Hello there, it’s Benson Ekpo here again. Today, I will talk about managing anxiety. Many of you have experienced anxiety one way or the other and I want to let you know that it is a normal reaction to certain events. Furthermore, I will tell you the possible triggers of anxiety and ways in which you can manage your anxiety. 

Anxiety is the normal response to stress our body takes. When you are anxious, you would be scared of what’s to come next. Anxiety is quite normal in that it comes and goes, but when it persists longer than usual and has begun affecting your daily lifestyle and things you normally do or enjoy such as driving, leaving home, going into a crowded space, etc., you most likely have anxiety disorder. If left unattended to, it can grow worse and will lead you to shield yourself from the world coupled with a myriad of other psychological complications. 

As we all know, 2020 has been a rough year for us earthlings; Australian bushfires, covid-19 pandemic, stock market crash, BLM protests due to the death of George Floyd, murder hornets, Beirut explosion, Chadwick Boseman’s death, etc. Over in Nigeria, it has been tragic for a lot of us, we have a supposed body that is responsible for robberies called SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) that misplaced their priorities and have been extorting from, and killing, youths in the country. Their incessant killings sparked off an #EndSars protest which proved a little fruitful but had ripple effects which led to the in-cold-blood shooting of unarmed protesters at the Lekki toll gate, Lagos. It is no secret, neither should it come as a surprise to anyone that 2020 is an anxiety-triggering year. However, there are certain things that you can do to manage and reduce your anxiety levels. Firstly, I will give you tips on how to deal with the short-term anxiety, and secondly, I will give tips on how to deal with long-term anxiety. 

Short-term management

Practice deep, focused breathing

 Breathing in while counting to 4 and breathing out while counting to 4 for 5 minutes in total slows your heart rate and helps calm you down. The 4-7-8 breathing method is known to relieve anxiety.

Utilise Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is said to activate receptors in your brain that would quell anxiety. Be it oils, candles, or incense, the experience is one you would never forget.

Pacing or Walking

A very easy activity I maximise in managing anxiety is taking a 5-10 minutes walk can ease your anxiety because the focus has shifted from your mind to your body.

Pen down your thoughts

It may sound strange, but penning down your thoughts can act as an avenue to release them. If you take solace in burning the paper shem you’re done, please do.

Long-term Management

Identify your triggers and stay away from them

For people with chronic anxiety, you would have lots and lots of triggers. With the help of someone, you can identify all the triggers and keep them at bay. Possible generic triggers are: caffeine, drugs, drug withdrawal, phobias, trauma, etc.

Meet a therapist

Cognitive behavioral therapy can help you if applied properly by your therapist. It would help a lot if you go visit your therapist, I have found this very use in managing anxiety.

Meditate Regularly

Meditation has a way of tricking your brain into thinking that everything is going fine and there is no need to panic. Practicing daily, mindful medication would be very useful if you’re undergoing chronic anxiety.

Change your diet and exercise 

There is ample evidence that getting exposed to new nutrients can combat anxiety in some ways, this is something you should try out. Also, working out has a way of keeping your mind clear and keeping your body healthy. Which will help if you’re going through chronic anxiety. 

Please bear in mind that all of the above is generic advice and doesn’t replace a personal consultation with your physician or therapist. Anxiety is something we all pass through, I have had my own shares of the booty and I can assure you that it is relatively easy to overcome it especially if you practice the above steps.

Thanks for reading, and good luck on your journey. Be sure to mention and tag me on Instagram @thebensonekpo

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