Whether you’re stressed out about speaking in front of people, taking a test or even the wellbeing of your family, anxiety can derail your entire day. You don’t have to resort to medication to calm down until it is your last resort; from taking time to breathe to getting enough sleep at night, these tips can help reduce stress and eliminate the anxiety we all feel sometimes.
Ways to Decrease Anxiety
It may make you feel uncomfortable or unsure, but anxiety is a valid feeling just like joy or sadness. Ignoring anxiety may even make it worse; acknowledging you feel anxious or worried is a good first step. Once you’ve identified the problem, you can take steps to alleviate it. Try one or more of the following surefire ways to reduce anxiety and you’ll feel better fast:
A deep, cleansing breath causes your body to relax and soothes your nervous system. Taking a few deep breaths can help you refocus and relax when you are feeling anxious or worried. When you’re feeling more centered, you can come up with a logical look at your anxiety or your problem.
Go to Bed Early
If you’re tired, you’re not going to feel your best. Set a 9pm (or earlier) bedtime at least once a week to be sure you are getting enough rest – and try to cut out late nights entirely. Being well rested can help reduce stress and ensure you stay in peak health, too.
Sometimes, it’s all in your Head
Your brain could be playing tricks on you; a panic attack can feel a lot like a heart attack, but cause you no physical harm. Recognizing that anxiety can produce very real feeling symptoms can help you cope and understand what is going on. Shining a light on your anxiety can help clarify that you are not having a medical issue (the fear of which could be making you even more stressed and panicked).
Question those anxious or stressed out thoughts – and try to uncover what the absolute worst thing that can happen is. Chances are, the worst-case scenario won’t have that big of an impact on you, and giving that speech, handing in that assignment or taking that test won’t be nearly as bad as worrying about it was.
Use Visualization and Meditation
For some people, visualizing a calming spot can help alleviate anxiety and stress. Taking a few moments to focus and visualize on a location you like will help you calm down and alleviate some of the anxiety you are feeling. As a bonus, deep breaths during this visualization session can further help you relax and drive out the tension and stress you’ve been feeling.
Create a Haven
Do you have a place to escape to at the end of the day? For some people, a cluttered environment increases stress. If you get anxious when things aren’t tidy, take some time to create a soothing spot you can escape to; it should be orderly and filled with things you truly love and enjoy.
Try Essential Oils
Some essential oils, including lavender and rosemary, can help soothe your nerves and make you feel more relaxed and less anxious. Use in a diffuser, in a necklace or even in a bath or massage product for maximum results.
Keep your Self Talk Positive
Is your inner monologue a total fest of negativity? Don’t talk to yourself in a negative way – it increased your anxiety and the amount of stress you feel.
If you are anxious, focusing on meaningful action can help; you can’t do something that requires your attention and fret at the same time. Moving forward means you accomplish something and spend less time dwelling on your feelings. Even small steps forward can help reduce anxiety during stressful times.
See your Doctor
Stress and anxiety can be a sign that you are super busy, over committed or having a tough time – but they can also be caused by a medical complaint. If you have been feeling anxious for a while and can’t seem to shake it, it’s time to call a doctor. You may uncover an underlying issue that doesn’t require medication to correct.
Boost your Self Care
Once of the first things to go when we’re feeling stressed is self-care. Stepping up and taking better care of yourself is one of the easiest ways to decrease anxiety. If you are not getting enough sleep, enough reprieve from work or family obligations or eating right, you will be even more anxious and stressed out. Take a bath, knit or sew, read a book – make sure you incorporate things you truly enjoy into your day and that you are taking enough time to care for yourself. You’ll be far more likely to feel anxious and stressed if you are run-down and not caring for yourself properly.