“Things are as you judge them to be.” – Marcus Aurelius. With that said, let me hurdle you straight into my techniques for tackling the prominently misunderstood human behaviour of the 21st century, namely, anxiety. We often value what we want, more than what we have. It’s wrong, but ‘normal’. The perception of your everyday desires is based on comparison, social-validation, and your ever-changing standards.
These muddy desires crumble you into uneasiness, self-scrutinization, and at its grave end, make death a better choice (disturbingly increasing in our century). Having myself been through darker days personally, the following strategies helped me escape from the haunting cave, the incapacitating visions in my own head. Sound familiar? Then you’ll want to read Anxiety: 3 Key Techniques on How to Hack it for GOOD!
The bully who takes on docile kids will always have his chest expanded, shoulders wide, face straight. The body has a corresponding, synchronized posture for every emotion and thought you encounter. When anxiety attacks, your shoulders droop and your head hangs downward often leading to further bewilderment.
Acknowledging your outward expression is the first easiest technique of breaking free from your shackles. Expand your shoulders. Hold your head straight up and look forward. That is how you ‘bully’ back your own thoughts. Tony Robbins, one of my favourite life coaches has something to tell you about posture.
Closing your eyes, you will notice your uneven breathing pattern. You half-exhale, which signifies your anxiety. Like posture, breathing also has a precise correspondence to your state of mind which, in turn, is in sync with your body language.
Physician Rangan Chatterjee, in a talk show, introduces a breathing exercise called 3-4-5. Inhale for 3 seconds, hold it for 4, exhale for 5. Slow down your breath. Starting today, create a life-long love affair with your breath, for without it you wouldn’t have physical life! Breath contains the secret of life itself, the highest knowledge is not the province of universities, books or doctors only. You own it too, free and clear!
2. Stir Up the Waters of Your Mind & Move Your Body!
Your breathing and posture can shift your negative thought spiral. Now, enough of theory, time for some practical measures!
Put on that jacket if it’s cold out there. Go outside (take your furry friend along with you if you like!) and go for a walk to your nearest promenade. It is an endless mystery that one of our greatest soul-nurturers — Mother Nature — is considered a last resort in tumultuous times. Taking a short walk of even 10 minutes gives you a mental boost of up to 44% instantly, studies say.
3. Take the Time to Get Well-Versed in Your Own Story!
Pick up a pen and notebook. Recollect the sight of the swan-couple bumping foreheads while you were on your walk, and have fun capturing their love story on paper. Did you stop at the sight of a beehive and listen to the grand symphony emanating from nature? Now sink your memory back into that experience, can you originate a poem perhaps? Give it a go!
Art blooms out from the humblest of places — no questions asked. Writing can be used as worthwhile escapism when your life seems bleak. It’s actually something far more profound than you might think – these mental journeys can help you unravel the mysteries of life!
Anxiety is dreading the future, and losing focus on this current, present, powerful moment. Suicides are on the increase in modern society, with young people losing themselves in negative thoughts, and futile online comparisons to an unreal reality that make them feel inadequate and mentally weak.
We try to grasp too much information in too little time, and don’t take time to process it in any meaningful way that adds to our strength and satisfaction of life. What’s the point of that? You can’t force feed a baby and expect it to digest quicker because you’re in haste to feed it! Similarly, if you take in too much informational data, and don’t digest or process it, it ends up in mental indigestion.
Watch your mental and media nutritional intake as well as that of your physical food! Choose both wisely, and let them always benefit you. Take a break from your digital screens — one day a week. I call mine, “Screen-less Saturday”, since I do it every Saturday.
Are you dealing with anxiety? What methods have worked for you so far? Let us know in the comments below, and join in the conversation on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram. In the meantime, here are more ideas to deal with it positively, and of course don’t forget, KEEPING Your FIT On always works too!