How To Reduce And Stop Anxiety 

The first myth to clear up is, anxiety is not an illness therefore if you suffer with high levels of anxiety this means that there is nothing physically or mentally wrong with you and it is definitely something that you can fix.

Anxiety is part of the fear process and the fight or flight response which is an inbuilt part of all of us that has evolved to help keep us protect us and keep us safe by alerting us and warning us to any potential hazards our threats.

Anxiety is a perfectly natural mechanism which acts like an early warning system and a risk assessment safety precaution device which is necessary to stop us hurting ourselves or being hurt by someone or something.

We have evolved to think the worst with the approach of safety first and enjoyment second and fear will use the emotion associated with fear combined with images and thoughts that will try to predict a possible outcome.

This safety mechanism is only natural however when the danger or risk is valid and real, unfortunately the fight or flight process is not faultless and with some people it can go bad and out of control where there fight or flight process keeps going off all the time without there being a genuine threat or good reason for it.

So in a real potential dangerous situation the anxiety and fight or flight process can be beneficial process that can help to keep us safe. However frequent high levels of anxiety are certainly not normal and they can disrupt your whole quality of life.

Our brains are not very good at distinguishing between what is a real threat and what is not and your emotional part of your brain which is responsible for the fight or flight response can fire up because it thinks it can sense and detect a threat to things that are not a real risk. 

What is anxiety

Before you can begin to reduce your anxiety it is important that you understand how anxiety works and what is actually causing it because only then can you move to the next stage of overcoming it.

Those who do not commit to learning and taking daily action steps end up going around in circles where they live their life stuck in the fear loop where they create their own anxiety, then they try to fight it and run away from it which is energy draining, gets you know where and demoralizes you.

Anxiety and fear is a physical state, it is your mind alerting you of a potential threat and priming and pumping your body to prepare itself to run or fight the perceived threat.

The symptoms of anxiety include

  • The release of adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol in the body 
  • Increase in heart rate a blood pressure 
  • Rapid or shallow breathing 
  • Pumping of blood from the digestive system to the major muscle groups 
  • Tightening of the muscles

Most people attempt to deal with their anxiety without giving much thought to why they are experiencing it and why they're having so much trouble with it.

The first mistake most people make is they go to battle with their fearful thoughts and feelings which causes them to put so much attention into getting rid of their anxiety that they overlook what's actually the root source of it.

People become so fixated with getting rid of their anxiety and it's no wonder as the feelings that are associated with fear are very unpleasant and they can hold you back and destroy your quality of life.

But you have to reach a point where you accept that what you're doing is not and will never work and what you may not realize is, you are actually making your anxiety worse.

Most people are unknowingly feeding their fears and this needs to stop. What you first have to understand is that when you put all your attention onto the anxiety, including trying to get rid of it you are effectively fueling the anxiety with the fuel it needs to thrive on.

Some tips that will help you in your quest to reduce your anxiety are

  • Do not fight or resist your anxiety
  • Do not get annoyed or bothered by it  
  • Give up on looking for ways to get rid 
  • Stop believing that you have to deal with it 
  • Only focus on feeling calm and relaxed 
  • Enjoy and like the things you fear

What many people are still unaware of is, any attempt you make to try to resist or deal with your anxiety will only ever result in creating even more anxiety and panic.

You see, when you try and battle and fight with your feelings or you try to get rid of your anxiety your mind will see the fear as being the enemy and threat, so it will then use fear to fight and push you into an internal conflict with the fear. 

What this means is, you are using fear to try and slay your fear and when you try to oppose it in any way you will create more of it.

Therefore, not only will you have to cope with your original fears and worries, but you will also engage in a fight with your own fearful thoughts and feelings which your mind will see as the threat that needs avoiding or defeating. 

What this will do is besides generating more fear, stress and anxiety which is the very things you want to reduce, it will also have you wanting to run away from or avoid your own anxious thoughts and sensations of fear.

Causes of anxiety

Anxiety is a learned behavious and often the initial source of the fear is caused from a previous bad or negative experience or memory with where your mind has learned to associate certain things, people, situations and events with danger.

Your mind can learn to associate just about anything with being a threat or risk. In many cases anxiety and panic attacks are usually the result of an accumulation of years of stress, worry and negative thinking.

If you suffer with frequent anxiety then this means that your body as no time to return back to it's relaxed resting state which will keep your anxiety barometer stuck on high alert too danger and it can lead to serious physiological and physical damages.

