Anxiety is one of those emotional feelings that builds in the pit of the stomach, becoming a monster all its own. It can cause insomnia, excessive worrying, nausea, and even wreak havoc on the body so much so that the body becomes more susceptible to illness. Nobody relishes anxiety, but nobody has to live with it. By applying some simple exercises to train the psychological brain, any person can overcome this dreaded affliction.
Recognition of the reptilian brain can help most anyone overcome feelings of anxiety. The human brain has evolved to include the frontal lobes, which is the neocortex of educational and rational thinking. This part of the brain overrides primitive emotion, which is considered the primal brain, or the reptilian brain. A good exercise to overcome feelings of anxiety involves using the new and sophisticated brain function to rule out the primitive brain. Practices can include recognizing when anxiety rises, when fear stimulates worry, and reminding oneself of the logical thinking that makes one human. Doing this will bump the anxiety-causing fear emotion out of the way for logical, human reasoning.
Another great practice for driving out anxiety is to think of a fear and exaggerate it. While this may not seem pleasing to many, it actually has the potential to work quickly to snuff out anxiety. To practice this, a fear is thought of and played upon. The person will speak their fear out loud, using descriptions and emotions to depict the fear. They will then do this again and again, until hearing their fear spoken of in these terms invokes a sense of ridiculousness. The fear will then become quite silly, giving a relief from the anxiety.
Driving oneself to distraction is another method used by psychologists to help their patients overcome their anxiety. Being surrounded by friends or family, or watching a movie, can help distract from the debilitating anxiety that can actually cause physical pain. Cognitive-behavioral thinking can be great, but when anxiety gets so bad that it doesn’t work to think anymore, distractions can be the leading factor that beats anxiety.
One of the best methods, and consequently real exercises, is physical exercise itself. Running, biking, lifting weights, and even just meditation and breathing exercises all play a role in engaging the physical body, turning thoughts to the direct moment of exertion, to help drive away anxiety. Exercise works because when the body is physically active, endorphins are released, which are the brain chemicals that can be linked to feelings of pleasure, such as when there isn’t any anxiety present. Whatever the exercise, as long as it works the heart and circulatory system, anxiety will fade into the distance.
These few methods can greatly reduce anxiety, releasing the negative emotions tied to it, and become any go-to methods of self help for just about anyone.