Anxiety affects millions of individuals in the United States and throughout the world. When you suffer from anxiety, it can prevent you from living a productive lifestyle. Panic attacks and generalized anxiety can affect your health, your self-esteem, and your daily activities, which means that you need to try everything you can get them under control. While you may consult a doctor for you attacks, you can also do a number of natural and healing methods to get them under control. Here are 20 ways you can reduce your anxiety.
21. Sniff some calming oils
There are several essential oils that can soothe the nerves and calm the mind. Gravitate towards scents like chamomile, basil, and mint, plus lavender, to help your anxiety. Just focus on one scent though, don’t combine them, or it may be too powerful a smell.
20. Practice Visualization
As your body and mind kick into an anxiety attack, one way to help you with the feelings is practice visualization. This is a trick used by therapists as a “grounding tool.” You can picture yourself in one of your favorite places, or in a serene spot of nature, such as on a empty beach watching the waves crash. The focus is to think of the waves, or clouds, or whatever you’re viewing in the visualization, as your negative thoughts and anxiety, then watch them disappear from your happy, serene place.
19. Look at happy images
You can pull up videos on YouTube of hours-long footage of nature scenes if you’re unable to do a visualization. This can especially help if you’re in a panicked mode when you’re at school or work, because you can use your phone for the calming images. Look at images that will fill you with happiness and peace.
18. Lose yourself in an activity
Sometimes it can be hard to move from a panic attack, but you should try to get your mind focused on something else. One way to do this to lose yourself in an activity, such as exercise, or doing a craft. Anything that gets your mind on something good and positive.
17. Do yoga.
Yoga means you’re moving your body in a slow, controlled method, and you’re in control. Often in anxiety, we feel like we’re not in control, and our minds are running the show. You can take back that control with yoga. You’re also able to stay in the “now” and work on your breathing during the activity. Look up poses that are especially for anxiety, and breathe.
There’s a reason adult coloring books are all the rage, and it’s because anxiety is helped by the gentle and repetitive nature of coloring. Print up a coloring page from the internet or grab a coloring book, and you’ll be able to get right into the activity as your anxiety starts up.
15. Take a few deep breaths
Sit very still, listen to your breaths, drawing them in and out. Sit and do this for a few minutes, focusing only on your breathing. If your heart is racing, this will help your breathing get back to normal.
The last thing you probably want to hear is that you need to exercise during anxiety, and the answer is you don’t have to, but it can help you. If you choose to exercise, you’re again focusing on something new, and putting your body under your control. A light walk around the block with some favorite music can be wonders for keeping yourself calm. Remember to push yourself only to the limit you feel like you currently handle with your anxiety.
13. Try some tea
Tea is a natural relexant, and has been used for years by individuals for calm. Consider making a cup of Chamomile tea next time you feel stressed and anxious. You may need to ask your doctor if any prescription pills you’re taking will potentially interact with herbal teas.
12. Talk to yourself about your anxiety.
You can ask yourself about what’s currently stressing you, and if you have any control over it. Is it really that important or bad? Your mind can play horrible tricks on you when you’re having anxiety, so stop and think to work your way through it.
Is your mind racing because you feel like you have to do much to do, and you think you’re drowning? Sometimes it helps to get all of those feelings out on paper or on screen. Writing down your thoughts in an anxiety journal or letter can let you process them in a new way. You may see that what’s making you anxious isn’t really a big deal. If you repeatedly write down your anxiety, you may start to notice a pattern and can identify what can be a trigger for panic.
10. Go outside
Inside and starting to panic? Why not go outside? The fresh air and the sunshine may help you relax a bit, and if you have depression, your body will appreciate the vitamin D from the sun. Take a trip to the park, the beach, or even your backyard to enjoy the wonders of nature.
9. Count to 10.
The Anxiety and Depression Association of America recommends counting to 10 during an anxiety attack. Doing this activity will help you get your mind focused on something new. You can try counting to 20 or even 30 if needed. Just keep your mind on the numbers, and let your body breath naturally.
8. Talk to a friend.
If someone watches you go through anxiety, they may feel powerless to help you. If you feel up to it, you can share your feelings with a loved one or friend. They will appreciate your openness and you may feel unburdened after you open up. Don’t feel obligated to share though, only do it if you want to.
7. Treat yourself.
Sometimes we need to just be better to ourselves, which is why it’s okay to treat yourself during an anxiety attack. Is there a snack or activity you may want to do, such as having a piece of candy or watching a favorite movie.
6. Don’t fight it.
If you have anxiety, and are currently in the middle of an attack, the worst thing you can do is ignore it. Even if you sit and tell yourself that what you’re experiencing is a panic attack, you’re at least acknowledging what you’re going through. Don’t try to soldier on without taking some steps to help yourself, even if that involves admitting to yourself that you have panicked.
Meditation has been practiced for thousands of years. It works because the focus of meditation is to quiet the mind. Meditation teaches your brain how to deal with stress better, and again, when you’re meditating, you’re in a quiet place, taking deep breaths and focusing on the silence in your brain.
4. Listen to some favorite or new music.
Visit Pandora, Spotify or 8 Tracks, and see if you can find a good mix of music to listen to help you with your anxiety. You can try listening to your favorite music or discover a few new tracks. Your body will respond to the calming nature of the music, and it may let your mind relax too. You can even try for healing new age music like those they play in spas.
It sounds absurd, doesn’t it, the idea that you could laugh through your anxiety? However, experts have found that laughter really does have a healing effect. Try watching funny cat videos or a movie that never fails to make you laugh, and you may feel better in minutes. Even the fake laugh will cause your brain to make dopamine, which helps with your happiness in the brain.
How is the space around you? Is it dirty or clean? A cluttered space can trigger anxiety, especially if you’re wondering if you lost something, or if you’re overwhelmd by a task in front of you. Even 15 minutes spending tidying can be a help for anxiety.
1. Plan a trip
Human behavior experts have figured out that even planning a vacation can be a huge help to your health, happiness and mood. If you feel up to it, start planning a vacation to somewhere you’d like to go by searching for activities, accomodations, and more. Your brain will get a workout on something besides your worries.