If you're not sure you really are disproportionately anxious, know that anxiety can manifest in three types of symptoms:
• A sudden feeling of apprehension, dread or unexplained guilt.
• Feeling worried for large periods of time without the ability to stop the worried thoughts.
• Intrusive thoughts about things that make you anxious even when you're in the middle of doing something else.
• You find uncertainty intolerable, if there is a problem, you must know about it right away.
• Finding it extremely hard to relax or enjoy a quiet time.
• Frequently putting things off because you feel overwhelmed.
• Avoiding situations that make you anxious.
• Feeling like your muscles are tense, that your body aches from being held rigid.
• Having trouble either falling or staying asleep, as your mind will not stop working.
• Feeling cranky, edgy or jumpy.
• Stomach pain, nausea, and other stomach issues often occur.
We often feel like our worries are generated from the outside. From other people, problems or situations that trigger this worried anxiety within us. But the truth is that worrying comes from within. There are triggers all around us, but it is the anxiety machine within us that spins it over and over again, making a running dialog that produces worry.
Once you realize that your worries are not really helping you plan but are just wasting valuable energy, you can start dealing with the irrationality of these worried thoughts. This may mean challenging these irrational thoughts, learning to accept uncertainty, and postponing the act of worrying.
Countless studies have proven beyond doubt that there are many kinds of meditation that lead to reduced anxiety. Meditation can not only reduce your physical symptoms, but, over time, help you control the flow of thoughts in your head. As you gain more control over your thoughts, you will be able to stop their persistent nagging.
Sight: Look at something you find beautiful, walk around somewhere pretty or look at photos that make you feel good, such as family photos or treasured photos from your past. Animal photos have also been proven to have a calming effect on our psyche.
Sound: Listen to something relaxing. Slow music, the sounds of nature. Listen to crashing waves and the wind passing through the leaves.
Smell: Certain smells reduce anxiety and promote relaxation. A great example is lavender, which is great for relaxing both body and mind, as well as promoting healthy sleep.
Taste: Cook yourself something delicious. Slowly eat a favorite treat. Do NOT start treating anxiety with sugary sweets, because you will create a sugar spike that will only lead to more anxiety later on. Not to mention you can develop a nasty habit of calming yourself down with fattening foods. Eat something slowly, enjoy the taste and let it overwhelm everything else.
Touch: Take a hot, scented bath. Pet your dog or cat. Wrap yourself in something soft like a good blanket. Enjoy a good massage or sit outside and feel the wind caress your skin.
Being under stress, being worried and feeling anxious is worst when you are dealing with it alone. Without any objective feedback, everything just becomes bigger and worse in our mind. A quick and honest evaluation from someone else can drastically reduce the amount of time we spend obsessing and worrying over a problem.
However, being anxious can also negatively impact your relationships with others. You may seem cranky, or you may come across as needy and weak. That is why many don't disclose their anxiety, fearing to be judged.
Step 4: Change your lifestyle
A huge part of our anxiety stems from improper lifestyle choices. These can be easily fixed by:
Adopting healthy eating habits
Knowing the difference between being worried and having a condition is hard. What start as normal worrying can become what's known as 'General Anxiety Disorder' or GAD. People who suffer from GAD cannot stop worrying, and this worry becomes a normal state for them. GAD is a well-known condition and is very common these days, especially in Western society. It can be handled with either medication or therapy.
The first and most important sign that you need to seek some help is the length of time you've been feeling anxious. If you have been having this feeling for over six months, that's a clear sign that something is wrong and that you need some actual help.
Another sign is that your worries are significantly disrupting your everyday life, job, relationship or other social activities.
So if you find that you can't stop worrying, and nothing you do will stop these obsessive thoughts and tense muscles. Please don't try to fight it alone. Never be ashamed to ask for help. It is not your fault, it's a fault in your brain chemistry that you have no control over. Do the brave thing and go seek some medical assistance.