Tips to reduce anxiety

| Sunday, June 29, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

When you are feeling anxious, there are a number of things you can do to decrease the tension and get back to life as you know it. Remember that you can feel panic even if the source of your anxiety is not immediately present, because, sometimes, stress just floats out there for a little while, trying to get your attention.

Fear can control us, but you have more power over it than you may think. Here are a few exercises you can do to feel better about yourself in anxious situations.

Get your anxiety out on the table: If you are in a relationship, you can do this exercise with your partner. You also can do it with anyone in your life who is a good listener.

• Look at and talk about the worst-case scenario. Get your feelings and fears out on the table. Discuss what you'd do in the worst-case scenario and how serious the consequences would be.

• Talk about the best-case scenario and revel in all that it brings you. Take a moment to soak in all of the positive changes that may happen.

• Look at what's most likely to happen. While you can't be certain, it's reasonable to expect that most of these scenarios will fall somewhere in the middle of the worst- and best-case scenario. Remember that the results are also largely dependent on what you make of what happens.

Going through this process will decrease any anxiety you may be feeling and help you embrace the positives in your life. Taking this tried-and-true action will yield positive results.

Be proactive about your anxiety. Some people take supplements like fish oil, or they drink chamomile tea to help them relax. Daily exercise is also a great anxiety reducer. So is meditation, if you would rather be less physically active.

Remember the places that make you feel peaceful inside. Being by water or in nature is calming for many people. Sometimes, reading a book by the pool can be as good as reading one in the mountains. The trick is to find and then remember the places that make you feel most peaceful, and the next time anxiety hits you, go to a quiet spot and just imagine yourself back in your peaceful place. It sounds too simple, but it works.

Get your day going right. Wake up in the morning with a brief meditation. Simply visualizing a peaceful day ahead and reminding yourself that you are safe is a helpful little tool that can make the difference between a nervous day and one of tranquility.

— MCT Information Services

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