When anxiety gets the best of you, you may not feel like you have time to stop and address it. But coping with anxiety can be quick work. Try these 10 quick methods to calm down now:
1. Breathe and count
One of the best ways to manage anxiety is mindful breathing. Take a moment to focus your attention on your breathing. Count as you breathe in. Hold a moment. Then count again as you breathe out. Repeat this for 10 cycles of inhaling and exhaling. You’ll feel calmer when you finish.
2. Find a quiet space
Sometimes life is too hectic, and everything is bombarding you all at once. With work, family, tv, radio, traffic… it’s easy to become overwhelmed. When you’re feeling stressed, step away from the circus. Close your office (or bedroom) door. Or find a nice shady spot outside. And just enjoy a moment of peace. You’ll be glad you did.
3. Take a walk
Nature is very soothing. Exercise is a great natural treatment for anxiety. Why not get the best of both by taking a walk? Walk to work if you can, or down to the corner market. Take a walk in your neighborhood, or in a local park. Walking is a terrific way to manage anxiety, and it’s great for your overall health, too!
4. Turn the lights down
When you’re feeling stressed and anxious, your senses can feel inundated with “too much.” Too much light, too much clutter, or too many tasks that you cannot complete. It can help to take 5 minutes to sit in the dark or semi-dark. Give your eyes a break from those harsh florescent office lights, or the flashiness of a backlit digital screen. You’ll be more relaxed.
5. Take a water break
When we’re stressed, most of us forget self-care. But by ignoring our bodies, we accidentally elevate all the stress more. Step back from your routine, and grab a beverage. Hydrate. Take care of yourself. Relax. Ah! That’s better!
6. Grab a hug
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, there’s nothing better than a warm hug to soothe your soul. Hugs are sometimes the best medicine. If you have a loved one or friend nearby and you’re feeling anxious, ask for a hug. You’ll be glad you did.
7. Call or text a loved one
If there’s no one around to offer you a warm hug, sometimes a call or text to connect can feel just a good as a loving embrace. Reach out to someone with whom you feel a strong, loving bond. Say “I miss you.” Or, “I care.” Or “I’m feeling stressed.” Ask for a little of that person’s time. Your anxiety will settle down fast.
8. Ponder on gratitudes
Gratitudes have a way of filling up our hearts and minds, and thereby pushing all our woes and worries out of the way. Take a moment to note something for which you feel truly grateful. Wallow in the gratitude. Keep your mind present for just a few moments. Now isn’t that better?
9. Write it down
Writing is a great way to ventilate anxiety. Whether it’s a fictional story that captures all the emotions you’re feeling, a journal entry describing your difficult day, or simply a to do list with all the things you need to get done, writing something down helps bring it outside of you and you feel a little less stressed.
10. Tell yourself you’re doing a good job
Above all, make sure you’re managing your harsh inner critic if you’re feeling anxious. You’re doing your best, and that’s all you can do. So give yourself some inner words of encouragement. Tell yourself, hey, good job! It’s the kindest thing you can do.