Source: Psychiatrist Dr. Wong Chun Yin

As parents, we have to juggle work and family responsibilities. Under significant stress, it’s easy to experience anxiety. Anxiety is a natural, built-in response, and it can protect us when our lives are threatened. However, excessive worry can lead to physical discomforts like a racing heart, stomachaches, muscle tension, rapid breathing, headaches, trembling hands, sweating, or frequent urination. If not addressed in a timely manner, it can lead to more serious emotional issues and can also affect family relationships.

Here are three ways to reduce anxiety symptoms. First is practicing relaxation through deep breathing, using diaphragmatic breathing. Inhale slowly through your nose for a count of 4, letting your abdomen rise for 2 seconds, then exhale slowly through your mouth for a count of 4. Pause for 2 seconds and repeat this process 5 to 10 times.

The second method is muscle relaxation exercises. Find a comfortable place to sit or lie down, gently close your eyes, and relax all your muscles. Start by shifting your focus to your feet, tense the muscles in your feet for 10 seconds, and then release. Proceed sequentially, tensing and relaxing the muscles in your legs, arms, neck, and facial muscles.

Lastly, there is imagery relaxation practice. In a quiet place, close your eyes and imagine a comfortable setting, visualizing what you see, hear, smell, and feel for 5 to 10 minutes. Gradually return to the present reality.

Additionally, it’s important to cultivate a positive thinking pattern in your daily life. Try to see the bright side of things at all times rather than dwelling on unhappy thoughts constantly, which can reduce the chances of developing mood disorders.