Immediate Anxiety Relief: 6 Ways to Calm Yourself
Finding immediate relief from anxiety can feel like an impossible task, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right strategies and techniques, you can learn how to reduce anxiety immediately and create a pathway to lasting calmness. Here are 6 of the most effective methods for you—from deep breathing exercises to journaling—that offer immense anxiety relief.
Method 1: Breathe Deeply
Deep breathing is an incredibly effective and simple way to reduce anxiety at the moment. So, when we’re anxious, our breath often becomes shallow and quick, which can further intensify the feeling of stress. As a result, utilise diaphragmatic breathing to bring your attention away from the source of your anxiety and focus exclusively on the act of inhaling.
Method 2: Name your emotion
Anxiety can often be difficult to identify and manage, as it’s a complex emotion. By taking the time to name exactly how you’re feeling—whether it’s fear, anger, sadness, or anything else—you’ll gain better insight into what’s causing your anxious reaction and can then use this knowledge to craft an individualised strategy for calming yourself.
Method 3: Connect to your body
Our bodies can become tense and overwhelmed when anxiety strikes, so it’s important to take time to connect with your physical sensations and release the tension. Thus, a few simple stretches or yoga poses can help restore balance, while gentle massages of your neck, shoulders, and hands can relax and soothe.
Method 4: Journal
Writing in a journal can be an immensely helpful tool in managing anxiety. It provides a space to express all the thoughts, fears, and worries you’re experiencing without fear of judgement or criticism. By recording your feelings on paper, you’ll gain clarity around the source of your distress and learn how to better express and process those emotions.
Method 5: Change your environment
If you’re feeling overwhelmed by anxiety, try changing your environment—go for a walk outside, take a shower, switch up the scenery in your room—anything that helps you feel calm and relaxed. The more positive and calming experiences we can introduce into our lives, the better equipped we are to handle anxiety when it arises.
Method 6: Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness is a practice that involves focusing on present-moment experiences with an attitude of acceptance and non-judgment. Learning how to observe your thoughts and emotions without getting caught up in them can be incredibly beneficial for those struggling with anxiety. Meditation and yoga are two great ways to start incorporating mindfulness into your daily routine.
By using these six techniques, you can learn how to manage anxiety and find immediate relief from its symptoms. With a bit of practice, you’ll be able to gain control over your anxious thoughts and reactions so that they no longer hold power over you.
What to avoid during an anxiety state
When experiencing anxiety, certain actions can exacerbate the symptoms and should be avoided. Here are three tips on what not to do when in an anxiety state:
Tip 1: Avoid Alcohol and Caffeine
Although alcohol and caffeine can have different effects on the body, they both can worsen anxiety symptoms. Alcohol is a depressant that slows down brain functions and can increase feelings of sadness or hopelessness. Furthermore, alcohol can interact with medications and cause adverse reactions.
On the other hand, caffeine is a stimulant that can increase heart rate, blood pressure, and body temperature, leading to jitteriness and mental agitation. Therefore, it’s advisable to limit or avoid alcohol and caffeine intake when feeling anxious.
Tip 2: Don’t Isolate Yourself
When feeling anxious, it’s common to want to withdraw from social interactions and isolate oneself. However, this can make the situation worse by depriving the individual of social support, distraction, and exposure to positive experiences.
Isolation can trigger negative thoughts and rumination, leading to a spiral of anxiety and depression. Instead, it’s recommended to reach out to friends, family, or a mental health professional for support and guidance.
Tip 3: Don’t Ignore Physical Symptoms
Anxiety can manifest in various physical symptoms, such as chest pain, dizziness, nausea, sweating, or tremors. While some of these symptoms may be harmless, others can be signs of an underlying medical condition or a panic attack. Ignoring or dismissing physical symptoms can lead to more anxiety and fear, especially if the individual catastrophises or hypervigilates.
Therefore, it’s important to pay attention to physical sensations and seek medical help if necessary. Moreover, adopting healthy habits, such as exercise, healthy eating, and getting enough sleep, can help reduce physical symptoms associated with anxiety.
By following these guidelines, you’ll be able to create a plan for reducing your immediate anxiety. With the right strategies in place, you can start to be more relaxed and better equipped to manage anxious thoughts and reactions. Remember that feeling anxious is normal—but with the right tools, you can find comfort and relief.
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