How to Calm Anxiety
Anxiety is our body’s natural response to stress. While it may be more severe for people in some cases, many of us have experienced some sort of anxiety at least a few times in our lives. Anxiety can be triggered in different ways and there are various different strategies to cope with, manage, and overcome them. Just know that it’s okay to be anxious, even if it may not seem like a big deal to others. Everybody is different and reacts to things in their own way. Mental health is no joke - we should work to protect and strengthen it in any way we can. Sometimes it’s completely out of our control, but for those who want to find ways to better manage their anxiety, we came up with a few coping mechanisms to do just that.
- Recognize and question your thoughts
If you’re only viewing the situation with a negative perspective, it will be hard to pull yourself out of it. Try recognizing the thoughts and feelings you’re having and question whether it’s helping you in any way. If not (which will most likely be the case), see if you can take back control of the situation and your mindset of it to make it more positive.
- Try focusing on deep breathing
There’s a technique of breathing called the 4-7-8 technique, where you breathe in for 4 counts, rest and hold it for 7, and then slowly release it for 8. This technique has been known to help with anxiety. Just try breathing deeper and slower, focusing on the breath and the fact that you’re trying to relax yourself and your mind.
- Go for a walk
Sort through your thoughts, get some fresh air, and get moving. Being in nature and moving your body can be so therapeutic.
- Try aromatherapy
Whether it’s in a rollerball or a diffuser, essential oils can really do wonders when you need to calm down. Candles or incense can work, too. Scents like chamomile, lavender, peppermint, and sandalwood are all very soothing and can help to clear the mind.
- Do some yoga
Like going out for a walk, stretching and practicing yoga can help ease your mind and focus on what’s important and positive in your life. There are great yoga routines on YouTube if you don’t know where to start!
- Write it all down
We mention this a lot, but letting out all of your thoughts onto paper can help for everything to make more sense in your mind. Word vomiting, a term used when writing out everything you’re currently thinking and feeling, is especially helpful for clearing your mind and getting a better viewpoint on things.
- Identify and learn how to manage your anxiety triggers
This is going to be different for everyone, but learning what triggers your anxiety can help you to better manage and withhold them. Find useful strategies that work for you and practice them when you feel an anxiety attack or an overwhelming amount of stress take over.
- Do a daily meditation
Whether it’s at the beginning of your day, squeezed into your afternoon, or right before you go to bed, meditation can be incredibly helpful for those who experience anxiety. Make an effort to practice a little bit of meditation every day and notice how it makes you feel.
- Keep your mind and body healthy
With things like meditation, working out, eating well, and getting a better night’s sleep, your mind and body will be healthier and thus, feel better. Now, I’m not saying this will cure your stress and anxiety, but it will definitely aid in coping with it. Being kind to yourself in all aspects is nothing but beneficial.
- Talk to your doctor
It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to be vulnerable. It may be scary to express your feelings about anxiety and stress to your doctor, but they are trained professionals and will have the knowledge on what to do and the connections for who to call. If your anxiety is just getting worse, it’s probably best to ask for some guidance.
Keep in mind, we are not professional helpers and these are just our tips to help anyone in need. If you think you need serious help, please seek a professional.
What do you do to calm yourself down in a stressful, anxiety-ridden situation? Do you have a practice that is effective for you? Let’s lift each other up and share some advice in the comments of this post.