which is very rude, by the way), a splash of cold water always helps. The temperature of water shocks the body, bringing you back to reality or realigns your focus.
If splashing water on yourself doesn’t work, take a shower or hold a couple of ice cubes against your skin to jolt yourself out of those annoying, persisting thoughts.
Do not hesitate to get in touch
Having a trusted friend or family member listen to how you’re feeling is very personal, but they can be a great asset when dealing with anxiety. Having a conversation, either in person or over the phone, can provide a fresh outlook on your situation. If you need anything, do not hesitate to ask. Get in touch with someone if you need someone to accompany you for a walk, a movie, or a simple chat. The comfort of talking to someone you know cares for you is always reassuring.
Before We Part!
It is possible to experience significant distress when anxiety becomes overwhelming. There is nothing unusual about this. You can learn more effective ways to deal with these emotions by talking to a therapist. Therefore, you should seek treatment from a professional if you suffer from persistent and intrusive anxiety. Stay calm, and don’t worry. Just go with the flow!