10 Ways to Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety can be described in many different ways, depending on the person you speak to. What will most likely stay common to all, is the fact that it is not pleasant and that is somewhat (or even VERY) debilitating. It is most likely interrupting the ability to function to the best of your ability and it impedes us from being able to feel at ease.
I was asked to write a post about ways to reduce anxiety, and I thought to myself that the list can go on an on, because thankfully with so much research about this topic there are also many ways to treat anxiety and help us feel better. Most of the times anxiety is a fear about something that might occur in the future. I collected a list of 10 ways we can reduce anxiety levels.
- Deep Breathing: Many times people minimize (or do not understand) the value of taking a deep breath. Research shows that when heart rate elevates over 100 beats per minute our ability to process information and respond is limited. Taking few deep breaths can help reduce heart rate and help us focus again.
- Laughing: Some of you must be thinking: how can I laugh in the midst of anxiety? Well, if you listen to a funny joke, watch a comedy, or just hang out with someone who makes you laugh, there is a good chance you will find yourself laughing. Laughter enhances intake of oxygen-rich air, increases endorphin release, stimulates the heart, lungs and muscles, and increases the endorphins that are released by our brain. It also activates and relieves stress response, and even improves our immune system. Some research can be found here.
- Meditation: Relaxing your mind, and taking a break can always help reducing anxiety. The are endless benefits to meditation. You can also practice some type of a visualization exercise.
- Exercise: The release of endorphins that happens while we exercise can help reduce anxiety significantly.
- Make a TO DO LIST for all the things that tend to cause you excessive worrying or anxiety and find an appropriate solution to them.
- Use Cognitive Behavior Therapy: Challenge your thought process, accept the fact that you are being anxious at this moment and understand what is the source of your anxiety. Remember that your mind is playing tricks on you. Take a deep breath and try to create an alternative thought that will likely to reduce your anxiety.
- Use Positive Self-Talk: Many times talking to ourselves and ensuring ourselves that this feeling is temporary and soon it would go away will help.
- Staying in the Here and Now. Most of the time we become anxious when we worry about a potential thing happening in the future. If we stay in the HERE and NOW it helps us shift the attention from being worried.
- Practice Gratitude: Start a journal, or just get in the habit of saying/writing 3 things you are grateful for on a daily basis. it can help you put things in perspective and help you feel more at ease and in the moment.
- Sharing Your Feelings: Talking to someone about your anxiety can many times help us reduce it. Talking to a friend, family member, or a professional. Joining a group therapy about anxiety and realizing you are not alone can help.