12 WAYS TO DEVELOP A POSITIVE SELF-IMAGE

by Avnie Garg, Freelance Contributor

Self-image is the way you perceive yourself. It is independent of what people think about you. A positive self-image is a pre-requisite to a successful life. Practice the following ways to view yourself in a positive light:-

  1. Discover your inner strengths 

 

Inner strengths consist of will power, concentration level, self- discipline, peace of mind, mental resilience. Try exploring them by indulging in challenging activities, practicing mindfulness, doing unusual tasks or deviating from the routine. Once you acquaint yourself with your inner strengths, you’ll experience a positive self-image which will bolster your confidence.

 

  1. Accept yourself

    You need to accept yourself the way you are. As a human you, like everyone else, have a set of both strengths and weaknesses. You may have succeeded in some situations and failed in others. Realize that all these situations in life eventually made you a better person. So shun the need to be like others and accept yourself in every way

3. Visualize yourself victorious

 

Stand in front of the mirror and imagine yourself emerging as a champion in a specific activity you are going to take part in or generally in life. These positive visualizations will enhance your positive self-image as you will ultimately find these visualizations take the shape of reality.

  1. Pamper yourself

    Accept it or not, you experience a sense of inflated self-image when you dress up nicely. So pamper yourself with good clothes, nice hair style and the accessories you like because just thinking that you look good gives a necessary boost to your self-image.

  1. Do what interests you  

find some time to do the things that interest you. If you were good at something but did not pursue it then, then go for it now. Indulging in the activities that you like makes you feel happy and worthwhile. You are never too busy to find time for your hobbies. You are never too old to follow your passion.

6. Avoid taking blame for others’ faults

Do not be a scapegoat i.e. do not take responsibility for the wrong doings of others. It can cause negative emotions such as fear, anxiety, grief, insecurity etc. Expose the abuser if you are being made an easy target by someone covertly. Thus to avoid personal costs do not fall into the trap of scapegoating.

7. Make affirmations

Practice daily affirmations like “I am blessed”, “I am strong”, “I have a balanced life”, “I am a beautiful creation of God”. Such affirmations have proved to be life changing for people. They are one of the best ways to develop a positive self-image .You may repeat them several times a day from the moment you wake up to the time you go to sleep.

8. Care for your body

Go for a walk. Exercise daily. Get the required hours of sleep. Follow a healthy (but not boring) diet. Caring for your body will keep you happy and you will picture yourself as a fit and healthy person. This creates a positive self-image that will last longer than you think.

9. Stop comparing yourself to others

– You are unique and separate entity in this world. Your accomplishments and failures are independent of those of others. There will always be someone better than you. You will always be better than some people. Your competition is with yourself and not with others. So focus on being a better version of yourself and not a reflection of others.

10. Pat yourself on the back

– Congratulate yourself for small achievements like completing an assignment on time or planning a birthday party perfectly. Celebrate the small stuff to increase your level of confidence. Let happiness flow in your life.

11. Bring out the benevolent in you

– Help others whenever you can without expecting anything in return. You have a kind and compassionate heart and you can empathize with people easily. Indulging in humanitarian tasks will give you a healthy self-image and you will like yourself more as you see yourself putting a smile on someone else’s face.

12. Indulge in self- praise

– There may be some instances in your life where you failed and couldn’t accomplish what you wanted to. Refrain from criticizing yourself for the failure and praise yourself for all the accomplishments, however big or small. List the things you like in yourself. Read and re-read them. Treat yourself kindly.

Love yourself

Avnie Garg is a student of Panjab University and has worked as a
journalist and website content writer. She has completed a bachelor’s
degree with honors in Psychology. Due to her deep understanding of
the subject, she was chosen as the President of Psychology Society
‘Manojigyasa’ in her college. She recognizes the importance of
psychology in building relationships, communicating effectively,
developing confidence and puts psychological principles to use in
everyday life. She likes to spend some part of her day in meditation and
firmly believes in the power of positive affirmations. 
E-mail: avnie.g@gmail.com

 

 

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The 7 Thought-Habits of Highly Self-Confident People

by Meg Selig, via psychologytoday.com

 

Are there mental habits that will increase your self-confidence? Most definitely. You’ll read about 7 such powerful thinking habits below.

