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November 24, 2014 (10:13 am)

How to Stop the What If’s and Anxiety!

Everyone at some time or other is going to go through unnecessary anxiety. I confess, many years ago this was something I could be heard quite often to be saying. “What if this, or what if that!” The only thing I created, as many people do, was allowing anticipatory anxiety to take over my life.

Anytime you have to take some kind of risk or something is not within your comfort zone, it’s quite common to create stress for yourself by going to this place. However, there are ways in which you can change this pattern and make life much less stressful and more fearless for yourself.

Assuming you are not doing something that could create the outcome of death or injury, the first thing to do when something comes up that you are not sure about is to ask yourself; “What’s the worst that can happen?” Usually once you see this answer nothing looks quite as bad as it might have been. To read the tips for decreasing anxiety and stress.

Learn to put in place stress releasers so that they are there when you need them.

  • Deep breathing. Yes, it may seem a bit cliché but it works. For many centuries Buddhist monks have used conscious deliberate breathing during meditation. If you can, sit in a chair with your feet flat on the floor and start breathing in and out slowly allowing yourself to take in really deep breaths and slowly exhaling. Deep breathing oxygenates your blood, centers you and clears your mind.
  • Laughing is another way to release anxiety and stress. It releases endorphins and tricks your nervous system into making you feel happier.
  • Since caffeine has a tendency to create stress, instead of reaching for coffee or some kind of energy drink that just makes you feel stimulated, try a decaffeinated herbal or green tea which will relax you rather than feed into the stress.
  • Learn to practice ‘mindfulness.’ Yoga, pilates, tai chi that can actually prevent stress from taking over in the first place.
  • This doesn’t mean you have to go to the gym for a workout. Maybe just a short walk, a change of environment or just stretching. Music is also a great stress reliever, turn on some music and let yourself free dance. You will find the what if’s and anxiety disappear quite quickly.
  • Sometimes when a stressful situation occurs it can interrupt your sleep pattern because you are so anxious about an outcome that you find yourself not able to sleep. Stop using your computer or phone and turn off the TV at least one hour before you intend to go to sleep so your mind is not stimulated.
  • Put these tips into place in advance so if something does happen that might cause some stress you have a strategy on hand to reach for.

Stressful situations that cause anxiety are often unavoidable in life but it doesn’t mean you have to actually have anticipatory anxiety. Always think about what will happen if the worst doesn’t take place, you will have created all that anxiety and stress in your body and mind for no reason.

With some patience and a few simple strategies, you can stop the “what if’s” and you can reduce stress.

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