How to cope with anxiety
Anxiety is a reality that strikes many people throughout their lives, be it before a date, a business presentation, a long-haul flight or otherwise.
But how do you overcome this unpleasant sensation? Is trying to stay calm in any way we can the best we can do to cope?
Psychological research suggests perhaps not, and offers this advice on how to cope with anxiety.
Time to get excited
A study published in the Journal of Experimental Psychology says that we could be using the wrong strategy to get over nerves.
Although we try to remain relaxed, it’s hard to calm down automatic feelings of anxiety. Lead researcher Alison Wood Brooks says that suppressing feelings of anxiety is usually ineffective.
Instead, people are better served by telling themselves they are excited rather than anxious. This is known as reappraisal.
By meditating you train your brain to focus on what you want to give attention to, rather than the myriad of incoming thoughts and feelings that have the power to distract you in any given situation.
When you’re feeling anxious, exercise often feels like the last thing you want to do. But studies have shown that movement – be it a run, walk, sports game or car washing session – can have constructive emotional benefits.
In addition to releasing endorphins, chemicals that trigger a positive feeling in the body, exercise increases your body temperature which can have calming effects.
Think about a positive aspect of yourself that is conducive to your success, for example, the times you’ve been successful before or the wide range of skills you have.
Read more: Exercise to Ease Anxiety