Among the reasons why people go for psychological consultation, anxiety stands out.
This phenomenon has effects both on our physiological state (sweating, blood pressure, etc.) and on our thoughts and actions, and in fact it appears both in patients without diagnosable mental disorders and in such important psychological pathologies as OCD or social phobia. Anxiety takes many forms and is capable of manifesting itself in different ways and independently of our way of life.
Therefore, it is important to know what to do if you are anxious ; if we modify certain aspects of our daily lives, we will be less vulnerable to this type of discomfort and we will be able to prevent its appearance in contexts where it is not useful. Let’s see how we can limit its harmful effects on our mental health.
What do I do if I have anxiety? Several tips
Anxiety is one of the most common psychological and physiological disorders, and can appear regardless of our lifestyle. In fact, it is part of the basic functioning of the human body, and its reason for being is very simple: it leads us to pay attention to our environment in order to react quickly when there is something potentially dangerous.
The curious thing about anxiety is that it has not disappeared as we begin to live in societies where access to technology and the creation of the welfare state has kept us away from immediate physical dangers such as predators or death from hunger or accidents. However, this propensity to become alert continues to haunt us and appears even when there are no contexts that are capable of seriously harming us; sometimes, something as apparently simple as a partial exam or the need to cook something for some guests in our home can lead us to suffer through a mixture of anguish and stress .
1. Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Partly, anxiety is a product of our body’s inability to adapt to tasks and challenges that require continuous effort. Therefore, we must ensure that we are doing our best to ensure that our body is capable of performing well and has energy available.
For this, a healthy diet and good sleep are essential , above all. The same lifestyle that leads to stress may make us forget these two aspects of our daily lives in order to concentrate on what concerns us, but if we take them seriously, the effects of this will quickly be felt.
2. Do moderate exercise
This advice for controlling anxiety is related to the previous one, but it is also an escape valve for releasing tension. Being able to make physical efforts without damaging our body thanks to moderate exercise keeps our muscles and joints healthy, and it is also an excellent way to “unhook” our attention from our worries and obsessions, so that although it may seem paradoxical, it prevents us from feeling exhausted more quickly as the day goes on.
So, take 30 to 40 minutes to do moderate exercise 4 to 5 times a week , and try not to do it just before going to sleep at night.
3. Plan your time
Another thing that often escapes us when we ask ourselves “what to do if I’m anxious” is that this alteration often arises when we see that we don’t adapt effectively to the challenges that come our way, such as university projects or professional goals.
Therefore, not wasting time and effectively managing our capabilities and resources is key. Therefore, it is important to facilitate our commitment to these objectives , and for this we must subdivide the goals into simpler and smaller ones, and set ourselves short-term dates to reach them.
Keeping a diary and writing everything down in it is also very useful , as well as keeping us physically away from distractions during the times of the day that we set aside to attend to these responsibilities.
4. Attends psychotherapy
The possibility of going to psychotherapy and having professional help that can follow our evolution is also a possibility to take into account. Contrary to what is often believed, these types of psychological interventions are usually short, and they do not focus only on talking to the psychologist, but on receiving “training” that leads us to transform our habits to protect ourselves against anxiety, regardless of whether or not we are prone to experiencing its effects.
In order to manage the effects of anxiety and prevent its appearance in contexts where it is not very useful, psychotherapy professionals use different tools.
In the Institute of Psycho-psychology of Alicante , for example, we intervene by helping patients to transform their way of relating to the environment and also by helping them to adopt a mentality by which they increase their self-confidence and it is less frequent to feel overwhelmed by events when it is really possible to put oneself at the helm of what is happening.
These are the basic principles of cognitive-behavioral therapy applied to anxiety, which affects both behavior and thoughts and beliefs so that we believe we can meet challenges and be more capable of managing them effectively.
At the Institute of Psychology Psicode, which has more than 12 years of experience, they point out that although it is essential to adapt psychological therapy to the needs and personality of the patient, this double path of action is something that guarantees reaching the desired results in the shortest time possible, making the effects of the psychotherapy sessions last over time . However, they also use techniques that complement this cognitive-behavioral approach, such as Mindfulness, which helps people to better modulate their attentional state and not to let concerns linked to the past and possible future generate additional problems.
Anxiety is an inevitable aspect of our lives, but we can do our part so that its effects do not overwhelm us and damage our well-being. It is important to modify our habits, since this will make us less vulnerable to its appearance, and it is also desirable to be able to count on the help of psychologists with experience in anxiety problems, since their assistance can make a difference.
- Stephan WG, Stephan CW (1985). Intergroup Anxiety. Journal of Social Issues.