My last blog revealed the very best mental habit I know for building self-confidence: “The Daily Success Review.” This short and simple 3-minute procedure nudges you to tune into the little things you do right every day instead of over-focusing on what you think you did wrong. I have nicknamed this daily technique, “The Small-Success Review,” to counter the destructive mindset of thinking that only huge and dramatic successes and accomplishments really “count” when it comes to bolstering self-esteem.

In addition to the Small-Successes method, there are other ways to increase your self-confidence just by altering your mindset slightly. Of course, it is also important to practice behaviors that will increase your confidence and to learn to project self-confidence to others, and those will be the topics of upcoming blogs. This blog will spotlight the thinking activities you can do right now to build a self-esteem mindset. Below are 7 of my favorites:

1. Don’t worry if you don’t feel confident all the time. It sounds counter-intuitive, doesn’t it? But Dr. Alice Boyes, in her useful new book, The Healthy Mind Toolkit, describes her realization that she needs both self-confidence and self-doubt to do her best work. A little self-doubt can keep you humble enough to realize you may need to learn more or work harder at something. It may even give you the dogged determination to keep going and “show people what you’re made of.” Doubt, according to Boyes, “causes us to question what we’re doing, mentally prepares us to accept change, propels us to work harder or differently, and can lead to us taking more cooperative approaches in dealing with people who disagree with us.”

I love this reminder that your feelings of confidence will ebb and flow during the course of a day–or a lifetime—and that this fluctuation is normal. Not to worry!

2. Show compassion toward your Future Self. Caring for your Future Self could involve actions as small as filling up your gas tank this afternoon because you have a busy morning tomorrow and as far-sighted as exercising now for better health as you age. “I may not want to exercise,” you could say to yourself, “But my Future Self sure would appreciate it.” In this blog (link is external), habits guru Leo Babauta points out that people who don’t procrastinate are also likely to be people who want their Future Selves to be happy. Can you decide to be one of them?

3. Practice compassionate and realistic self-talk. Being able to realize when you are suffering, to comfort yourself, and to tell yourself that “tomorrow is another day,” will help you accept yourself even when you haven’t been able to handle yourself the way you would have preferred. Being supportive and kind to yourself when you have made mistakes will not only boost self-esteem; it will also boost your motivation and self-control, according to research cited by psychologist Kelly McGonigal in her book, The Willpower Instinct.

 

Some examples of compassionate self-talk:

“It’s true that you didn’t do as well as you wanted on the talk, but given that you didn’t feel well, you were a hero just to get through it.”
“Yes, you feel bad that you didn’t say NO to your friend’s request. Think of what you could say next time and put it in your mental file.”
“You don’t have to be perfect.”
“Don’t let it get you down. This too shall pass.”
4. Relabel “failures” as setbacks, challenges, opportunities, or learning experiences. Relabeling “failures” as “challenges,” for example, will immediately lower the level of stress hormones in your body. How could you meet this latest “challenge?” Changing one word can initiate a cascade of problem-solving thoughts. Analyzing past mistakes and setbacks may also improve your future performance, according to this research (link is external). Strike the ugly f-word “failure” from your mental vocabulary list! Practice enough, and you will develop a “growth mindset,” as psychologist Carol Dweck calls it.
5. Don’t assume that other people know what you know. Own your expertise! This reminder is also from The Healthy Mind Toolkit by Alice Boyes. Do you know…the best places to find inexpensive clothing? Your city’s ordinances about trash, permits, and large-item pickups? The best restaurants for any occasion? Think about the times when people turn to you for information; your friends realize that you have numerous areas of expertise, both career-related and life-related.

6. Know your strengths. Think back on compliments and positive feedback from others. Notice how much you enjoy or dislike certain kinds of tasks. Take in the way you contributed to a situation and made it better. When you’ve had a success, mentally replay it again and again. Remembering and savoring positive feedback from others will help you internalize your strengths. Likewise, remembering other positive experiences will ingrain your special qualities into your brain. (Many readers have found this blog on “knowing yourself” a helpful way to focus on strengths.)

