How to Reduce Anxiety: 12 Ways to Calm Down

How to Reduce Anxiety image

Anxiety and worry are natural emotions for everyone. It is, after all, a common human experience. However, having methods to help you relax your mind and body helps minimize the severity and extent of these feelings, whether you’re coping with periodic bouts of anxiety or trying to handle excessive worries and doubts.

Anxiety is a typical response to uncertainties about what may happen next, whether in the next few minutes, hours, days, or months. According to mental health professionals, anxiety is fear about a threat that is still there. Thinking about a dreaded conversation, for example, might make your stomach tighten up days before it occurs. Likewise, before an exam or a presentation, your heart may race.

It’s also natural to desire to get rid of those uneasy, pit-of-the-stomach sensations as soon as possible. However, taking this method may make you feel more worried. When you think about getting rid of your anxiety, you’re telling your nervous system that there’s more to worry about. And this exacerbates your nervousness.

Remember that if your worry is persistent and interfering with your regular activities, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. In that situation, you may require treatment to recover.

Here are some ways for calming your mind, reducing anxiety, and regaining self-control so you can start feeling better.

1. Breathe

When you start to experience that familiar anxious feeling, one of the most effective things you can do is breathe. It may sound simple, but simplicity is essential for treating anxiety symptoms.

To get the most out of it, you need to breathe deeply and gently. It’s also a great idea to concentrate entirely on your breathing. “When we focus our attention on our breathing and concentrate on it, the ideas that cause worry fade away, our heart rate decreases, and we begin to relax,” experts add.

Some folks feel that breathing in the 4-7-8 range is very beneficial.

1. Inhale for four seconds.

2. Take a deep breath and hold it for seven seconds.

3. Slowly exhale for eight seconds.

4. Continue until you feel more relaxed.

2. Accept Your Anxiety

Although it may seem counterintuitive, experts claim that recognizing your anxiety (rather than feeling guilty or annoyed by it) will make you less nervous.

It makes little difference whether you got your worry from your family, your way of life, or both. It’s here now, and accepting it rather than resisting it allows you to focus on learning how to manage it. Accepting it does not imply giving up. It means you stop criticizing yourself for being worried and instead focus on understanding what self-soothing techniques work best for you.

3. Straighten Your Back

When we’re worried, we curl inward to protect our upper torso, which houses our heart and lungs.

Stand up, bring your back straight, plant your feet firmly and slightly apart, and expand your chest for immediate anxiety alleviation. Then take a few deep breaths. This position, when paired with deep breathing, reminds your body that it is not in danger and that it is in charge right now (not helpless). If you’re unable to stand (for example, if you’re in your car), simply lift your shoulders back and expand your chest. The most crucial thing is to relax your shoulders and take a few deep breaths.

4. Cold Water Can Help You Calm Down Now

A shock to the system can assist you to regain control of your worry in those moments when it has indeed taken over. To help bring your body back from the brink, experts recommend having a cold shower, holding ice cubes, or even running ice water over your wrists. Consider how a cold pool may steal your breath away; the same idea applies here. This is beneficial for physical and robust anxiety because it encourages your body to concentrate on the cold rather than the imagined worries.

5. Check Your Brain’s Facts

Another strategy that can help is seeing the things that concern you on paper. Write them down and then check the facts. Worrying about the worst-case situation might also cause anxiety. Instead, ask yourself if what you’re worried about is reasonable. Then, replace those thoughts with kinder, more realistic ones.

For instance, your nervous brain may declare, “I was late for work today! My manager is going to give me a bad review, and then I’m going to be fired.” When you think about it, that seems improbable. Even if you’re often late, she’ll probably simply talk to you about it and give you a chance to improve. “Even if I receive criticism, I can accept it and use it to become better,” you could say instead.

6. Practice Mindfulness Relaxation and Meditation

Meditation and relaxation techniques can help you relax your body and mind, making you feel less anxious. Plus, you’ll notice a difference in just a few moments each day. So take advantage of this opportunity to become more aware of what’s going on in your head and body. Start with five minutes a day and gradually increase the amount of time you spend thinking about your life.

7. Use Fragrance Oil

The relaxing qualities of lavender are well known. So keep a little bottle of lavender oil on hand for the aroma and calm yourself down when you’re having worried thoughts. You can use premium CBD oil products while meditating to relieve your anxious feelings.

If you practice mindfulness or meditation, inhale fragrance while doing so. Over time, you’ll link that aroma with a sense of calm, making it even more beneficial.

8. Distract Yourself

Try running your fingers along the top of your phone, putting your hands under cold water, or coloring or drawing on a piece of paper to divert your focus away from painful thoughts or emotions. Distractions work since the brain can’t be in two places simultaneously, and transferring focus to another activity will break a chain of racing ideas.

If you are worried, taking a bath can literally compel your body to alter how it processes that anxiety. In addition to reducing anxiety, having a bath has been shown to influence depressive symptoms positively. Some people love using bubble bath bombs because they calm and uplift your mood. The fragrance can also positively influence your mood.

9. Watch a Funny Video

Cue up a video of your preferred comedian or humorous TV show, which may be the most straightforward tactic ever. Experts claim that laughing is an effective antidote to anxiety. Moreover, according to research, laughter has numerous mental health and well-being benefits; one study revealed that comedy could help reduce stress as much as (or even more than) exercise.

10. Avoid Sugar

Research has shown that consuming excessive sugar can increase anxiety. Consuming water or protein instead of sugary treats will provide your body with a sustainable energy source it can utilize to recuperate.

11. Sip Some Chamomile or Green Tea

Chamomile contains a chemical called Matricaria recutita, which interacts with the same brain receptors as medications like Valium and is used as a sleep aid. The flavonoid apigenin may potentially play a role in chamomile’s soothing properties. Individuals with a generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) who received chamomile supplements (1.2 percent apigenin) for eight weeks experienced a substantial reduction in anxiety symptoms when compared to patients who took a placebo. (Despite enhanced quality controls, herbal supplements are not regulated by the FDA in the same way that medicines are, so consult your doctor before taking any supplement.)

Green tea includes the amino acid L-theanine, which relaxes stress and lowers blood pressure and muscular tension, and has long been used in Chinese medicine to alleviate depression.

12. Think about Something Amusing

Consider some of your most excellent comedic situations. For example, one in which you burst out laughing and [almost] peed your pants. These circumstances could be actual or fictional, as seen in comedies, stories, cartoons, or jokes.

If you find it tough to come up with anything at the moment, prepare a few memories beforehand so you can access them as soon as you begin to feel anxious. Humor visualization, like other mindfulness training, gets you out of thinking about what might happen tomorrow and puts you back in the current moment, in the “now.”

It also performs a few other functions—you feel joy, which is an uplifting response to humor. You experience intense emotions like joy, pleasure, or enjoyment, all of which can help you alleviate anxiety rapidly.

According to a study, humor visualization is much more potent if you can make yourself smile by remembering that amusing incident. You compress and expand muscles when you laugh, relieving physical worry, stress, and tension. Laughter also reduces cortisol production in the body, according to research.

To Conclude

On occasion, anxiety and worry may simply be a hint that you’ll need to take a short break and use some of the tactics outlined above. For example, exercising, meditation, breathing techniques, or taking a worry break can all help you relax. However, if your anxiety, uneasiness, or worrying gets extreme or begins to interfere with your life, you should seek professional help.