Anxiety can be incredibly overwhelming and paralyzing. When you’re feeling anxious, it can be tough to know how to calm down and relax. In this blog post, we will discuss 17 ways that you can soothe your anxiety and feel more at ease. Some of these methods are simple and easy to do, while others may require a bit more effort. But no matter what, we promise that these tips will help you feel better!
What Are The Ways To Calm Anxiety?
Anxiety can be a normal and even healthy emotion. It may be a reaction to a stressful situation, like taking an exam or giving a presentation. But for some people, anxiety can become much more intense and last for longer periods of time. This kind of anxiety may interfere with daily activities, such as going to work or school, sleeping, or eating.
It is important to find ways to calm anxiety because it can hurt your physical and mental health. Anxiety can lead to or worsen conditions such as depression, substance abuse, heart disease, and gastrointestinal problems. So, here are topmost ways to calm anxiety and find peace:
Talk it out
One of the best ways to calm anxiety is to talk about what’s causing it. Talking openly about your anxiety can help you understand it better and make it more manageable. For example, if you have a partner, spouse, or friend who is supportive, talking to them about your anxiety can help you feel better.
When you share your anxieties and worries, you may feel like a burden has been lifted off your shoulders. You may also get some helpful perspectives from the people you trust. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to someone you know, there are many hotlines and online chats that can help.
Drink less caffeine
It is common for people to drink caffeinated beverages to help them stay awake and focused. However, caffeine can also cause anxiety and make it more difficult to concentrate. Because this is a stimulant, it can make your heart rate increase and cause you to feel jittery. If you are feeling overwhelmed, try to limit your caffeine intake or avoid it altogether.
If you are finding it difficult, you can try to:
- Drink decaffeinated coffee or tea
- Switch to herbal teas
- Drink more water throughout the day
In this way, it will be easier to focus on what you need to do and not be as anxious.
Anxiety makes a person feel restless and on edge. One of the best things you can do to calm your nerves is to get up and move around. Exercise releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects. A moderate amount of exercise is the key to maintaining mental health and well-being.
Start by taking a brisk walk around the block or going for a light jog. If you have access to a gym, try swimming laps or taking a yoga class. Taking some time out for yourself to move your body will help to ease anxiety and clear your head. Other exercises that you can start to relieve anxiety are:
- Taking a dance class
- Going for hikes in nature
- Riding a bike
- Practicing Tai Chi or Qi Gong
All of these activities will help to get your mind off of whatever is causing you stress and anxiety. They will also help to increase your energy levels and improve your mood.
Sometimes, what we eat can impact our anxiety levels. Be sure to fuel your body with healthy foods that will give you sustained energy throughout the day, like:
- Complex carbs
- Lean proteins
- Plenty of fruits and vegetables
These all are essential in helping you regulate your mood and keep your anxiety at bay. Additionally, make sure you’re staying hydrated by drinking plenty of water throughout the day. Dehydration can often exacerbate feelings of anxiety, so it’s important to keep yourself hydrated both mentally and physically.
When talking about ways to calm anxiety, one of the most important things you can do is get enough sleep. Lack of sleep can increase anxiety and make it harder to cope with stress. Make sure to get seven to eight hours of sleep each night.
If you’re struggling to fall asleep, there are a few things you can try. These are:
- Establish a regular sleep schedule
- Avoid stimulants such as caffeine before bed
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine
- Keep your bedroom cool and dark
If you’re still having trouble sleeping, talk to your doctor. They may be able to prescribe medication or suggest other treatments.
Listen to soothing music
Music has a way of calming the mind and body, which can be helpful when you’re feeling anxious. There are many different genres of music that can help to calm anxiety, so find one that works for you and put it on when you’re feeling overwhelmed. Though, soothing music isn’t the only way to calm anxiety. But it can be incredibly helpful, especially when used in combination with the other techniques on this list.
Practice deep breathing
It is impossible to overstate the power of deep breathing. When you’re feeling anxious, your body goes into fight-or-flight mode, which means your heart rate speeds up and you take shallower breaths. This only exacerbates the feeling of anxiety. Deep breathing helps to slow your heart rate and calm your nerves.
You can try inhaling for four counts, holding your breath for four counts, and exhaling for four counts. Repeat this until you feel your anxiety start to dissipate. With practice, you’ll be able to do this anywhere, anytime you start to feel overwhelmed.
Body scan meditation
It can be helpful to do a body scan meditation when you’re feeling overwhelmed and anxious. This type of meditation involves focusing on each part of your body, from your toes to your head, and noticing any sensations you feel. Once you’ve scanned your entire body, take a few deep breaths and notice how your body feels.
Use visualization technique
Visualization is one of the most popular ways to calm anxiety. It involves picturing yourself in a relaxing environment, such as a beach or a meadow. This technique can help you focus on positive thoughts and distract yourself from anxious thoughts. Let’s say you’re feeling anxious about an upcoming test. You can close your eyes and picture yourself confidently acing the test. Or if you’re anxious about a social event, you can visualize yourself enjoying the party and having fun conversations with people.