7. Remember your higher purpose and your meaningful values and goals. Reminding yourself of your most important values, goals, and life mission can give you more willpower, persistence, and self-confidence, according to considerable research. Your values keep you oriented to your “true north,” pointing to the core of who you are.

If nothing is working, and you feel prey to constant feelings of worthlessness or self-hatred, find a good therapist. Your therapist will help you challenge any deep-seated negative beliefs about yourself. Yes, therapy involves time, money, and work, but it’s worth it to improve your self-confidence. There’s a lot of truth in this quote by Maxwell Maltz: “Low self-esteem is like driving through life with your hand-brake on.”

 

Here is the link to the original article: https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/changepower/201805/the-7-thought-habits-highly-self-confident-people

7 things people with social anxiety disorder go through

By Pallavi Kandhari, Freelance Contributor 

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Social anxiety is the fear of social situations that involve interaction with other people. Social anxiety is the fear and anxiety of being negatively judged and evaluated by other people. A person suffering from Social Anxiety Disorder (SAD) may sometimes think that people would ‘judge’ them if they talk about this fear. But it is the most common anxiety disorder with up to 10% of people being affected at some point in their life. So, you are not alone. Here are some points every person going through SAD can relate to-

1) Excessive worry about one’s looks

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They tend to spend more time in getting ready than what an average person would do and that is because of the fear of being negatively “judged” by people they don’t really know… So, they need to look their best every time they step out of the house in order to avoid the fear of being negatively evaluated. And as Eleanor Roosevelt said rightly,” No one can make you feel inferior without your consent”.
2) Being the center of attention is a NIGHTMARE

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Have to give a presentation at work, school or college? Have to give a speech? The mere thought of being the center of attention is equivalent to a nightmare and cripples them with fear and anxiety. They are afraid that what if people notice, how anxious they are? Sweating, trembling and other physiological reactions come naturally when asked to give a speech or presentation.
3) Shyness is a pervasive personal state

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Having any sort of conversation with any stranger or sometimes even known people triggers shyness related anxiety and they begin to having irrational thoughts that they might end up getting judged, mocked or negatively percieved in some way. However it is important to remember that many people who are shy do not have the negative emotions and feelings that accompany social anxiety disorder. They live a normal life, and do not view shyness as a negative trait.
4) Hesitance and low self confidence tend to be mostly around the corner

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People with social anxiety usually (but not always) tend to have a low self esteem due to the fear of being rejected or being mocked at. They try to avoid conversations as much as possible in order to avoid being judged or evaluated. They constantly have the fear of being criticized and disapproved. They sometimes hesitate to take decisions and risk ending up coming across as ill-equipped in handling pressure situations.
5) Ordering food is not meant for them.

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Ordering food in person or on phone can be very stressful as it involves taking a decision and then interacting with a stranger. When they go to a restaurant they constantly feel that people will judge and laugh at them. Sometimes they may have the fear of pronouncing something wrong and that raises their anxiety even before they order as they feel that they may end up sounding silly.
6) Escape becomes their best friend

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Leaving a party, social gathering or a family function after spending a brief amount of time is very common. They are the last ones to enter and the first one to leave. Escaping from these situations when anxiety raises can sometimes help them to calm down and they have no regrets of leaving early or escaping from anxiety provoking social gatherings.
7) They become their own best friends

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With the constant fear of being negatively evaluated or criticized by people, they mostly avoid their company and start to enjoy their own company. They become their own best friends and end up spending a lot of time with themselves which sometimes curbs the anxiety provoking thoughts and make them a feel a bit relaxed.

 

10 Positive Psychology concepts that’ll give you a different perspective on life

 

Kritika Joshi, Freelance Contributor

Stay positive, all other choices are pointless punishments to your psyche”  – Joe Peterson

The “positive psychology” field has been around for decades, but only in the recent years, thanks to some notable researches have we been able to recognize its profound impact on society. Fortunately, many of these studies point to specific ways of thinking and acting that can strongly impact our sense of happiness and peace of mind.

So here are 10 Positive Psychology concepts that’ll give you a different perspective on life.

