We all have dealt with anxiety at some point in our life. For example, how your heart starts beating faster before giving a presentation in front of your boss or your palms get sweaty before an important job interview, etc. Feeling anxious occasionally due to some reasons is a normal part of life, but dealing with anxiety too often can interfere with the quality of life.
While chronic anxiety is one of the most recognized causes for behavioral changes, it can also have serious consequences on our physical and emotional health.
Usually, anxiety gets triggered due to some specific situations or circumstances, and everyone has their own set of triggers. It is important to understand your triggers and know how to cope with them to calm yourself down. Some people are more prone to anxiety than others, and mild anxiety is unsettling and vague, whereas severe anxiety can be debilitating.
We live in a modern, fast-paced world that keeps us on our toes at all times. Despite the global rat race, it is crucial to find peace and Zen within yourself and live your life harmoniously. You don’t need to completely overhaul your life and career to achieve a Zen state of mind, but slow down and find peace amidst the chaos of everyday life. Here are some tips that can help you achieve a Zen state of mind when you’re feeling anxious.
1. Focus on your breathing
Mindful breathing is a very effective way to calm yourself down. Take conscious breaths and gently encourage yourself to calm down with every breath you take. Slow and deep breaths have proven to be an effective technique when dealing with anxiety as they powerful tool to ground you in the present moment. Consciously inhale deeply through your nose and exhale from your mouth but don’t force yourself to take rapid breaths. It balances the right and left hemispheres of the brain and has immediate calming and energizing effects.
2. Pause for five minutes
Contrary to what most people believe, meditation can happen in just a few minutes, and those few minutes can change your mood. Set aside five minutes each day to do a mini-meditation session as meditation is luxury to think about nothing and everything all at once until you reach a point where you feel settled and at ease. Observe your thoughts, and gently guide them to a state where you feel at peace, with your thoughts. Meditating for even a few minutes is better than not doing it at all.
3. Acknowledging your thoughts and feelings
You shouldn’t keep on pretending that you are not concerned or stressed. It is essential to acknowledge and address your feelings, and it’s completely normal to feel negative emotions occasionally. Negative emotions tend to induce anxiety in a lot of individuals. Learn to acknowledge such feelings instead of repressing them. Eventually, you will start seeing a positive change soon.
4. Change your perspective
How we perceive things creates our experience of that thing. There are various ways we can think about a particular situation, no matter what it is. The important thing while experiencing any given situation is the perspective you hold at that moment and how you let it affect you. You can either take it the positive way or let the negativity consume you. When you feel frustrated, stuck, or irritated, chances are that your perspective is not helping. Catch yourself in the moment to reframe your perspective.
5. Relax your body
Our bodies tend to hold onto stress without us even noticing. While it can happen in many body parts, our body often holds stress in two parts- face and shoulders. You would often find your brows furrowed, jaw clenched, tense shoulders, etc. Pause throughout the day to gently roll your shoulders if you notice they have crept towards your ears or if you are slouching forward, and soften your face by relaxing your jaw and unfurrowing the brows.
Doodling is a great activity to feel relaxed almost immediately. It is a whole-brain activity that makes you focus your attention in the present moment without overloading your thinking mind. Let yourself be spontaneous and doodle for just a few minutes, and you will instantly feel a little less anxious.
7. Keep a journal
Writing about your emotions and what you are feeling in the current moment in your journal helps you calm down. Once those feelings are out of your system, instant relief washes over you. You can vent out all your thoughts and whatever you are feeling in your journal without feeling judged and be completely honest about the situation. Keeping a journal and writing about things that make you anxious is an effective way to deal with your emotions.
A simple but very effective method to cool yourself down. Whenever you feel anxiety building up inside you, close your eyes and count to 20 and back. Focus your attention to the sound of each number and picture as you say them. Doing this once will most definitely calm you but if you still feel anxious, repeat the process.
9. Start your day right
How you start your day has an impact on how the rest of your day will unfold. Even amid chaos, a positive start to the day gives you the energy and motivation to roll with obstacles and complications with greater ease. Do something that relaxes you and makes you more focused, at the beginning of the day. Mini-meditation session, exercising, running, etc. are some great ways to start your day which makes you feel energised and refreshed for the rest of the time.
10. End your day on a positive note
How you end your day is just as important as how you start it. Before going to bed, take a few minutes to reflect on the activities of the day. Instead of focusing your attention on what you couldn’t do or what went wrong, take some time to acknowledge all the tasks that completed and celebrate the little things that you accomplished throughout the day.
Once you’re done with that, let the day go. No matter how your day was, one certain thing is that it’s gone now. There’s no use of dragging the remains of that day because you can’t get it back. Acknowledge what didn’t work out today and then let it go.