The fight or flight or flight process is activated by the release of adrenaline into your body. The adrenaline then triggers all the high levels of energy and alertness which are then followed by physical symptoms of stress and fear like 

  • Shallow breathing 
  • The rapid heartbeat 
  • The churning off the stomach 
  • The tensing of the muscles 
  • Legs feeling like jelly 
  • Shaking and trembling

The part of your mind that controls your emotional responses and the fight or flight mechanism is all linked up and connected to your body, therefore because of the mind and body connection your mind will use input from your body to gauge your reactions and behaviours

So if your muscles are tense or your body is full of adrenaline, your breathing is shallow or you're in one of the fight or flight postures, then your emotional brain will interpret these signals from the body which all mimic the fight or flight process as something bad is about to happen

How you can get stuck in the anxiety loop

In a real life threatening situation where you would have to fight off or run away from the attacker all that energy would be used up and burned off.

But when you're reacting with fear to things that are not threatening, then all that adrenaline and high levels of energy do not get used up, and as all the energy has no other outlet then it will remain in your body.

This energy and adrenaline will accumulate in your body and keep your mind and body in a fearful and stressful state of high alert to danger so effectively you will get stuck in survival mode and your senses will become heightened to danger causing them to constantly scan for threats in your environment. 

The result of this will mean more fear, stress and anxiety which will keep a constant and steady supply of adrenaline to be released into your system and this pattern can keep repeating on itself until you lower your stress and you teach your emotional mind to only react with fear and anxiety when it is necessary and appropriate.

When people become overwhelmed with stress and anxiety they will enter into one of the four fight or flight responses and states

  • Fight response – this is where you become emotionally aroused, you tense your body and you become agitated
  • Flight response – this is where you become anxious and you start to feel uncomfortable and you just want to escape from a situation or thing 
  • Submissive/surrender- this is where you freeze under pressure, your body shrinks and tenses, your mind is flooded with fearful thoughts, your confidence goes low and your overwhelming feelings and emotions paralyses you 
  • Avoidance - this is where you learn that you have to face or do something you dread or fear which evokes those what if thoughts and scenarios that trigger a stressful and fearful responses

It's bad enough having to deal with your initial fearful responses, especially when you know that it makes no logical sense to you to react with fear to things that are not a threat.

But things can get even more complicated and you can become afraid of the fear itself and in most cases, people are more bothered and afraid of their sensations of fear than they are with the actual thing or situation that they think they are afraid of.

Once you get emotionally and mentally involved with your anxiety and you start to offer it resistance then it will trap and hold you in the anxiety and fear loop to you reach a point where it controls you. It is far better to embrace your anxiety than it is to fight it.

 

You don't stop anxiety you cut off it's fuel supply

As we have already covered, trying to stop, wage war or get rid of your anxiety causes more anxiety, this does not mean that you cannot lower it or overcome it, 

Far from it because there is a lot you can do to return back to a happier, relaxed and calm state of being. This should involve learning how to reduce your stress and tension because your mind uses the symptoms of stress or tension in the muscles as feedback.

This means at times when your muscles are tight, especially the neck, shoulders and upper back your mind will link this to their is a threat in your surrounding environment and it will scan your environment to try and detect a the perceived threat putting you on high alert to danger.

This can put you into panic mode and it can increase the amount of anxious thoughts you have as your mind scans your negative files to try and make sense of your tension in your body and mind.

The same applies if you're feeling overly stressed as again your mind can interpret this feedback as something bad is about to happen. 

When your mind cannot find the threat in your environment because there isn't one, then it will perceive your anxious thoughts and your sensations of fear as the threat and this is when you start to fear the fear itself so you get into a situation where the fear propels more fear.

The anit-dote to fear and anxiety is to learn how to be able to change and to stay calm and relaxed so all your efforts need to go into learning how to relax and manage your state, because you cannot be anxious and calm at the same time.

Because fear is a physical state exercising will help you to burn off all that excess energy then once you've used up all that high energy the next step is to learn how to relax because although exercise is beneficial it is also essential that you don't get stressed or tense in the first place.

Observe your thoughts and let them pass right on through and away

The trick with anxiety is not to be tricked into thinking you have to do anything or take any action or preventive measures other than putting your attention onto relaxing and not responding with more panic.

As we have already covered you don't want to think about anxiety because it will activate those fearful emotions, this includes those types of thoughts like I don't want to feel anxious.

Because what you want is to feel calm, so you should try to exclude the word anxiety out of your thinking and instead focus on what you do want such as, I would like to be peaceful and calm.