  1. ENVIRONMENTAL MASTERY

 

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It is the degree to which you feel competent to meet the demands of your situation. It is the sense that we have an influence on the events in our lives. We can say it is the sense that we are capable of acting on our own behalf. In simple terms, environmental mastery is the ability to create environment suitable to satisfy one’s own psychological needs.

  1. FLOURISHING

 

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The ability to flourish is defined as the ability for a person to grow as a human being through good times and through life struggles. Flourishing is the product of pursuit and engagement of an authentic life that brings inner joy and happiness. It is a state where people experience positive emotions, positive psychological functioning and positive social functioning most of the time.

 

  1. LEARNED OPTIMISM

 

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Coined by the famous positive psychologist Seligman, It is a mechanism where people systematically remove depressive thoughts by concentrating on the positive. Optimists have a belief that they have control over situations and because of this, the opportunity to influence the result they are highly motivated to achieve. It can be summed up as a pattern of persisting in the face of difficulty.

 

  1. FLOW

 

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The idea of flow is that “a person can make himself happy, or miserable, regardless of what is actually happening ‘outside’, just by changing the contents of consciousness. Happiness is about changing the contents of our consciousness and the way to do this is by putting ourselves in the state of optimal experience called flow. Flow is that state in which people are so involved in an activity that nothing else seems to matter.

 

  1. UNCONDITIONAL POSITIVE REGARD

 

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The concept of unconditional positive regard requires a person to suspend any form of personal judgement and accepts other human beings, regardless of the content of any disclosure they may have made or any behavior they may have displayed. It can help create better relationships with your spouse, friends, relatives and even strangers.

 

  1. CONGRUENCE

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Congruence is when the inner beliefs and concepts of a person match his experience of the external world. According to Carl Rogers, personality is like a triangle made up of ideal self, real self and perceived self. When there is a good fit between these three the person has congruence.

 

  1. CONDITIONS OF WORTH

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Conditions of Worth are the conditions we think we must meet in order for other people to accept us as worthy of their love or positive regard. Children raised in an environment of unconditional positive regard have the opportunity to fully actualize themselves. Those raised in an environment of conditional positive regard feel worthy only if they match conditions that have been laid down for them by others

 

  1. EUDAIMONIC WELL BEING

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Eudaimonic well being refers to effectiveness of an individual’s psychological functioning that helps them to realize their true potential. True happiness is found in expression of goodness. Eudaimonic  view of well being conceptualizes well being in terms of cultivation of personal strengths or acting in accordance with one’s inner nature and deeply held values.

 

  1. GOAL ORIENTATION

 

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It refers to the goals individuals implicitly pursue while attaining performance outcomes. It can be differentiated into two types – mastery and performance goals. Mastery goals involve learning and developing mastery as one approaches tasks. Performance goals involve approaching tasks with a focus on performance relative to others.

 

  1. TRANSCEDENCE

 

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It means ‘going beyond’ a prior state. It involves connection to something or someone larger than oneself, a theme that unites the character associated with it. In positive psychology, the virtue of transcendence is associated with the strengths of meaning that connects you with the larger world and helps you make sense of it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

