Tuesday, July 29, 2008

50 Quick and Easy Ways to Calm Your Anxiety

Kelly Sonora, at the Nursing Online Education Database, emailed me to alert me to a new post -- 50 Quick and Easy Ways to Calm Your Anxiety -- that she thought my readers might be interested in.

For those of us who deal with anxiety, these are incredibly useful tips.

50 Quick and Easy Ways to Calm Your Anxiety

By Christina Laun

Whether you're worried about work, home or personal issues, stress and anxiety can take a heavy toll on your mental and physical health. Many serious illnesses are caused in part by stress, and constant worry can leave you feeling worn down, irritable and out of control. So how can you learn to manage your anxiety? While everyone manages their stresses differently, here are a few things to try the next time you're feeling overwhelmed by anything in your life to help you relax and put things in perspective.


Try these simple things to ease your anxiety.

  1. Exercise. Few things can help relax you more quickly than a bit of vigorous exercise. Whether you kickbox, jog or play a game of tennis, getting your body moving will help reduce endorphins, improving your mood and making you feel better about anything you're worried about.
  2. Meditate. When you feel yourself being overwhelmed with anxiety, try taking a few minutes out of your day to clear your mind of your worries and meditate. If you have trouble doing it alone, try using a guided tape or music designed especially for meditation.
  3. Breathe deeply. Sometimes just concentrating on your breathing can have a calming effect on your state of mind. Count your breaths and concentrate on breathing in and out deeply.
  4. Focus on something else. Fight your anxiety by temporarily shifting your attention to something else unrelated to what you're upset about. You may find that once you're done you feel much better about the situation and are much more relaxed.
  5. Talk to others. Connecting with a friend or family member and sharing your anxieties can be a great way to get insight, advice and to alleviate some of your stress by getting support and understanding.
  6. Clear your mind. When you are feeling stressed out you can have so much going through your mind that it simply seems overwhelming, only adding to you anxiety. Take a few moments to step back and clear your mind of all of it before starting anything else.
  7. Slow down. Give yourself a break and just slow down if you're feeling stressed out. Getting yourself worked up to rush around won't help, so slow down, take a break and let yourself relax.
  8. Don't work yourself up. When you're worried about something it's easy to focus on it and get yourself super worked up so that you just want to break down. Stop yourself if you feel that you're getting yourself riled up, and force yourself to calm down and look at things rationally.
  9. Let the past go. If you're feeling bad about things that have already happened, take a moment to realize that there's nothing you can do to change these things now. Take steps to begin letting the past go and making positive choices for the future.
  10. Count to ten. Sometimes anxiety can take over and make you feel out of control. Take back control by counting to ten, breathing deeply and concentrating on calming down.
Check out their site to see the other 40 suggestions, which includes supplements and diet, dealing with anxiety at home and at work.


Anonymous said...

To elaborate on #5 - The hope is that talking to a friend or family member will help you get a different perspective or just help you feel supported. Sometimes this is the case, but often friends and family, while well-meaning, are "part of the system" and ultimately offer neither perspective or real support. Fortunately (for those who can afford it) there are professional allies who specialize in perspective shifting - coaches, counsellors, therapists and so on. Sometimes it makes sense to get help from outside the immediate circle!

Also, you gotta check out Heartmath institute. Seriously. Google it. They're doing amazing research.

Coach Justice

william harryman said...

I agree that therapy helps -- it helped me enormously. For those suffering with anxiety, I would recommend therapy over coaching, although coaching can be a great source of growth and stability once the anxiety is in check.

Heartmath looks great - thanks for the link.


Anonymous said...

The above tips work when you are anxious and alone, but if you have social anxiety you cannot do these while attempting to interact with others. Even trying to discuss a situation (in which one experienced anxiety) to a trusted friend or family member becomes a grueling ordeal for those of us with extreme anxiety. Then again, I suppose the tips are fine for "normal people" with normal anxiety.