Anxiety, a common yet challenging emotional state, affects millions of individuals worldwide. It manifests in various forms and intensities, often leaving individuals feeling like they have lost control. However, it is crucial to remember that anxiety does not define us, and with the right awareness, strategies, and mindset, we can learn to navigate through the difficulties. Many people do not recognize their anxiety manifestations until they are feeling extremely stressed and overwhelmed. At this point of heightened anxiety, it is often difficult to regulate it and bring it to a manageable level. Here are some indications that you are experiencing anxiety:

  • Holding tension in your body (jaw, shoulders, clenched fists, chest),
  • Sweating,
  • Cold hands,
  • Feeling jittery,
  • Fidgeting,
  • Accelerated heart rate,
  • Shivering,
  • Blushing,
  • Lightheadedness or dizziness,
  • Stomach issues,
  • Constant leg movement,
  • Chaotic thinking
  • Tunnel vision

The first step in overcoming anxiety is to identify and acknowledge its presence.

Accept that it is a natural response to emotions that cause stress. It does not define our worth or capabilities. By increasing awareness, we empower ourselves to take charge of your emotions and initiate positive change. We begin to understand the underlying mechanisms and look for patterns in which it increases and decreases.

Second, we need to understand triggers and challenge our negative thoughts. Certain situations, people, emotions, or self-criticism may trigger an increase in our anxiety. Once we have identified them, challenge any negative thoughts associated with them. As our anxiety increases, it is difficult to think clearly, so we need to consciously question the validity of our anxious thoughts. We want to begin recognizing if we are doing productive or unproductive thinking. Worrying about the future that we cannot control increases anxiety, which then makes it difficult to evaluate our thoughts.

Deep breathing exercises and mindfulness techniques are effective tools for calming anxiety. Engage in diaphragmatic breathing, where you breathe deeply into your abdomen, holding for a few seconds, and exhaling slowly. This technique helps regulate your body’s stress response, promoting relaxation. Additionally, mindfulness meditation trains your mind to focus on the present moment, cultivating a sense of calm and reducing anxiety’s grip. Taking moments throughout our day to just focus on our breath—inhale and exhale—can slow our thoughts down and bring us into the present.

Engaging in regular physical exercise, maintaining a well-balanced diet, and prioritizing adequate sleep are essential in managing anxiety. Exercise releases endorphins, the body’s natural feel-good hormones, reducing stress and promoting mental well-being. A nutritious diet nourishes your body and mind, providing the energy needed to combat anxiety. Lastly, ample rest allows for better emotional regulation and enhances overall resilience.

It’s important to ask for help. Sharing feelings with trusted friends, family, or mental health professionals who can provide guidance and reassurance helps us to feel connected and less alone. Additionally, prioritize self-care activities that bring joy and relaxation. Engaging in hobbies, practice self-compassion, and setting aside time for activities that promote inner peace and rejuvenation helps in the self-awareness and brings us one step closer to managing our anxiety.

Dealing with anxiety requires patience, self-reflection, and the willingness to embrace change. Remember, anxiety is a temporary state, and it does not define who we are. By recognizing and accepting our anxiety, challenging negative thoughts, practicing mindfulness, cultivating a healthy lifestyle, seeking support, and prioritizing self-care, we can regain control over our mind and nurture a peaceful existence. Let us embrace the journey towards inner calm, knowing that we possess the strength and resilience to overcome anxiety’s grip and live a fulfilling life.

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