Here at Sage Neuroscience, we believe that the first steps in achieving happiness begin with establishing patterns of behavior that aid you in successfully dealing with anxiety. The crippling abyss that anxiety can provoke in your life is generally a construct that is built in your mind due to being too heavily invested in future possibilities that have yet to play themselves out. The chemicals that your body creates for this is; serotonin, gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) and norepinephrine. Now normally all of these chemicals are adequately balanced, but under normal feelings of anxiety, they become unbalanced. This results in that oh so unpleasant Sunday night terror knowing how you’ve neglected or fear your responsibilities for Monday.
Breathing is the most simple and surprisingly effective tool we keep in the back of our head to combat those early stages of panic. Inhale slowly and deeply through your nose taking at least 3 seconds to pull in air, then exhale through your pursed lips again slowly. This type of exaggerated breathing aids in relaxation and an introduction of more oxygen into your body. If after your breathing exercises you still have that feeling of anxiety we recommend you move onto stretching your body. Let’s say for instance that you are inexperienced, we then suggest a yoga class or go online to view some video tutorials for basic stretching. This process takes more time than the simple breathing strategy stated above but holds more benefit due to the distraction your body now has over your mind and the endorphins released by your body in response to this new stimulus.
Strenuous physical activity plays a significant role in the staving away of anxiety by putting your mind into a state of full concentration. Whether it’s because you are on a long bike ride concerned about your bodies fatigue level or you are skiing on the side of mountain focused on keeping your technique up to par. These arduous types of activities pull us out of our head and into our body to readjust the perspective you are currently viewing the situation through that is causing your anxiety. Exercise is a requirement by the body, and if that area of your life is being neglected, then you might have a higher proclivity towards anxious thoughts than others around you.
Normal feelings of anxiety are an evolutionary response put in place to keep you wary of what the future might hold for you as well as to aid in long-term planning. Fast forward to the day and age we live in, and it is not uncommon for people to feel anxious for entire months before the feeling dissipates. Learning to deal adequately with these situations will put you leaps and bounds ahead of where you would be in the circumstance where you let those anxiety monsters run around unchecked by your mental fortitude and discipline.