If you suffer from an anxiety disorder, you are one of the 40 million people in the United States who do. This makes anxiety disorder one of the most common mental illnesses in the nation.
Anxiety disorder is defined as a group of mental disorders that are characterized by feelings of fear and anxiety. These disorders are highly treatable; however, many people tend to abuse anti-anxiety drugs such as Xanax and Valium to relieve their anxiety.
While it is advisable to seek professional help when suffering from such disorders, there are natural methods that you can try out to calm yourself down, without the help of a pill.
1. Breathe deeply
Practicing deep breathing is one of the easiest ways to calm yourself naturally. When you breathe in and out, it helps you recenter your focus and also make you relax as the oxygen enters your body. Concentrate on breathing and nothing else for a few minutes to get that sense of calm.
2. Visualize a calming thought
When you feel anxious, close your eyes and visualize an image of something that gives you calm. Everyone is different but images of sunsets, seaside, and fields of grass are common things that prove to be effective for many people.
3. Practice the 3-3-3 rule
One trick to recenter your thoughts is to play the 3-3-3 game. The game goes like this:
- Look around and name three things you can see.
- Name three things you can hear.
- Move three parts of your body
By doing this game, you can slow down your racing thoughts and stop anxiety quickly.
4. Challenge your thoughts
Feeling anxious can cause a downward spiral wherein you find yourself imagining outlandish scenarios that make no sense at all. When you’re thinking of the worst, try to ask yourself logical questions such as:
- Is this realistic
- Can this really hurt me?
- What can I do to counter my negative thoughts?
By questioning yourself, you can stop negative thoughts from progressing and it can help rein in your overactive imagination.
Meditation has long been proven to help in achieving calm and relaxation. Close your eyes and sit quietly for a few minutes. Let go of all your stresses and anxiety by just being still and becoming mindful of the present.
6. Use positive self-talk
If you’re feeling discouraged and apprehensive, encourage yourself that everything will be okay. Verbalize these thoughts so you can hear yourself saying these things. Hearing them come can help you gain self-confidence and assurance.
7. Write down your thoughts
Write down your thoughts using a pen and paper. This old-school process of writing is a great trick to slow you down. Seeing your thoughts in black and white can also help you resolve your issues.
8. Light up scented aromatherapy candles
Aromatherapy can help relax you instantly. Scents like lavender and vanilla are well-known to help you relax.
9. Spray on your favorite perfume
Another way to help relieve anxiety is by spritzing on your favorite scent. The sense of smell is directly connected to the part of the brain inspiring memories and emotions. When you spray on a favorite scent that makes you happy, it can help bring back positive thoughts as well.
10. Take a warm bath
Relaxing in a warm bath can help you loosen up. It can relieve tension and stress that have been building up due to your anxiety.
11. Get a massage
Touch therapy is a great relaxation method. So, pamper yourself by going to a spa and get a full body massage.
Exercising has been shown to release endorphins to make you feel happier. It will also help you release extra pent-up energy.
13. Immerse yourself in nature
Walking in the park, hiking, or going to the beach are just some things you can do to calm down. Nature therapy has been shown to have positive effects on people’s overall health and well being.
14. Listen to music
Listening to good music can help you calm down. Go for instrumental tunes, operatic hymns, or cheerful songs. Avoid heavy metal or fast tracks that could stimulate you further.
15. Watch a funny clip
Laughter is a wonderful way to distract yourself from anxiety. Check out a compilation of funny videos on YouTube to get your mind off your worries.
16. Organize your desk or closet
Many people feel anxious because they feel that they are not in control. When you organize clutter, you can regain a sense of control over things around you, and at the same time, you can minimize the chaos that can help you feel more relaxed.
17. Busy yourself with a productive task
An effective way to stop worrying is to do something productive. Clean the house, tend to your garden, write a blog or learn a new recipe. Channeling your brain energy to something else will definitely help.
18. Avoid alcohol, caffeine, and sugary food
When people are stressed, it is quite normal to reach for a glass of wine, drink coffee or grab a candy bar. Avoid these three things because while they may offer you temporary relief, you will experience worse effects. Caffeine and sugar are stimulants that can induce anxiety, while alcohol can make you more anxious once the initial effects wear off.
19. Drink water
Drinking water can offer instant relief – without any harmful side effects. It can also prevent you from being dehydrated which can cause heart palpitations.
20. Drink chamomile tea
Chamomile tea is considered a mild tranquilizer and can help induce sleep. Drinking chamomile tea is even said to help improve sleep quality.
21. Eat fruits
Having an empty stomach can result in low blood sugar. This can cause you to feel nervous and irritated. Eating fruits like apples and bananas as a snack is a great way to relieve hunger pangs.
22. Hug someone
Believe it or not, hugging has been scientifically proven to reduce anxiety and depression. It has also been found to reduce loneliness and protect against stress.
23. Talk to someone
Talking to someone about your anxiety can help you a lot. Talk to your friends or family about your concerns. You can also choose to speak to a professional to help you manage your anxiety.
If you or a loved one is struggling with substance abuse, help is available.
Contact Anaheim Lighthouse today.