In this article I’ll describe my top 10 tips to reduce intensity of anxiety.
Anxiety can strike at any time, and if you aren’t prepared with how to handle it or challenge it, it can be quite a scary and daunting experience.
Some of these techniques you may be familiar with but trust me, they work.
I hope you find something in this list that will help you by using what I’ve learned along the way dealing with my own anxiety.
10. Talk about your feelings to someone you trust
Opening up to your friends, family or a health professional about your feelings is a good place to start.
Just speaking the truth to someone can really do wonders.
When I first told my family about my issues, I was scared of their reaction.
The truth of the matter is, those close to you want you to be happy and safe.
By sharing intimate details of your mental wellbeing, you will not only start to feel better but also build a better connection with them.
9. Learn to accept your feelings
Accepting how you feel is a major part in the healing process.
If we continue to ignore how we feel, we train our brain to be scared of these feelings and emotions when they arise.
As you gradually start to accept the feelings for what they are, you will begin to feel better over time.
HEALTH ANXIETY RECOMMENDS
A go to phrase I like to use is “that is just anxiety talking” when ever I start to feel overwhelmed.
You can try the same phrase, or work in your own. What ever works for you.
8. Understand you are not alone
Anxiety will tell you that you are alone in experiencing it. You are not alone. Me sitting here and writing this post is proof enough that you are not alone.
Try and remind yourself that these feelings are normal and like all feelings and emotions, they do eventually pass.
It is when they start to get in the way of day to day activities that you need to seek professional help.
7. Eating Healthy and Staying Hydrated
Eating well is not only good for you physically, but also mentally.
Snacking on junk food might seem like a good idea at the time, but it can make you feel sluggish which in turn can worsen your symptoms.
You don’t need a massive diet overhaul in order to eat better, just stick to moderation.
It really is all about portion control.
Drink lots of fluids, up to 2-3 litres a day.
6. Positive Affirmations
When was the last time you looked at yourself in the mirror and said something kind to yourself?
Chances are it’s been a long time, or for some it could be never.
Think of something that you can remember easily to say to yourself every morning to boost your mood.
Try and not to get too detailed, the idea is to boost your mood and morale and not overwhelm yourself with extra tasks.
- Today is going to be a good day
- I am really proud of how far I have come
- I’m doing amazing
They can be as corny as you like.
The point is, when we start to reinforce our thinking from negative to positive, we begin to feel better overtime.
I’ve spoken of this technique before and it really works wonders for me when I am in the middle of an anxiety attack.
It’s a very simple game to remember.
RELATED POST: ‘Categories’ Is A Great Way To Help Reduce Anxiety
You pick up to three topics and just name as many of that topic as you can.
For example you might pick, say movies, songs and Countries.
I like to add the extra thought process of doing them in alphabetical order like below:
- A. Avengers
- B. Batman Begins
- C. Caddyshack
- D. Django Unchanged
- E, F, G etc
The reason it works so well is that it is taking your mind off of the current worry and forcing it to think about something else entirely.
Try it our for yourself the next time you start to worry.
You can either do it in your head, or jot it down on paper.
It’s totally up to you how you go about it.
Journaling is an excellent exercise to start if you haven’t already done so.
Putting your thoughts into writing can help you see them from a different perspective and reduce your anxiety now.
I must admit, that I haven’t journaled in a while as I have been working so much on running my blog, though I have started posting ‘journaled’ updates.
Your journal can be structured however you like.
Write about your day, your worries and fears and any thoughts on how to overcome them.
RELATED POSTS: Click Here To See My Journal Entries
A good habit to get into is about an hour or so before bed to write down all your worries and then balance those worries with something actionable.
“I am worried I won’t be able to get through my work day tomorrow”
“Tomorrow hasn’t happened yet and I will deal with work when I get there”
Coping with anxiety has a lot to do with how you look at things.
If we begin to challenge these thoughts, we find our mood begins to lift and the anxiety lessens over time.
3. Breathing exercises
Breathing exercises are a great way to reduce your anxiety now.
If you find yourself starting to get overwhelmed, breathing exercises can interrupt the fight or flight reaction.
Depending on the type of anxiety you are feeling will depend what breathing exercise to use.
For general feeling of anxiety
- Breathe in for 5 seconds
- Hold for 2 seconds
- Exhale for 5 seconds
- (repeat above 3 times)
- Breathe in for 3 seconds
- Exhale for 3 seconds
- (repeat above 5 times)
- Repeat whole exercise through 3 times.
For Panic Attacks
- Breathe in slowly and exhale slowly counting backward from 10 over and over again.
- Focus intently on your breathing and the counting in your mind.
- It can be difficult when in panic mode, you might have to sit down if you feel dizzy.
It is important to note that the feeling, although not good, will pass.
After a panic attack, you can become tired and depressed so I would suggest you reach out to a friend or family member to tell them you had a panic attack.
This one really is a no brainer.
Exercising is extremely good for your mental wellbeing as it releases the feel good chemicals called endorphins.
This rush of chemicals can last for hours after an intense workout.
You don’t have to go overboard with exercising to reduce your anxiety now.
When I was first diagnosed with anxiety, I pushed myself far too hard and ended up spraining my ankle.
I wasn’t able to walk for a week and a half, and my anxiety naturally worsened because I wasn’t able to exercise.
It is beneficial to get your heart rate up, so a 15 minute jog or brisk walk 2-4 times a week should be enough.
Try and not exercise too close to bed time because it can interrupt your sleep pattern.
1. Reaching out to professionals for help
If your day to day activities are being severly interrupted due to anxiety or depression, it is time to seek medical help.
It really isn’t as scary as it sounds, though I understand for some it may be difficult to talk about your feelings.
Your Doctor only has your best interests at heart.
Alternatively, you can contact Lifeline or Beyond Blue anonymously if you just want to talk to someone.
You are not alone on this journey. Following the above tips can help you to reduce your anxiety now.
You got this!
If you or anyone you know is experiencing distress you can reach out to Beyond Blue: Beyond Blue’s support line is available 24/7.
Lifeline: For crisis support, Lifeline provides a 24/7 line, as well as online resources on a range of issues.