Many people have anxiety attacks or feel anxious when they procrastinate. If you’re one of those people, try to avoid putting things off until the last minute. Make a list of things you need to do each day, and don’t go to bed until everything on your list is crossed off. This will help you feel more in control and less overwhelmed.
However, if you find that you’re struggling to get started on your to-do list, break down each task into smaller, more manageable steps. Then, focus on just one thing at a time. Once you’ve completed the task, move on to the next item on your list.
Journals can be a great way to vent all of the pent-up anxiety and stress you may be feeling. Writing can be very therapeutic and can help to ease your mind. You can write about whatever is causing you anxiety or anything else that is on your mind. Just get it all out on paper and see how much better you feel afterward.
The best part of journaling is that you can look back and see how far you’ve come. When you’re feeling anxious, it can be hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel. But by looking back at old journal entries, you can remind yourself that you have gotten through tough times before and you will get through this too.
Avoid substance abuse
Substance abuse is a huge trigger for anxiety and can cause panic attacks. If you find yourself using drugs or alcohol to cope with your anxiety, it’s time to seek help. There are many resources available to help you quit including support groups and therapy. And you should understand that it’s okay to ask for help. Because if you don’t, anxiety will only get worse.
Cool down your negative beliefs
In anxiety, people tend to have negative beliefs about themselves, the world, and others. These may be irrational but they can feel very real and intense at the moment. If you’re feeling anxious, try and cool down your negative thoughts by challenging them with evidence. For example:
- Negative belief: “I’m going to fail this test.” – Challenge it with evidence: “I’ve been studying hard and I know the material.”
- Negative belief: “Everyone is out to get me.” – Challenge it with evidence: “Most people are kind and want to help.”
With these challenges, you’re not trying to convince yourself that your beliefs are 100% wrong. Anxiety can still be present even if some of your negative beliefs aren’t true. But by challenging them, you can help reduce their intensity and power over you.
Spend time outdoors
If something is stressing you out, take a break and go outside for a walk or just sit in the sun. Being in nature can help center you and make you feel calmer. Because nature is so vast, it can make your problems feel small in comparison and remind you that you’re not alone. In fact, when you spend time outdoors or in nature, your body releases more of the feel-good hormone serotonin.
So go take a stroll through a park, sit by a lake, or spend time in the garden. And if you can’t get outside, look at pictures of nature or even bring some plants into your home.
When you laugh, endorphins are released in your brain which has mood-lifting properties. Laughter also relaxes your body and reduces stress hormones like cortisol. So go ahead and watch a funny movie, read a hilarious book, or hang out with friends who make you laugh.
You can also try to smile calmly in the face of anxiety-provoking situations. Smiling sends a signal to your brain that all is well and can help you feel more relaxed and calm. So the next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try cracking a smile.
Get massage therapy
This is one of the most effective ways to calm anxiety. It has been shown to help with everything from headaches and neck pain to chronic fatigue and even depression. There are many different types of massage therapy, so you can find one that suits your needs and preferences. Some common are:
- Swedish massage
- Deep tissue massage
- Trigger point therapy
In addition, you can try aromatherapy which is also very helpful in calming anxiety. Aromatherapy uses essential oils to help relax the mind and body. Popular essential oils for anxiety are:
- Lavender oil
- Bergamot oil
- Chamomile oil
- Ylang-ylang oil
It is a popular form of traditional Chinese method that can be used to treat a variety of conditions, including anxiety. Some research has shown that it can be effective in reducing symptoms of anxiety, although more studies are needed. Acupuncture works by stimulating certain points on the body known as acupuncture points or acupoints.
This is done by inserting thin needles into the skin. It is generally considered safe when performed by a trained professional. However, there is a risk of minor side effects, such as bruising or bleeding at the site of needle insertion. Make sure to consult with your doctor before trying acupuncture.
So, there you have it, 17 ways to calm anxiety when you’re feeling overwhelmed. It is important to remember that everyone experiences anxiety differently, so not all of these methods may work for you. However, it is worth trying a few of them to see what works best for you. Because there are hardly any side effects associated with most of these methods, it is definitely worth giving them a shot!
To conclude, ways to calm anxiety can be broken down into three main categories: somatic techniques, cognitive techniques, and behavioral techniques. Each person will have to find what works best for them, as different things work for different people. Also, it is important to keep in mind that what works for one person may not work for another person.
Just because a certain technique worked for someone else, does not mean it will work for you. Do not get discouraged if something does not work, just try something else until you find what works best for you. Ask for professional help if you feel like it!
For more information and guidance please get in touch with our expert therapists at Therapy Mantra. They will be more than happy to assist you on your journey to recovery. Contact us today to learn more about our services. You can also book an online therapy session or download our free Android or iOS app.