How to Reduce Anxiety and Calm Yourself Right Now
Imagine you are standing in a crowd of people at your favorite store. The lines are long, and the holiday shopping season is upon us, but you just want to buy what you need and get out alive. Anxiety is the voice in the back of your mind that whispers, “You’re not ok.”
It is the ping in your chest that makes your throat close and your body tense. It is the thumping in your mind that makes your thoughts race. But what if I told you that you ARE ok and you CAN learn how to reduce anxiety right at that very moment?
How to Reduce Anxiety Quickly: 13 Steps
While lifestyle changes such as limiting caffeine, eating a well-balanced diet, and taking time to yourself, can help you reduce stress and anxiety over time, there are several steps you can take the moment anxiety kicks in to regain control of your thoughts.
1. Understand Anxiety
The first part of overcoming anxiety is understanding it, and not just the definition. To learn how to reduce anxiety, you should take the time to understand what it means, how it feels, and how it works within the body.
Anxiety feels different for everyone, and there are various forms of anxiety, such as social, high-functioning, and more.
Developing a strong understanding of anxiety will help you recognize how those anxious feelings are processed within your own mind and body, which brings us to perhaps the most important part of all: getting to know yourself and your triggers.
2. Know Yourself
How well do you know yourself? To what degree does anxiety affect you? Can you list what your known triggers are, or are you completely unaware of what triggers that ping of anxiety in your chest? You are not alone if you don’t know.
Many people who suffer from anxiety get so bogged down in the negative feelings, mental and emotional heaviness, and feedback-loop thinking that they simply don’t have the energy to consciously note what triggers them.
It is tough, for sure. Anxiety hits hard and fast before you even know it. Sometimes one may be experiencing anxiety without even consciously knowing that those thoughts, emotions, and Nervous habits (like shaking one’s foot or biting one’s nails) are anxiety.
3. Relabel What’s Happening
Anxiety and panic attacks can make you feel like you are about to have a heart attack. Tell yourself that you may be having a panic attack, but the physical symptoms are short term and completely harmless.
There is absolutely nothing you need to do to get it over with. On the contrary, a panic attack is your body’s fight-or-flight response. It is the system that keeps you alive.
4. Stay in Your Time Zone
Anxiety is often future-oriented. Instead of being concerned about what’s about to happen, bring yourself back to the present. Ask yourself questions like:
- What’s going on right now?
- Am I safe?
- Do I need to do anything at the moment?
If not, set some time aside to check in with yourself later and revisit your anxieties when these worries don’t throw you off track anymore.
5. Fact-Check Your Thoughts
When you feel anxious, you often fixate on worst-case scenarios. To deal with these worries effectively and learn how to reduce anxiety, take a moment to think whether they are realistic.
For example, if you are stressing out because you are afraid to fail a big presentation at work, tell yourself that you are prepared, and it is completely normal for some things to go well, and some - not so well.
Get used to rethinking your fears, and it will help to train your brain to deal with anxious thoughts more rationally.
6. Follow the 3-3-3 Rule
Look around yourself and name:
- Three things you see
- Three sounds you hear
- Three parts of your body
Whenever you feel anxiety creeping up, this mental trick can help you refocus your mind and bring you back to the present moment.
7. Breathe In and Out
Deep breathing exercises can help you to calm down. You don’t need to worry about specific breathing exercises or counting the number of breaths you take.
Instead, just focus on breathing slowly and think of the actions of inhaling and exhaling. This will help to slow down your heart rate and re-center your mind.
8. Stand Up Straight
When we are anxious, we tend to hunch over. When you stand or sit with your feet apart, pull your shoulders back, and open your chest, your body automatically starts to feel like it’s back to normal.
9. Do Something
The best way of how to reduce anxiety is simply to do something. Stand up, go for a walk, clean your room - any action or activity that interrupts your negative thought patterns will help you regain a sense of control.
10. Ask for a Second Opinion
Talk to your family member or a friend about your worries. Saying your concerns out loud to someone else will help you to get an outside perspective of how realistic they are. Alternatively, you can write down your worries on paper.
11. Avoid Sugar Intake
When we are stressed, it is natural to reach for something sweet. However, a sugary treat can do more harm than good.
Research shows that overconsuming sugar can worsen anxiety. Instead of filling up on candies, eat some protein or drink a glass of water, as it will keep you hydrated and provide slow energy that will help your body recover.
12. Watch a Funny Video
This is the easiest tactic of how to overcome anxiety: simply sit back and enjoy your favorite funny TV show. Laughing is the best medicine for mental health and well-being. Some even argue that it is as effective as a physical activity or other relaxation techniques.
13. Use Hypnosis and Tapping
Have you ever thought about how hypnosis could treat (or even cure) your anxiety disorder and help you learn how to overcome anxiety?
Hypnosis is not just a fad or a phony trend; it is actual science, and it works.
Hypnosis is helpful to put yourself in a state of mental awareness that may reveal why you feel anxious and what triggers you the most. When you combine Tapping and Hypnosis, you got the most powerful combination for fast healing and profound positive changes
Using the tapping technique for anxiety involves using the fingers to tap certain areas on the body in specific energy points. Several studies have indicated Tapping promotes balance in the body and reduces and releases emotional blockages.
Stop Feeling Anxious with Hypnosis Tapping
Dealing with anxiety is downright annoying and, unfortunately, draining. It is easy to feel defeated, unloved, bothersome, and unmotivated to do the things you love or aspire to do.
Just know, it gets easier with time, and the scenario is never as bad as what anxiety makes it feel like. You ARE loved, and you ARE important. Remember, you are NOT your anxiety. You are simply experiencing it, but it is not part of you; that means you can learn how to overcome anxiety.