We all feel anxious at times. Anxious thoughts, ruminations, and worry that you feel you can’t control can happen to the strongest of us. Especially when situations are stressful, unknown, or presenting a future threat.
In recent months, you may have noticed that you’re feeling more irritable, worried, and stressed than you like. If you notice that this is affecting your daily life, relationships, work, and health—it’s time to take action.
What can you do to ease anxiety…and have a happier life?
1. Foster a Sense of Security
Whether it’s the global pandemic worries or other issues, this is a time when a lot of people are looking for ways to feel safe and secure. While many things are outside of our direct influence, you can still take specific steps to protect your family’s finances, provide security and foster a sense of safety.
As you evaluate what you can do to boost the sense of security at home, look for fun ways. Perhaps you can start new habits such as reading together, singing before bed, or bathing with extra soft fluffy towels.
Many parents find that establishing daily rituals creates a sense of nurturing security for their children, and themselves.
2. Practice Practical Control
It’s easy to focus on the things that are outside of our control. Yet, medical experts advise focusing on what you can control.
Controlling your health insurance costs is one of the best moves to reduce anxiety. Fixed indemnity insurance is a type of health insurance that covers medical services with a fixed payment. You can use plan expenses before you even make an appointment. It’s a practical choice for having peace of mind.
Fortunately, it’s easy to shop for health insurance online. For instance, you can go to a website that allows you to compare fixed indemnity rates from top insurers in minutes.
In addition to controlling health costs, look at small actions you can take right now that are within your influence. You can choose to turn off the news. You can choose to step outside for a stretch break. You can choose to make a soothing cup of tea.
3. Create Daily Structures
Experts from the Mayo Clinic offer a wide array of tips to ease anxiety. Many of the tips work to provide structure. Let’s face it. No one alive has ever lived through a global pandemic. We don’t have any previous experience from our own lives on how to navigate the unexpected turmoil and upheavals.
That’s why it is helpful to look towards what we can influence and structure. When we do this, we can focus on health-affirmative behaviors. These include learning new skills for our thinking, speaking, and acting.
For thinking, many people find anxiety relief in mindfulness techniques. You can learn to reframe your thoughts. The results may not be instant. After all, you’ve been thinking thoughts in a particular way. For many of us, how we think is a little like a puppy. We haven’t learned any guidelines or rules. Our minds race wherever we wish, without any particular purpose.
Yet, learning to reframe thoughts can have a dramatic effect. You can learn to stop ruminating. You can reclaim your weekends, nights, and free time. You can steer clear of old thought patterns that are guaranteed to put you in a poor mood.
When you learn how to reframe your thoughts, you’ll have more time, more energy, and most likely – a lot less anxiety.
4. Practice 2-Minute Distractions
Do you have something that makes you feel calm, relaxed, and at ease? If so, you could have a personal prescription for a very necessary activity: distraction.
Dr. Guy Winch, psychologist, and best-selling author recommends 2-minute distraction breaks. These breaks interrupt nasty habits of ruminating and worrying.
It’s a little shocking to realize that it only takes 2-minutes to stop doing something so devastating. That’s not much time. You could set the timer right now and you’ll be amazed at how short it is.
What are some of the activities that work? Pretty much anything you enjoy doing will do the trick. Reading. Journaling. Exercising. Playing chess. Jumping up and down. Going for a walk.
5. Seek Advice From an Expert
Health experts are trained in helping people tame anxiety and get support. A health care provider can help you develop a plan of action to address your situation. If you’re noticing that anxiety is controlling your life in some way, reach out for help. You don’t have to muscle through this on your own.