Anyone who says they don’t get anxious isn’t telling the truth. Anxiety, with it’s root in fear, is a human emotion that when not kept in check, can run havoc on a person’s life.
One the biggest problems with anxiety is that people believe they shouldn’t have it in the first place. A thinking error of sorts which creates even more anxiety, let me be the first to tell you, there’s nothing wrong with you! Key to growing up is finding ways in which to step back and view anxiety for what it is. Meditation, relaxation, and CBT (cognitive behavior therapy) can offer relief.
Psy Blog recently posted an article on several scientifically proven relaxation techniques. According to the post, although most are prescribed drugs to deal with their anxiety, the results are often short-lived and don’t get the root of the issue. Relaxation techniques like meditation and autogenic training, however, can have much more long-lasting effect and provide perspective to the anxiety itself.
Here’s our old friend meditation which has so many different benefits. If you’ve been reading PsyBlog for a while you’ll have seen this come up in numerous contexts. There is certainly evidence that it can work for people who experience anxiety as well. I describe the basics of mindfulness meditation in this article aboutattention and meditation.
Be aware that meditation is quite difficult and the drop-out rates are high from studies which investigate it (Krisanaprakornkit et al., 2006). This suggests some people don’t find it particularly acceptable. For people who can manage it, though, the results are often better than the other techniques (Manzoni et al., 2005).
Notice that this technique is much more actively related to the mind than the first three methods. It doesn’t just target the body and wait for the mind to follow, instead it’s about the way attention is focused. This may be partly why people find it harder. Still, it probably won’t do any harm to try.
Checkout how meditation and other relaxation techniques can provide relief from anxiety here.