Anxiety is one of those hot buzz words you hear everywhere nowadays. There are many different levels of anxiety. There’s the “I’m about to go on a date” nervous type of anxiety, and then there’s more serious anxiety. Anxiety that can be pretty crippling and affect your daily life. Growing up I’ve always been a pretty anxious person but in the past year, my anxiety has really manifested itself to something much bigger.
I used to get frequent panic attacks but now I am at the point where my anxiety is managed much better. It’s something that I have to work on daily to try to keep it at bay. Whether you have a small amount of anxiety here and there, or you struggle with anxiety on a daily basis like I do, I wanted to share with you my top eight tips to combat those anxious feelings.
Meditation has become a huge thing in the wellness space, and with good reason. Meditation can be a really hard thing to do when your mind is racing, but I find it to be very calming. It takes a few times to get used to it, and it isn’t a quick fix. However, I find that on days that I mediate, I immediately feel less anxious. I love to mediate first thing in the morning before I get up for the day. There are many different apps or YouTube videos you can use to meditate. My favorite one to use is Headspace. I find the guy’s voice in it to be incredibly relaxing.
Sounds simple enough, but deep breathing to proven to reduce anxiety. Deep breathing increases the amount of oxygen your brain gets and jump starts your parasympathetic nervous system, which tells your body to calm down. I like the 4-7-8 breathing technique. Breath in for 4, hold for 7 and release for 8. This is also a great breathing technique to use if you are either having a panic attack or want to go to sleep.
As Elle Woods would say, exercise gives you endorphins. Endorphins makes you happy. I for one do not like to exercise. But to be honest, it really does help. Exercising gives you a set time to focus on something other than all the thoughts running through your head. Even something as simple as going for a walk can really help to clear your mind. I recommend trying to exercise at least twice a week if you can.
Therapy is a great way to get all of the feelings and thoughts you have out in the open. It allows you to release those emotions and at the same time get the opinion of an unbiased third party. I think everyone could use a little therapy. There is nothing to be ashamed of asking for a little help.
Do a task that requires your hands
This could be something as simple as coloring in an adult coloring book, or doing the dishes or folding some laundry. You can even get creative with it and start something you’ve always wanted to do like paint, or knit. Doing a task that requires your hands allows you to focus your full attention on what’s at hand (literally and figuratively).
Read a book
If you’re having trouble falling asleep, I recommend reading a super boring book. If you just want to escape your mind, then read a book that will keep you intrigued. Nothing gets your mind out of the present like a great page turner.
Listen to music
I like to have a couple go-to songs to listen to when I get anxious. Music can heal the soul. I love listening to Shawn Mendes’ new album, and Hailee Steinfeld’s song “Let Me Go.”
Talk to someone
Whenever I feel anxious, I pick up the phone and call my parents. Talking to a friend or a family member who can lend an ear or shoulder to cry on is crucial. It’s important to have a couple of people that you can rely on as part of your support system. Not to rely on all the time, but it’s important to have the ones you know will really be there for you when you need them.
Those are some of my top tips for helping to ease the feeling of anxiety. What do you do to help combat anxiety?