5 Powerful Steps You Can Take To Overcome Anxiety

woman-1006100_1920Approximately 40 million American’s are afflicted by stress and anxiety disorders. These disorders include Generalized Anxiety Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, and Panic Disorder. Symptoms range from nightmares to heart palpitations and irrational fears such as the fear of going insane. While there are various forms of anxiety disorders, the core elements are the same.

Despite the horrible symptoms that coincide with anxiety, it is a curable mental illness. Unfortunately, when you suffer from anxiety, in one of its various forms, you can feel hopeless and locked in an endless cycle of panic and depression.

Fortunately, there are a few simple ways to overcome anxiety once and for all. When practiced with dedication, the following five methods can vastly improve your life and give you a peek at true recovery

1. Exercise

One study revealed that regular exercise works as well as medication to reduce the symptoms of anxiety and depression, and with longer lasting effects. Another study showed that individuals who exercised regularly were 25 percent less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder within the next 5 years.

Exercise also causes the body to release endorphins that soothe the brain during stress. By combating the stress response and counteracting the negative effects of panic attacks and chronic stress, exercise works as the perfect complement to other forms of therapy

2. Meditation

Meditation forces us to focus on the present, rather than being caught up in the past or future, which is where anxiety lives. By spending as little as 10 minutes in meditation each day, you can learn to ground yourself in the present no matter what thoughts may creep through your mind.

If you suffer from anxiety, start out with a small, 5-minute session and work your way up to longer sessions. Over time, you’ll notice a marked difference in your stress and anxiety levels and an increased ability to stay in the present moment.

3. Positive Affirmations

When you’re in the grips of panic, thoughts can race through your mind keeping you wrapped up in the what if’s. Even though they are 100% unrealistic, they don’t feel that way. One effective method to getting your mind back under control is to recall positive affirmations.

The emotions that come with the affirmations will flood your mind and help you refocus on what’s real. Affirmations like, “My thoughts are mine, and mine alone” or, “This too shall pass” can have a powerful effect on how you feel. Instead of running away with all the negative thoughts, you can sit with them and realize how unrealistic they are.

Come up with 5-10 affirmations that you can easily remember when panic is high and memorize them. At the first sign of anxiety, recall the affirmation and recite it for several moments until the thought or feeling has dissipated.

4. Feed Your Mind Positive Information

Often, we get caught up in the drama of everyday life. First thing in the morning we head to the television and turn on the news to see what went wrong while we slept, or check out our Facebook news-feed which is equally depressing. The problem with this routine is that it breeds helplessness and anxiety. If you already suffer from an anxiety disorder, don’t put yourself through more anxiety by watching bad things unfold before you.

While you don’t have to shun the news altogether, be very mindful about how much time you spend watching television and news in particular. You can replace your morning news routine with something more positive like listening to an uplifting podcast, or an audiobook.

The little things we do add up and have a dramatic effect on our inner world. Becoming aware of how your environment affects you is the key towards true recovery.

5. Understand The World is in Constant Flux

Nothing stays the same. Not even our pain or anxiety. When you feel like you will never get better, remember all the times you have. Meditate on the fact that you have power over what you think and feel, or at the very least you have control over your reaction to those feelings and thoughts. Don’t get caught up in the idea of permanence. It’s an illusion. The mind changes and heals, don’t despair that you’ll never feel better.

There is hope for us all. Recognize your strength and realize all will pass with time.

 

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