Anxiety is a sense of dread and overthinking fueled by a negative bias. It is like fear, but different as fear is caused by sensing real danger. This emotion is wired for survival, but most of us are no longer threatened; at least, our physical well-being isn’t. Hence, anxiety is hard to deal with in the modern world. In the same proportion, learning to relax your mind and body from anxiety is a vital skill for emotional regulation.
The sense of dread is caused when you begin to question, assume and think of the worst possible outcome of everyday situations in your head. These outcomes may be unlikely, but you may feel they are genuine if you get immersed in anxious anticipation over them. Factors that may lead to increased or pathological anxiety include how you were brought up and recent stressful or traumatic events you may have encountered.
What are the different types of anxiety?
Anxiety disorder relaxation techniques vs. learning how to relax your mind and body from anxiety, what’s the difference? According to the American Psychological Association(APA), Anxiety disorder differs from anxiety in multiple ways. These are:
-The anxiety must be exaggerated; for instance, anxiety along the lines of everyone hating the person would qualify for anxiety disorder. Still, anxiety about an important person’s opinion of them may not.
-The anxiety must interfere with the patient’s daily life. This interference refers to the workplace and the household. It should also last longer, even after the anxiety-inducing event or situation has ended.
-The anxiety must not be expected of their age group. For example, an adult in their mid 40’s worried about how people see them would qualify for anxiety disorder. On the other hand, a young adult or a teenager may not.
Anxiety disorders As Per The DSM-V
Anxiety disorders come in various shapes and forms. Here are the three most common conditions you can look for while trying to identify anxiety within yourself.
The first is generalized anxiety, which includes worrying about everyday situations such as relationships and work life.
Secondly, you may have social anxiety. One of the more popular types, social anxiety, refers to being overly anxious about social or public situations. It can hinder your chances of having a typical social life.
Finally, there are phobias. Phobia is when you fear something. In particular, it may be an animal, a kind of environment, or an experience.
Anxiety disorders can also result from Post Traumatic or Compulsive behaviors. And anxiety attacks are often confused with panic attacks, but they are certainly not the same.
Extreme cases of anxiety require a psychiatric assessment and diagnosis to begin your recovery and should ideally be fixed using therapy. However, techniques do help you learn how to relax your mind and body from anxiety.
Relaxation Techniques To Relax Your Mind And Body From Anxiety
Mindfulness is the practice of being grounded in the present moment. It emphasizes having a non-judgmental attitude to external and internal stimuli, that is, what happens around you and what you’re currently thinking or feeling. Mindfulness is a technique that can help move your attention from potential worries about possibilities to the present moment. The best aspect of mindfulness is that it can be practiced anytime while talking to friends, traveling, or conscious eating.
2. Spiritual Practices like Prayer, Yoga, and Tai Chi
Prayer, yoga, and tai chi hold significance for many people and are worth practicing based on the placebo effect alone. These techniques can have powerful relaxing benefits if you can involve yourself in them fully. They also have other psychological and physical benefits than helping you relax; for instance, some studies show that yoga can be helpful for better sleep.
Imagine you’re in your happy place. You’re relaxing, doing meaningful work, or doing whatever you want. Visualization is a way to instantly make yourself feel better by using the power of your mind. You can also try imagining positive outcomes for your goals and visions; this exercise may aid your ability to plan and help you achieve more in the long run.
In this way, visualization and guided imagery are the opposite of anxious thinking. While the former is done with conscious intent, anxiety happens independently. Visualization can also help you achieve practical goal setting and more life satisfaction. It is certainly worth a try to use this technique to give yourself relaxation from anxiety.
4. Music and Art Therapy
Music and Art therapy, perhaps play therapy, can provide you a sense of engagement and play and, most importantly, lead you to a “flow” state. Flow refers to a state where you’re in the zone, doing tasks that are neither too difficult nor too easy for your current abilities. Music is also correlated with an increase in verbal memory.
5. Engage in work & socialize
You can focus on work, things you’re good at, or find meaningful. Nobody dislikes getting work done, which is an appropriate distraction from your anxiety. The more focused you can get on your tasks, the better your work quality, satisfaction, and, eventually, the quality of your relaxation. You can also talk to a few friends. Check-in with how they’re doing and have a fun conversation. The conversation will uplift your mood for a while, thus helping you sit back and relax.
6. Don’t fight your feelings, self validate
One of the primary reasons your anxiety can increase is being anxious about being anxious. Have you ever thought, “I shouldn’t be thinking this way. Is something wrong with me?”
If so, chances are you have set ideals for how you “should” feel and not feel. Self-validation is the opposite of this. It refers to not judging whatever you’re thinking and feeling, just looking at the same with an unbiased attitude. Through this practice, you grow more confident in your abilities.
7. Self-care activities
Self-care activities involve preparing for anxiety ahead of time. It can take the form of knowing your goals and priorities beforehand, practicing body relaxation, or self-validating your feelings of anxiety. You can also set up an anxiety journal to learn more about your condition and track what helps you relax and what doesn’t.
These practices may be hard at first, but soon they will be second nature to you. Remember that the important thing is that you try. If you keep trying, the results will slowly but surely show up. On that note, here are some more activities you can note that instantly focus on relaxing your body from anxiety.
How To Relax Your Mind And Body From Anxiety?
Deep breathing exercises
Your breathing changes with your mood, and your heart rate is also affected by the same. Deep breathing exercises focus your attention on breathing as you take in and let out more air and give you relaxation from anxiety.
Being aware of your body
Try to be more aware of your body through day-to-day activity. Focus on what your body is sensing from head to toe. One technique that can help you release tension and increase awareness about the body is Progressive Muscle Relaxation(PMS).
Furthermore, it is an easy technique. In PMS, you need only find a time of the day when you won’t be disturbed by distractions and start tensing up muscle groups. After tensing a muscle group for about 5 seconds, you can release the tension and provide an effect of relaxation in 10-20 seconds. Then you can move on to the next muscle group, practicing it all over your body.
PMS can help you relax and aid those suffering from stress, anxiety, insomnia, and many more issues. It involves contracting and relaxing a particular muscle group. It helps release tension stored in the body. If you continue this practice, you can also identify what triggers your anxiety and gain more self-awareness.
Pay attention to how you sleep
Lack of sleep can be a cause of or aggravate anxiety. You can try guided meditations for relaxing and eventually sleeping. You can also set a fixed routine to aid with your circadian rhythm, the natural timing of the human body. These actions may help you recover from a poor sleep cycle and enable you to live a more peaceful lifestyle.
If you’ve followed us this far, you have learned how to relax your mind and body from anxiety through various techniques. Not every method will be as effective, and some may not suit you well. However, you can try to see which approach works best for us and helps you aid anxiety in daily life. If none of the methods work for you, or you feel overwhelmed by your condition, you should consider consulting trusted friends and loved ones and pursue clinical treatment if possible.
When to seek help?
If you’ve tried these activities and they don’t seem to work for you, or if anxiety symptoms have taken over your life and hindered your daily functioning, you should seek help from a licensed professional. If the nature of your problem is more physical, say an irregular or poor sleep cycle, you can visit a doctor. It is advisable to see a therapist as well in either case.
Now that you’ve learned about anxiety disorder relaxation techniques and how to implement them, you can take steps forward to improve your mental health and reduce your vulnerability to disorders. Here is a list of natural remedies for anxiety that can further help you improve your condition.
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