5 Anxiety and Panic Tamers

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1. Keep Moving

We all know the benefits of exercise but choose one (or more) you will enjoy. Biking, swimming, walking, or other aerobic exercise is recommended, but only if you plan on following through.

If your joints are stiff or painful, try water aerobics or Tai chi. Yoga and qi gong are excellent for reducing stress and tension.

Is there a basketball hoop on your driveway? Shooting hoops is a fun aerobic workout even if you are a bad shot. Put on music and dance around the living room. Trimming bushes, vacuuming, making beds, cleaning out the garage are all forms of exercise.

2. Calm the Mind

It is difficult to manage anxiety if you cannot control your thoughts. Meditation practice relaxes the body and helps you take charge of mental content. If you have a restless mind and need help taming it try using guided meditations, or sign up for a meditation group. Research makes it clear that regular meditation practice reduces anxiety.

3. Use Stress Relief Tools

Slow your breathing; make sure when you inhale your belly expands. You might try counting while you breath to distract your mind. For example, breath in for a count of three, hold the breath for two counts, then breath out for a count of five. If that’s too much to remember just breath in for five counts and out for five more.

If you are visually oriented, imagine ocean waves slowly rolling in and slowly washing back out. Hear the sound of the waves as well, and if it helps, inhale as the wave comes in, exhale while it goes out.

4. Make time for Playtime

Playtime can be whatever floats your boat. Some people thoroughly enjoy organizing closets, or sorting through recipes. Play can be hopping on a bike, playing Frisbee with the kids, baking, playing board games, reading, writing, crafting, or artwork.

It is more important than most people realize to make time for the things we enjoy. We can find the time by thinking small. Doing what you love for 10 or 15 minutes a day is far better than never enjoying it at all. Plus, 15 minutes of being absorbed in an activity is a marvelous stress reliever. That’s 1.75 hours of chill time each week.

5. Cut the Caffeine, White Carbs and Sugar

If you have an anxiety or panic problem, you are shooting yourself in the foot by ingesting a lot of caffeine, sweets, or foods made with white, processed flour. People are generally more successful when cutting back gradually. For example, drink half a cup less coffee one week, and eliminate a full cup the following week.

 
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