Anxiety is something we all have experienced, whether it is about your education, work, or personal life. For the chosen few, anxiety rears its ugly head daily whether there is excuse for it or not. These are some simple suggestions to battle the creeping feeling of the nervous. You may not stop that obsessive thinking permanently, but you will definitely be distracted, perhaps even find the humor in your anxious ways!
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Step 1: Fingertips
Rub together the tip of your pointer finger against the tip of your thumb. Close your eyes, and attempt to feel the edged lines of your finger prints. This exercise distracts as well as uses a different part of your brain than the part that is producing your anxiety. I've attempted to do this exercise while in public, I suggest doing it in the privacy of your room, for the simple matter that it increased my anxiety worrying if people around me perhaps had noticed my fingertip exercise, and then questioned my mental stability, (as I often do myself.)
Step 2: Distract Yourself With Friends, and Beautiful Scenery.
Okay now we're moving onto the big guns. Your anxiety isn't just a quick fix of the fingertips. Get out and socialize! Many anxious people want to stay inside, and wait out their anxiety, often believing that no one can help or that they will annoy whoever they choose to be around. This is quite the contrary, even in the first seconds of being around other people, I myself feel my anxiety begin to curb. Even better, you can discuss out loud those repetitive thoughts and see the insanity in your catastrophizing. Also make it fun, like watching the sunset with a picnic, this organizing will help to distract you as well.
Warning: You may talk the ear off of your lovely companion, pick someone who likes to listen!
Step 3: Work Those Legs!
Now we are really stepping it up, literally. You've tried the fingertips exercise, talked for an extended amount of time to your friends and family, this type of anxiety is really working on your mind and body. Time to get out and exercise. A long walk blasting your ipod, swimming, dancing by yourself or with a willing room mate, a hike, the gym, anything which is accessible to you in your time of need. This will get your endorphins flowing, as well generally making yourself feel better for getting out and being active.
In one of my weaker moments of anxiety, I thought it would be a great idea to drink a energy drink and then go to the gym. I thought I could work out twice as long, as well as really tiring myself out. After taking a few swigs of that bubbly, and slightly lethal, liquid energy I felt my heart really beginning to pump. I worked out on the tread mill for an hour and a half (I had the creeping feeling I was beginnng to look like a hamster on one of those wheels), and then did weights and other various exercises for another hour, totaling nearly three hours in the gym, I also didn't sleep that night. I suggest the natural route.
Another note: I fully suggest breaking it down with some friends, it makes you laugh and now all you have to worry about is which dance move you want to use next: the worm or the sprinkler?
Step 4: Mindless Television
Now I am giving you the kryptonite to your anxiety. A secret I usually like to keep, I'll let you all in on last step, and most desperate of mine to curb that anxiety. Mindless television, reality TV shows, contestant shows, your favorite sitcom, generally any daytime TV, ect. Grab something good to eat, kick back, and grab that remote control because you got at least an hour of this numbing television to sit through. This will not only entertain you, whether you would like to admit or not, but it will chase those anxious thoughts out of your head and instead make you question what has television come to?