Anxiety can feel unmanageable when it is at its worst. For many, alcohol is a trigger for using drugs and alcohol to cope. Before turning to self destructive behaviors, try one of these three methods.
STOP WHAT YOU’RE DOING AND FOCUS ON YOUR BREATH
Anxiety builds when the brain and the body lose connection to one another. As the brain continues to put forth signals of anxiety through hormone production of cortisol and adrenaline, the body reacts. Increased heart rate, dizziness, hyperventilation, and other physical symptoms can worsen the experience of anxiety until they are resolved. One of the quickest ways to resolve the physical symptoms of anxiety is to start focusing on your breath. If your anxiety is climaxing no matter what you do, stop doing anything. Focus purely on breathing. Place a hand on your abdomen and a hand on your chest to feel the rise and fall of your diaphragm as you continue to breathe. Breathing will slow down your heart, which will help your brain relax as you pump more controlled oxygen to it. You don’t have to breathe “mindfully”, though you will be inherently by focusing on your breath, and you don’t have to meditate, though it will already be a form of meditating. All you have to do is breathe until you feel your muscles start to relax.
DON’T INTERACT WITH TECHNOLOGY FOR 10 MINUTES
Technology is causing more anxiety that society is truly prepared for. The blue lights behind the screens of digital devices stimulates the brain to be more awake. There are many apps for smartphones and other digital devices which are effective in anxiety management. Apps for anxiety, mood, mindfulness, and meditation can all help with anxiety. Sometimes, interacting with the app instead of the natural environment can be too much. Instead of trying to find relief through the phone, find relief through your natural environment. As you focus on your breathing, look at the sky, look at your feet on the ground, or look at a fixed object you feel safe looking at. Giving your eyes and your brain a break will help with the anxiety.
MOVE YOUR BODY, PREFERABLY OUTDOORS
Adrenaline and cortisol give the body all the anxious energy it needs to fight or run. Part of the fight-or-flight response, these stress hormones give the body the edge it needs to act quickly and efficiently in order to survive. During anxiety, however, they can feel paralyzing, preventing the body from doing anything. To get rid of the stagnant energy, it’s important to move the body as much as possible, preferably outdoors. The combination of physical exercise and outdoors will clear your mind and release anxious energy. Being in the outdoors while you move- even just walking around, or pacing back and forth, has been proven to have a tremendous effect and makes the exercise more impactful.
You can learn to manage your anxiety. Enlightened Recovery Solutions warmly welcomes men and women with dual diagnosis anxiety and substance use disorders to our partial care programs. Our compassionate environment supports our integrative approach of holistic treatment, approaching spirit healing therapies for the whole person. For information, call us today at 833-801-5483.