For individuals living with an anxiety disorder, every day can involve moments of severe worry or stress. Finding helpful and easy tools to relieve those feelings of anxiousness can make a significant difference in how debilitating anxiety is. Even for those who don’t live with anxiety, stress in daily life isn’t uncommon, so having some strategies for reducing those feelings of stress can be a big help.
1. Call a Friend
When you’re getting anxious and thoughts are turning over and over in your head, it can be very helpful to talk to a trusted friend or family member. This will help you feel like you’re not alone. It also might give you an opportunity to talk through your struggles, perhaps allowing you to work towards a solution or think rationally about a situation—both of which can be difficult to do on your own.
2. Take a Deep Breath
The moment you start to feel anxious, start by taking several long, deep breaths. Deep breathing is a great way of relieving stress and anxiety because you can do it anytime, anywhere and it doesn’t cost a thing! It’s also important because it activates the body’s relaxation response and calms down its fight or flight response.
3. Have a Cup of Tea
It sounds so simple, but having a cup of tea is a great way to relieve daily feelings of stress, anxiety or worry. Not only is the warmth calming, but some ingredients can actually calm anxiety. For example, chamomile has been shown to greatly reduce symptoms of generalized anxiety, while green tea can reduce your heart rate and blood pressure while also inspiring focus and calm.
Regular exercise is an excellent way to reduce daily feelings of anxiety. In fact, even just a 10-minute walk can significantly reduce symptoms. This is because exercise produces endorphins—chemicals in the brain that act as natural painkillers and boost our moods. Endorphins also improve sleep patterns which can also reduce overall stress levels.
5. Do Some Yoga
While yoga is technically a form of exercise, it also has added stress-relieving benefits of deep breathing, mindfulness and meditation. You can also do yoga in your home so it’s easy to fit a quick practice into a busy schedule. Not sure where to begin? Try one of these great yoga poses for reducing anxiety.
Sometimes the world around us is stressful and doesn’t provide us with the feelings of peace and calm we crave. Luckily, our mind can be a powerful tool when it comes to mindfulness and creating peace and calm. One psychiatrist recommends the following: “Picture yourself on a river bank or outside in a favorite park, field or beach. Watch leaves pass by on the river or clouds pass by in the sky. Assign [your] emotions, thoughts [and] sensations to the clouds and leaves, and just watch them float by.”
Journaling can be a great way to reduce feelings of anxiety because it allows you to process your thoughts in a safe, quiet space. If you can, try to be simple and clear, write about your triggers, sources of fear and the intensity level of your anxiety. This gives you the opportunity to re-read them later and process your thoughts from a place of calm.
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