It’s rare that any of us will get through life without experiencing anxiety at some point. But some people have the burden of dealing with anxiety on a daily basis. Whether it’s over something big or insignificant, anxiety stops us from living a normal life full of joy and potential.

Here are 5 ways you can begin reducing your anxiety:

1. Recognize You Are in Control

When you are in the grips of anxiety, it feels very much like it has total control over you. But the reality is, you are in control. While external events can trigger our emotions, ultimately, we have the choice whether we feel those emotions or not. So the good news is, you don’t have to suffer with anxiety, you simply have to decide to show it who’s really boss.

2. Diaphragmatic breathing

This physical strategy is very helpful to relax in stressful situations. While breathing, focus on breathing into the belly while keeping your shoulders down and relaxed. As opposed to expanding your chest, focus on letting your abdomen expand while inhaling.

3. Move Your Body

Exercise is a great way to alleviate the muscle tension that goes along with chronic anxiety. Plus, exercise releases feel good chemicals in your body like serotonin. But don’t sweat it, you don’t have to do a grueling workout at the gym to gain these benefits. Just a half hour a day of walking, biking, swimming or yoga can significantly help reduce your anxiety.

4. Start a Gratitude Journal

Get into the habit of writing down three to five things you are grateful for each night before retiring. This is a simple way to train your mind to focus on all of the good that surrounds you.

5. Speak with a Professional

The cure for any physical or psychological ailment is to get to the root cause of it, not simply manage the symptoms. A counselor can help you access your inner world to uncover what is triggering your fear and also offer coping tools and strategies.

If you or a loved one is interested in exploring treatment, please contact me today. I would be happy to speak with you about how I may be able to help.

Priscilla Hurd, LPC, M.Ed.

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