Anxiety is hard to deal with. It can hit you at the most unexpected moment, and leave you struggling to cope. If you’re anxious, you first need to figure out how to calm down. However, that’s easier said than done. When you’re anxious and verging on panic, you can’t think of ways to relax
So in this post, we want to share some ways to quickly relieve anxiety. We’ll go over scientifically proven methods, such as exercising, spending time with loved ones, listening to nature sounds, and deep breathing. Pick something that works for you, so the next time you feel anxious you know what to do
1. Exercise Exercising is one of the best ways to relieve anxiety. Doing it regularly is ideal and will help you tackle anxiety in the long run, but exercising will also help you suppress anxiety when it occurs. Something easy like walking, dancing, jogging or yoga would be great. The goal is to have some physical activity without actually straining your body (for example, by lifting weights). It’ll improve blood circulation and force you to breathe deeper, which in turn will calm your mind.
2. Laugh Read, watch or listen to something that makes you laugh. It could be a short story, a podcast, or videos from your favorite YouTuber. It’ll take your mind off things, and help you feel better soon. The goal is to do something that stops your thoughts, and improves your mood. You could even sing a funny song you know!
3. Take deep breaths If you’re at work or somewhere else where exercising and doing other activities isn’t an option, practice deep breathing. Take a deep breath for 4 seconds, hold it for another 4, exhale for 6 seconds, and hold again for 2 seconds. Repeat this 10-15 times with your eyes closed. Deep breathing has been found to be extremely effective at dealing with anxiety. Shut yourself into a bathroom stall, or just sit back in a chair somewhere.
4. Listen to nature sounds You can find nature sound clips online, and these are very effective at relieving symptoms of anxiety. As you listen, close your eyes and try to imagine yourself into the scenery – whether it’s a riverside, a waterfall, a beach, or a cottage with a tin roof. Scientists have found that nature sounds help reduce anxiety, and they cause your attention to be directed outwards. Most of the time our negative thoughts are self-centered, so outward-directed attention would help you deal with that. Nature sound clips are usually free.
5. Write your thoughts down You know how you sometimes have a completely irrational but worrying thought, and your brain chooses to disregard the irrational part? We’ve all had that happen at some point. At such a time, writing your thoughts down would be helpful. Or, say, if you’re worrying about an argument with your partner, or about your workload. Putting your thoughts to paper can help you see them in a more practical light, which in turn will help you work towards a solution.
6. Spend some time with loved ones Spending time with family, friends or even your pet will help you deal better with stress. Cuddling and hugging are excellent stress relievers, so if you have a dog or cat give them a hug. You could also spend time with your partner, parents, close relatives or friends. Sharing your feelings and having a conversation can be very cathartic – even if your conversational partner is only capable of squawking.
7. Spend some time with nature If you’re at home and there’s a park near you, going to the park may help you cope better with anxiety. Nature is beautiful and has a lot to see and do, so you’ll find yourself feeling better in a little while. If the park has ducks or squirrels, it’s a good idea to take something with you to feed them. Bread is bad for ducks, but leafy greens are healthy. You can feed squirrels roasted peanuts and seeds. Interacting with wild creatures will improve your mood by leaps.
8. Drink some tea Chamomile, lemon balm and peppermint are known to have stress-relieving properties. So you can use these ingredients in tea to help you unwind. You can of course buy tea online, or you can buy the ingredients (fresh or dried) and brew some tea at home. It’s easy enough – put the ingredients into boiling water (either one of the three), let it steep for a while, and then strain and drink. Add honey if necessary.
9. Take a nap If you’re at home and have a little time, take a nap. It’s best if you have plenty of time and don’t have to set an alarm, but even a quick 15-minute nap will help you feel better. Your mind and body will both feel rested. For best results, do something to engage your senses while you sleep. Play a nature sounds track, for example, or cuddle with your favorite pillow. Spritzing a little perfume onto your wrists would work too.
10. Watch the world around you If you’re at a public place you probably can’t do most of these things. People-watching can also, however, be strangely relaxing. The key is to not think, but observe. Watch the people around you. See what they’re wearing, what they’re doing, how they’re interacting with each other. Pretend you’re Sherlock Holmes and try to deduce facts about them from what you see. It’s a fairly fun hobby once you get the hang of it.
These were our tips for relieving anxiety. Deep breathing, exercise, nature sounds and spending time with loved ones are simple activities that’ll have you feeling better quickly. Try these out to see what you like and what you don’t, so the next time you feel worried or upset you know what to do. If you don’t enjoy reading but try to read a book, for example, it won’t help you very much!
If you find yourself dealing with severe anxiety to the point where you can’t focus on these activities, it may be a good idea to consult a doctor. Anxiety is a serious medical condition, and frequent anxiety attacks may be a sign of an underlying problem