Have you ever found yourself tossing and turning all night worrying about something silly that you shouldn’t even be bothered worrying about? You have a recurring thought endlessly swirling around in your head and you just can’t shake it off. Sometimes we even worry about things that do not even exist in real life, they only exist in our minds.
The fact is, we are hardwired for scanning our environment for dangers or threats and we have a tendency to detect negative information instead of positive information. Scientists call this the ‘negativity bias’ where we are drawn more towards possible threats than towards opportunities. The good news is, that we can have some control over this and we can make some positive changes to our behaviour and how we are affected by stress, worry and anxiety.
This might sound too good to be true, but worrying and mild anxiety are things that can be reduced quite quickly. While you may not cure your anxiety in one day, you are able to calm it down overnight with just a few simple techniques and tips. These techniques can settle your thoughts in one night and then from there continue to strengthen your ability to deal with worry and anxiety more effectively.
3 Tips and Techniques to Worry Less and Calm Anxiety.
Tip 1: Move it to burn away stress
To help curb your anxiety, the first thing you can do when you get home from work is slip on your sneakers and head outdoors for some brisk exercise.
Sometimes all you need is a bit of exercise and movement to burn away the stress of the day. Under stress our bodies release the stress hormone cortisol and adrenalin so any form of vigorous activity like jogging, brisk walking, sports etc. will help burn away built up cortisol and adrenalin levels in the body. This will help to decrease stress, relax the nervous system, and improve your sleep patterns.
Tip 2: Deep Belly Breathing
If there were only one technique to help you manage your stress, worry and anxiety, I would say it is through your breathing patterns. When we are stressed our heart rate increases and we usually only shallow breathe at best, we may even hold our breath without even realizing it. This puts us in a state of high alert and triggers a Stress Response or Fight and Flight Mode.
There is a method of relaxation known as Deep Belly Breathing or Diaphragm Breathing that is very effective in taking us out of the stress response and calming us down into what is called the relaxation response.
If you’d like to learn this technique, check this video.
Tip 3: Tune out and Turn off
Choose a time in the evening, for example 7:30pm, when you actually turn off all your electronic devices, put away your laptop and mobile phones and just enjoy your evening.
Technology actually creates more anxiety and over stimulates our senses. Playing on your mobile phone or checking your emails and social media feeds just keeps you in a constantly stimulated state and has been known to increase anxiety levels. Overloading your senses before bedtime is a sure way to increase your chances of over-thinking and worrying in bed.
Your evenings should be a time of rest and restoration, so try to create this space at home and do more calming activities like reading, listening to music or engaging in conversation with your family. Reclaim your downtime in the evenings and try these simple techniques each night for a restful, worry-free night.