8 Ways of Controlling Technology Addiction in Children

Shraddha Gupta,  freelance contributor

Due to the frequent use of technology young minds are becoming dull as well as unimaginative and creativity is becoming endangered. While many parents think that they are aiding their children by getting technological devices like smartphones, laptops and tablets etc.; they are only partially correct. Without the proper control and restriction on use of the internet, children can very easily become addicted to social media platforms. The boon of technology then, starts to become a bane.
But if the right controls and limits are set, parents can prevent this addiction and children can benefit more from the internet than they would lose. Following are the ways in which this addiction can be controlled or prevented:
1. Setting a Time Limit
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Time limits for the usage of technology should be set for children and it should be made sure that they are adhered to. It might be troublesome for parents in the beginning, but they should remain firm. This will ensure that the child uses technology more for learning and reading. Children can be motivated to make this restriction, a habit by rewards and punishments.
2. Using the Token Economy Technique
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Token economy is a form of behaviour modification designed to increase desirable behaviour and decrease undesirable behaviour with the use of tokens that the children would receive after displaying desirable behaviour. The collected tokens can then be exchanged for whatever they want. Tokens can also be taken away on display of bad behaviour.
3. Self Control
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Children at a tender age try to imitate their parents to learn behaviour. This behaviour generally becomes permanent and doesn’t change very easily is learned. If children see their parents on screens most of the time, they will tend to do the same. Children will have a natural attitude of depending on technology if they see their parents doing the same.
4. Find Ways to make Technology Habits Productive
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A technology obsessed child may be trying to find a passion for him or herself. Try and channelize that into a positive path and enroll him/her in various classes like programming, sports, dancing, animation etc. for him/her to be sure of whether they want to pursue their life in this field as a career or if it is just a hobby.
5. Using the Technique of Aversive Conditioning
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Parents can instill the hazards of using technology excessively like obesity, weakening of eyesight, lowering of concentration span etc. to make their children more aware about why they want them to leave this addiction. This will also give the children an insight that their parents are caring and they just want the best for them always.
6. Motivational Interviewing
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This technique involves structured conversations that can help children increase their motivation to overcome technology addiction by, for example, helping them recognize the difference between how they are living at present that is, behind screens and how they wish to live in future while spending real time with parents and peers and see what they were missing out on.
7. Self-monitoring of Urges
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Another way to foster detachment from urges to check social media almost every 5-10 minutes, is to have teens use self monitoring procedures to keep track of the internal and external cues that stimulate the urge, their mood, how long the urge lasted, coping skills used to cope with the urge and how successful or unsuccessful these coping strategies were.
8. Urge Surfing
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In this technique, teens can be taught to label these internal sensations and cognitive preoccupations as an urge or craving that is beginning to develop and to foster an attitude of detachment and dis-identification regarding this wave of desire, initially through training and support from parents. If after practicing this for a while, it becomes easier for the teens to delay and distract this urge and eventually, their addiction diminishes.

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10 indications that you’re overthinking stuff

Shivangi Srivastava, Freelance Contributor

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Do things keep playing in your head on repeat mode?
Are you always trying to crack some secret code?
Does your sleep ditch you at night?
Are you constantly worrying about your future?

To think about things or situations in life is necessary but when ‘thinking’ goes overboard, that’s when we start facing problems in life. Over-thinking is a state of constant worrying, where our mind starts to work extra hard, unnecessarily.
Here are 10 indications that will help you understand if you’re over thinking it:

1) You’re hesitant when it comes to giving a voice to your opinions.

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You may find it very difficult to share your thoughts and opinions regarding a certain topic or situation because you fear that people will JUDGE you for how you think and for the kind of choices you’ve made or are currently making in life.

2) All the possibilities are only assessed as either ‘BAD’ or ‘WORSE’.

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For you, ‘WORST-CASE SCENARIOS’ are the only possible scenarios. You may find yourself focusing too much on all the things that can possibly go wrong. Good outcomes are just a matter of luck for you. Also, you tend to be over critical about yourself. People who overthink rarely are able to see their own positive sides because they’re too busy evaluating themselves on their negatives.

3) It seems as if the whole world is conspiring against you.

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You may feel as if people around you observe all the things that you do and judge you for it. It may seem as if everybody around you is talking about you, is criticizing your actions and has formed strong opinions AGAINST you.

4) You believe that one must know ‘EVERYTHING’ in order to understand you.

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You try to include all the possible details while telling somebody about anything. In your opinion, missing out on any piece of information would mean that the message was not conveyed exactly how you wanted it to be and now people won’t understand you and may form negative opinions about you.

5) Creative skills are mostly used in decoding ‘HIDDEN’ messages which may not exist at all.

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Being an over-thinker, it is possible for you to consume your energy in looking for underlying meanings for every word that you hear. You may find yourself constantly worrying if somebody’s motive was to indirectly tell or indicate something to you while conversing with you.

6) You cross-check the messages you’re about to send multiple times.

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It takes you a lot of time to send a message to somebody. You keep going through the messages, again and again, deleting or editing its content. You have the notion of sending an error-free or so-called ‘perfect message’ so that the person on the receiving end does not take you for a dumb individual.

