How to Ease Anxiety
Anxiety is a real and serious disorder. In fact, it’s the most common mental health disorder in the United States and can affect just about anyone – from the young to the old.
It has numerous symptoms, which may include:
- Excessive worrying
- Difficulty sleeping
- Trouble concentrating
- Increased irritability
- Elevated heart rate and/or palpitations
- Tense muscles
- Chest Pain
- Shortness of breath
- Feelings of doom or terror
With symptoms that are so varied, it’s essential that you be able to recognize and then remember that there are some things that you can do to ease anxiety.
- Stay in the Present: Often, people experience anxiety because they are worried about future events or things they cannot control. But instead of worrying about “what’s going to happen,” it’s important to stay in the moment. When you remain grounded in the present, you can take a realistic look at how you are doing currently and not become distracted by possibilities in the future.
- Check Your Thoughts: Do you find that you are plagued by negative thoughts? Are you constantly thinking about the worst possible scenarios? Do you know if any of your negative thoughts are actually true? Most likely, they are not – and in most cases, worst-case scenarios don’t happen. Take the time to recognize how you’re feeling, but give yourself the positive pep talk you would give to others if they asked for help. For example, when going for a job interview, say to yourself, “Yes, I’m nervous about this interview, but I have a great resume, and I’m prepared to answer any questions they may have for me.”
- Breathe: You may think it’s silly, but deep breathing can help ease your anxiety. And, while some experts will suggest specific breathing techniques to help with anxiety, the most important thing to do is to take deep breaths in and out. But if you do want some assistance, there are some fantastic apps that can help with breathing and meditation.
- Talk With a Friend: You probably have friends or family call you when they are feeling anxious, so why don’t you do the same? Talking it out with someone can help bring that “voice of reason” perspective to how you’re feeling and make you feel better about what’s going on in your life.
- Take a Walk: Yes, taking a simple walk can help ease anxiety. You can use the time to gain control of your thoughts and feelings, do some breathing, or check your thoughts. A walk can be the distraction you need to ground yourself in the present.
- Write It Down: Grab a pen and some paper or a notebook and write down why you are feeling anxious at the moment – and then some possible scenarios. Writing can help ground you and lessen your anxiety when you see it all on paper.
- Just Say No: Are there people, places, or things that seem to make you anxious? Have you ever thought about saying no to those things? By saying no, you can help establish boundaries and not put yourself into situations where your anxiety may be triggered.
- Laugh Out Loud: You know that laughter can help turn around a bad day and it can also help lessen your anxiety. Find a funny movie to watch, reach out to a funny friend, or listen to a comedic podcast. You might be surprised by how much better you feel when you have a good, ol’ belly laugh.
- Practice Meditation: While breathing was mentioned as a means of lessening the symptoms of anxiety, meditation is another thing that can help. Check out meditation apps if you don’t regularly practice so that you can learn some simple ways to bring it into your life.
- Talk With a Therapist: Of course, speaking with a therapist is always recommended if you suffer from anxiety. They can help you with exercises or medication that can alleviate your symptoms.
There are many different ways to ease anxiety if you suffer from it. When you can recognize your symptoms, you may be able to use one of these techniques to help lessen your anxiousness.