When you feel anxious, we understand that it can have a huge effect on your body and mind. Within this blog, we have put together a number of techniques that can help to calm your anxiety and reduce the impact it has on you. We have also provided information on the support and treatment for anxiety that you can access here at Priory Wellbeing Centre Dubai.
5 ways to help calm anxiety
1. Learn a breathing technique
When you become anxious, it can impact your breathing. This in turn can cause your heart rate to increase and your chest to tighten. It can also lead to dizziness and light-headedness.
Breathing techniques can help you to get back in control of your breath, which can reduce the above physical symptoms. Here’s a simple breathing technique for you to try:
- Breathe slowly through your nose for 4 seconds, filling your lungs from the bottom to the top
- Hold your breath for a count of 3 seconds
- Slowly breathe out of your mouth for a count of 6 seconds. Focus on your muscles relaxing as you exhale
Try practising the technique a couple of times a day, so that it comes naturally when you start to feel anxious.
2. Exercise to burn off ‘anxiety’
When you are extremely anxious, you may find it difficult to concentrate. In these moments, do something energetic to get rid of the extra adrenaline pumping around your body. Activities to try include:
- Dancing around the house to music
- High intensity exercise, a HIIT workout or speed walking
- High energy chores, such as vacuuming or mopping the floors
- Any aerobic exercise, such as Pilates or Yoga
As you do these types of activities, you should start to feel calmer as your adrenaline levels dip.
3. Start counting backwards
A practical way to move past anxious thoughts is to refocus your mind on something else. One good technique for this is counting back from 100 in 3s. The amount of concentration that this takes should distract you and if not, move onto something that is more difficult, like counting back from 100 in 4.25s.
4. Try a grounding technique
Grounding techniques encourage you to focus on the present, which can distract you from your worries and calm your anxiety.
An example of this is the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 grounding technique, where you to:
- Look = Name 5 things you can see
- Feel = Name 4 things you can feel
- Listen = Name 3 things you can hear
- Smell = Name 2 things you can smell
- Taste = Name 1 thing you can taste
5. Challenge your thoughts
If you struggle with anxiety, you may find that you regularly jump to the wrong conclusions. If a friend doesn’t message you back right away, you may worry that they have fallen out with you, or an abrupt email from your boss may lead you to believe that you are going to be fired.
When these negative thoughts emerge, pause and question them. Ask yourself:
- Is there any truth to this?
- Is this fact or opinion?
- What other possible outcomes could there be?
This can give you the opportunity to stop the worry in its tracks and prevent it from spiralling out of control.
Seek professional support for anxiety
Using techniques such as those mentioned within this blog can be helpful, but if you find that your anxiety is continuing or worsening regardless of anything you try and do to improve it, it may be that you need to seek professional support.
Our experienced psychiatrists and psychologist are committed to providing everyone they see with expert treatment so that they can start to feel better.
More information about the mental health treatment we offer can be found here.