7) Maladaptive daydreaming
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As an over thinker, you experience frequent and intrusive daydreams that can disrupt your everyday tasks and quality of life. Certain situations are often stuck in repeat mode inside your head or you start imagining things that have no end to them and eventually find it very difficult to come to reality and do your daily tasks.

8) You take ‘LITTLE’ things very ‘SERIOUSLY’.
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While having a conversation with somebody, you may find yourself taking little things very seriously. There may be times when people are just talking or discussing things on a very general level but you might take things personally and feel disturbed. It sometimes gets a little difficult to convince you that everything’s okay because you usually want every piece of information to make up your mind.

9) Your behaviour and actions are mostly based on your ‘ASSUMPTIONS’.
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The term ‘over-thinking’ itself suggests thinking more than required; thinking more than there is to think actually. Over-thinkers usually pre-assume a lot of things (basically, jumping to conclusions) and later are found constantly worrying about things that may or may not exist. This eventually leads them to behave oddly around people.

10) Anxiety knocks and blows good night’s sleep away.
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Overthinking often generates anxiety and results in panic attacks. This anxiety holds you back and disrupts your normal functioning. Messing up one thing might mean messing up the entire thing, in your opinion. You keep ruminating about it and thus, face trouble sleeping.

 

 

 

 

7 things you can do in the moment to tackle Anxiety

by Kritika Joshi, freelance contributor |

Anxiety is an emotion we address in our everyday lives. It is a part of everyone’s experience, whether it is exam anxiety, social anxiety or specific phobias etc. Anxiety is associated with alterations in our mental state experienced as worry or apprehension and physical symptoms such as raised heart rate and adrenaline. It is likely to affect us temporarily until the source of our anxiety has passed or we have learnt to cope with it.
The following are 7 things one can do in the moment to tackle anxiety:

1. DISTRACT YOURSELF
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It is important to think clearly when you are flooded with anxiety. Take time to calm down and try your best to distract yourself from whatever it is that has you on edge. Taking a walk, a bath, noticing the environment, listening to your favourite song are activities that could help.
If you get anxious regularly, engage yourself in a hobby which you could turn to during those trying times.

2. PHONE A FRIEND
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Sometimes all you need, is to hear a familiar, friendly voice or to just know that you have a human soundboard to bounce ideas off of. Surround yourself with people that are a good influence on your life. Discussing your problems with others can help you feel less alone. Socializing stimulates the production of hormone oxytocin, which has an anxiety reducing effect. So next time a freak out happens grab your most trusted pal and sit with him/her.

3. SMILE
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It sounds like the most obvious advice imaginable; but clichés are clichés for a reason, so just put up a happy face.
A recent study claims that smiling does actually help us feel better and reduce anxiety. When you are feeling anxious try forcing a smile on your face. There will be something oddly satisfying watching the anxiety monster crumble at the sight of your smiling face.

4. PLAY AROUND:
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Playing with a dog can decrease cortisol (stress producing hormone) whereas increase oxytocin production (stress reducing hormone). Why not have access to natural anxiety killers that have the added advantage of being super cute, if you can.

5. DRINK WATER
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Studies show that water is a great ‘anxiety quencher’. When body is dehydrated it can induce anxiety and nervousness. Our brain needs sufficient water to function properly. Experts recommend drinking 2-3 litres of water daily.

6. SIT WITH YOUR BODY FOR 10 MINS AND JUST LISTEN TO IT
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Take 10 seconds out and collect some fresh oxygen. Have a silent conversation with yourself. When you are anxious your breathing becomes faster and shallower. Bring your breathing and mind together. Listen to the movement of your lungs. Try deliberately slowing your breath. Count to 3 as you breathe in slowly then count to 3 as you breathe out slowly. This’ll calm you down.

7. SAFE PLACE MENTAL IMAGERY:
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Take a moment to close your eyes and imagine a place of safety and calm, visualise a happy place. It could be any happy memory from childhood or any other happy incident, to soothe you until your anxiety lowers.
Try not to pay attention to current anxious mental state just focus on the feeling of smooth sailing through the storm.