Learn how to relax your mind whenever anxiety starts to kick in with these simple techniques and coping mechanisms.
In this article:
- Have Your Head Under Your Heart
- Do Some Mindful Breathing
- Take Some Alone Time
- Get Some Sun
- Go for a Walk
- Write Down Your Feelings
- Listen to Music
- Give Aromatherapy a Try
- Cuddle with a Pet
- Talk to a Friend
- Eat Some Chocolate
- Chew on Something
- Eat a Mango
How to Relax Your Mind in 15 Anxiety-Soothing Ways
Meditation can greatly help in reducing stress and fatigue by helping one become mindful and aware of the present, as well as reduce worry and feelings of fearfulness.
Studies show that mindful meditation reduced anxiety symptoms in subjects with generalized anxiety disorder (GAD). Those who used mindfulness-based stress reduction (MBSR) meditation showed less stress reactivity and had improved coping mechanisms in laboratory stress tasks.
2. Have Your Head Under Your Heart
Inverting your head so that it’s at a lower level than your heart may have a relaxing effect when you’re feeling anxious. Studies show this is because the inversion has a restorative effect on the body’s autonomic nervous system.
What Is the Autonomic Nervous System? Part of the nervous system which unconsciously regulates bodily functions such as blood pressure, heart rate, sexual arousal, and eye dilation
3. Do Some Mindful Breathing
We’re all already breathing, and this is only compromised when we try to hold our breath or if we’re hyperventilating. When experiencing anxiety, trying to hold your breath, taking shallow breaths, or hyperventilating can exacerbate your body’s flight or fight stress response.
Taking slow, full breaths helps open up your lungs and is one of the best ways to relax. An example of a quick breathing exercise is the one wherein you breathe in for 4 seconds, hold for 8 seconds, and slowly breathe out for 7 seconds.
4. Take Some Alone Time
Whether you’re an introvert or an extrovert, or any variation of both, alone time is crucial. While alone time or “me time” has been taken to mean long, drawn-out bubble baths in popular culture, any private space can work.
Your alone time doesn’t even have to last very long. Taking at least five minutes of alone time to gather your thoughts, calm down, and collect yourself may be sufficient to ward away those feelings of anxiety.
5. Get Some Sun
Studies show that natural elements, as well as natural lighting that involved both direct and indirect sunlight, had a positive effect on the mental health and attitude of employees.
Exposure to natural elements was associated with better mood and better job satisfaction. Meanwhile, exposure to indirect sunlight had twice the improvement in feelings of depression and anxiety.
Getting your blood flowing through some good old exercise is always a great way to relieve feelings of anxiety. Sustained cardio for up to 20-30 minutes can help give you a boost of endorphins or pain-relieving hormones.
If you don’t have the time for sustained cardio, short bursts can also help. Simply jogging in place or doing jumping jacks can be enough to get your blood flowing and energy running to reduce anxiety.
7. Go for a Walk
There are people who don’t mind vigorous physical activity, and there are those who do. Going for a walk may just be the solution for those who don’t like exercise.
Taking a break by going on a walk with a pet or a friend, running a short errand, or simply getting coffee can be a relaxing way to beat anxiety. It helps introduce a sense of dichotomy that breaks feelings of being burned out or anxious in one place and provides some much-needed movement and change of environment or pace that can distract your brain from cyclical thoughts.
8. Write Down Your Feelings
When you’re feeling anxious, writing down all your feelings on paper can help you make sense of them. Writing is a wonderful outlet, and it can also help you go back and take notes on what you’re thinking and feeling at a specific time.
Being able to go back and examine your thoughts laid out concretely is helpful. It allows you to analyze what went wrong and helps give perspective by allowing you to view the moment objectively and come up with ways to solve them in the future.
9. Listen to Music
Listening to music is an age-old relaxation method. The previously mentioned study also showed that listening to music had a positive effect on students’ stress levels.
With the advent of music streaming apps, access to calming music for anxiety has never been easier. Experiment with various genres; listen to the ones made specifically for relaxation or those that you can sing along to.
10. Give Aromatherapy a Try
The sense of smell is a powerful thing, which is why aromatherapy is so popular among those who are often stressed or anxious. Studies show that aromatherapy is useful in reducing anxiety in patients undergoing hemodialysis, with rose water fragrance being the most effective fragrance in calming them down.
Lavender essential oil is another popular scent. Its efficacy is due to its ability to positively affect the limbic system, which is the part of the brain responsible for controlling emotion.
The citrus essential oil you can extract from twisting an orange peel has a calming effect on humans, even helping reduce physical symptoms of anxiety such as nausea and dizziness.
11. Cuddle with a Pet
Pets need little explanation when it comes to relieving stress and anxiety. Having the company of a pet can help boost feelings of comfort, self-esteem, and calmness, which are especially helpful for those with debilitating social anxiety.
12. Talk to a Friend
Access to a therapist or a mental health professional is not widely available for everyone. Having a friend or a “mental health buddy” can be helpful in situations of stress and anxiety as they can offer a judgment-free safe space and lend a listening ear.
13. Eat Some Chocolate
Chocolate, particularly dark chocolate, has the ability to reduce stress in both healthy and unhealthy individuals. Studies show that consuming 40g of dark chocolate regularly can help reduce stress and anxiety.
14. Chew on Something
Everyone’s familiar with stress eating, but there is another oral fixation during times of duress that may also have links to how anxiety can be resolved without packing on the pounds. Chewing gum, for example, can help in enhancing focus, which is crucial in an anxiety attack involving spiraling negative thoughts and raising cortisol levels.
Chewing on something crunchy can also help curb cyclical thoughts. Munch on some nuts, apples, or celery sticks to distract your mind from negative thoughts, and take in a healthy snack as well.
15. Eat a Mango
This fleshy and juicy tropical fruit contains linalool, a compound present in anxiety-relieving lavender essential oil, and has the capacity for improving depressive symptoms.
Don’t forget to download, save, or share this handy infographic for reference:
Life can throw many curveballs, and sometimes when caught unprepared, we’d have to deal with feelings of anxiety. Keep this list of anxiety-relieving tips in mind for when you’re faced with a stressful situation.
Supplementing it with the Dr. Seeds Chill Pill is also a helpful addition to your anti-anxiety regimen.
How do you deal with your own anxiety? Talk to us in the comments section below!
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