You can acknowledge how you feel like

"I am feeling a bit of discomfort right now, how I want to be is peaceful and calm."

Anxiety is very good at tricking you into acting as if something really bad is about to happen to you. 

This is where you have to be mindful so you can spot the onset of anxiety before it has a chance to gather momentum because once it has reached the panic state then it is too late.

So when you notice the build up of fearful feelings and emotions, just practice becoming the observer of those images, thoughts and feelings and purposely allow them to continue, just watch your mind and observe your body but at the same time don't react badly.

Never try to repress your anxiety and feelings, because when you attempt to repress them or fight them you will never overcome them.

When you feel uncomfortable, access the situation and risk, if there is no real threat, then just acknowledge your feeling, feel them for a while and let them just fade away all by themselves.

In fact, be at ease with those fearful thoughts and feelings, try to train your body to respond to your mind and those feelings, let them carry on whilst you watch and stay calm whilst at the same time you just focus on what you're doing externally and your energy will soon shift back to calm.

Keep your muscles relaxed

You want to try to keep your muscles as relaxed and smooth as possible as well as keeping your neck and all your joints free.

Adapting an upright, but relaxed, aligned and balanced posture will help you to get rid of your muscle tension and stiffness which will get you out of that startled and feeling threatening state. 

Our body posture is all hooked up with our emotions, our thought process to a degree and our physical states.

Remember, slouching and shrinking will put you into a submissive posture of insecurity, negative energy and low confidence, so if you feel anxious change your physiology and open up your body in a relaxed and not forced manner.

You also must avoid physically tensing or holding yourself in a militant type of stiff and ridged posture. 

And although you should open up your body, do not lift up your chest or try to sit or stand to attention, as this will curve your spine and tighten up your muscles.

Anxiety, stress and anger all cause your muscles to tense as well, so you need to learn how to relax and keep your emotions in check with things like mindfulness and meditation.

Learn how to shift your energy

To be free of anxiety you need to know how to make a shift in your energy, the standard advice and method most people try to achieve this is by changing their thoughts.

Of course you don't want to think about your anxiety because the more you think about, the more you will hold onto it, so try and not to focus on it or tag yourself with the word anxiety. 

When you're thinking about something else you won't experience anxiety so it pays to make an effort to take charge of your thinking.

However, although you should think about things that don't make you feel bad you cannot really think your way out of being anxious.

The fear emotion comes before the anxious thoughts so it is the emotion of fear that is driving all those anxious thoughts.

What usually happens is, either something in your environment will cause a fearful reaction or if you learn you have to face a thing or situation that you already have a fear of. 

So the emotional responses come first and the anxious thoughts will follow as the thoughts act as a early warning danger alert.

Therefore, it is better to learn how to change your feelings or teach yourself how to react differently to your emotional and fearful responses. 

Sometimes your fearful responses will be accompanied by anxious thoughts whilst sometimes you can have a direct fearful response without any anxious thoughts so again it is better to focus on learning to change your feelings.

Most anxiety sufferers are constantly monitoring and checking their feelings to the point where it becomes a bad habit and they almost expect to feel anxious especially in certain situations and because they expect to feel anxious they usually do.

You cannot get rid of your emotional responses as they are essential for your survival should you encounter a real life threat so as you cannot or should not try to resist your emotions they best thing you can do is to learn how to react differently and swiftly shift your energy back to the calm emotions.

You cannot de-activate feelings or thoughts once they have arisen, this is why when you begin to feel anxious it is pointless trying to stop or resist them because they will just come back louder and stronger and they will persist longer. 

But once you become mindful you will quickly realize that they are just thoughts and feelings or an energy shift and so long as you learn to embrace them and you learn to be OK with this temporary energy shift you will soon become skilled at being able to shift the negative energy back to calm energy with the minimum amount of discomfort.

Learn how to spot the anxiety as soon as it begins to build up and instead of fighting with it or allowing it to paralyze you or make you go into a state of further panic and agitation.

So do something different for a change and act normal as if you don't really care about it so your mind will realize that it is a false alarm so the anxiety will quickly fade away.

When you begin to feel anxious, label it as energy and observe the energy shift, but do not try to fight or stop it, let the emotion peak and pass up through you and away.

Anxiety follows specific patterns and your mind will use your body and how you're reacting as feedback. 

If you try to avoid the situation or you want to escape from what's making you feel anxious then your mind will think the fear is justified and it will keep on repeating that fearful response thinking it is protecting you.

Use your body to stop feeling anxious

When you're feeling anxious your mind thinks that the risk is real and something bad is about to happen and the part of your mind that deals with emotions and the fight or flight has no idea that the danger is not real.

This is where you have to reeducate your mind that it is not a real genuine threat, so you can get your mind to switch off the anxiety mechanism and you can achieve this by mimicking that you're perfectly safe and it is a false alarm.

You can do this by giving your mind safety messages and feedback that all is well along with consciously sending signals to your mind that mimic the resting and peaceful state.

When we begin to feel anxious our breathing shallows, our heart rate increases and our muscles tense, these are all connected to the fear network.

Your mind will use the feedback from your body to try and make sense of these changes, this is why when your muscles are tense or still or you're experiencing the stressful symptoms you will have more tense and anxious thoughts because your mind will be trying to make sense of why your body is in the fight or flight state.

You can use your body to reverse the process, so if you start to breathe deeply, making sure the out breath is longer than the in then your mind will use this as positive feedback and it will start to shut down the fear response and shift you back towards a calmer state.

A simple smile combined with relaxing your shoulders and body will also be seen as positive feedback and all is well because you would you not be smiling and relaxing if you were faced with a real threat.

A shift in your physiology can also break the fear patterns, if you've gone into a submissive small body posture just gently open up and expand your body without forcefully tensing or lifting up your chest. 

If you find yourself in a fight like tense posture where you've lifted up your chest, head and pull your shoulders back, then take some long deep breaths and gently lower your chest and relax down your shoulders.

Other things that you can do are, distract yourself like filling your mind with happy tunes or melodies at the onset of anxiety because again your mind will interpret this as everything must be OK because you would not be singing happy tunes or songs if you were in danger.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

Although cognitive behavioural therapy can be beneficial it can prove hard to stop feeling anxious by using affirmations and positive thinking alone.

The reason for this is, when you begin to feel anxious it is because your mind is anticipating that something bad is going to happen or something is going to go wrong for you or your family.

The trouble with trying to replace those anxious thoughts with positive ones is, when your mind thinks it's faced with a potential threat then logic and reasoning goes out of the window.

If you use cognitive behavioural therapy then the best time to apply it is when you're already feeling calm  and relaxed and not at the point of stress and fear.

When you're feeling anxious it is because your mind fears the not knowing and there are a few things you can do like reassuring your mind that everything will be OK.

So if you're having anxious thoughts or feelings you can let your mind know

"What ever happens, I'll be OK"

As we have covered it, is the feelings that you need to work with because the strong fearful feelings activate the fearful thought patterns and it's hard to change your thoughts when you're experiencing severe anxiety symptoms. 

You can challenge and question the belief and evidence behind your fears, but the best way is to learn how to quickly change your state and very often when you change your feeling your thoughts will follow suit to match your emotions.  

The secret to stop feeling anxious is knowing how to change your state. However, there are other things that you can say that can educate your mind not to activate the fight or flight process when you start to feel uncomfortable like

"Thanks you for protecting me, but I am perfectly safe, so the anxiety is not necessary"

" If that happens, I'll be OK so the fear is not needed."

"There are no dangers present so the anxiety is not necessary."

You can also use your mind to trick your body back into that calm state by imagining you're at a beautiful and tranquil location, such as on a beach or walking by a lake the moment you begin to feel anxious or stressful, just imagine your in your safe location and engage all of your senses.

How To Treat Anxiety Fast And Return To Calm In Under Sixty Seconds

To overcome your fears and anxieties at some point you have to face you fears, this can prove to be the hardest part for many people.

The good news is there are methods and techniques that can help you to do this. The program below will teach you a simple trick to stop a panic attack or relieve high anxiety levels in 60 seconds or less. 

It teaches you how you can use your mind body connection to quickly stop an anxiety attack from taking hold. 

Sometimes you don't always know when an anxiety attack will strike so you cannot always prepare yourself for it.

The big advantage of this technique is it will give you an in the moment technique that you can learn which will quickly change your state back to feeling calm.

The big advantage of this technique is, you can discreetly apply it at any time, any place and anywhere should the anxiety suddenly strike you.

It's actually based on a revolutionary new clinically proven form of therapy, called, Neuro Activation Therapy. This technique has nothing to do with drugs, breathing exercises or the standard coping techniques.

The same technique also works on fears, phobias, overwhelming levels or stress and worry, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety and even depression.

It will give you greater confidence to face those challenging and stressful situations and you will feel a whole lot better when you know you have at your disposal a technique that will very quickly switch off anxiety and by breaking the fear circuit allowing you to return back to a calm and relaxed state.


 

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