Looking for ways to better handle anxiety and stress? If yes, then this is the post for you! In this post, we highlight tips on what to do when you feel anxious. All of these techniques have been tried and tested, and we really hope that they will help you to deal effectively with your anxiety and stress too.
We’re all working under pressure to meet deadlines while trying to go through our hectic routines. You know how it goes. There’s a big project that comes up, and all of a sudden, it’s Friday afternoon and the project needed to be done two hours ago!
Pressure and unpleasant last-minute surprises can easily trigger anxiety and stress. It doesn’t help when there are constant distractions either, like chatty co-workers, incoming texts, or friends and family who are always calling you for unimportant things.
Most people think they have a handle on their stress. But when life gets too overwhelming, anxiety can go through the roof, even when you’re not fully aware of it. Anxiety has a terrible impact on your body and overall mental health. So here are some anxiety-busting strategies and things you can do when you’re anxious.
Things You Can Do When You Feel Anxious
1. Make a To-Do List (Write It Out!)
Make a list of specific things you need to do and organize them by their level of priority. Then, start checking items off when they are completed. Consider getting a journal and writing down the things that are triggering your anxiety. This makes it easier to visualize and target the source of the problem and hopefully eliminate it.
2. Focus on Your Posture
Sitting up straight allows you to focus solely on a specific project. Good posture also slows breathing down and releases GAGA neurotransmitters, which help fight anxiety.
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3. Talk to a Friend
Friends are like therapists, except they’re free! So, give them a call when anxiety rears its ugly little head. Friends can offer emotional support and let you vent, which helps you process your feelings, and alleviates stress and tension. Plus, they may also have a few ideas on how to handle whatever’s causing your anxiety.
4. Have a Stretching Routine
Stress causes the body to tense up, which leads to neck and back pain. So, consider doing stretching exercises like chair yoga. Start by sitting on the edge of the seat with both feet planted on the floor and hands resting behind the back of the seat. Then inhale, left the chest and exhale before releasing the hands.
These seated chest lifts will help stretch the back muscles. Stress and anxiety levels are reduced by relieving body tension with each stretch. In need of some guidance? Try some mindfulness apps!
5. Try Mindfulness
Mindfulness is the practice of focusing in the present moment, where you are, what you’re doing, and what you’re thinking, allowing yourself to acknowledge your mental state without judgment.
Try doing deep breathing exercises every day that allows the mind to refocus while helping the body relax. There are tons of mindfulness apps that act as guides. Here are two of my favorite ones:
The Self-help Anxiety Management or SAM app allows users to track, understand, and handle anxiety with tips, exercises, and games to ease anxiety attacks.
The Mindfulness App offers guided meditations that help users relax, calm down, focus and even sleep
6. Focus on Right Now
Focus in the “now” and allow yourself to engage with what’s happening right this very minute. Nothing is going to change simply by worrying about what may or may not happen in the future, and there’s no way to fix the past. Need help? Ask yourself the following questions to get in the moment:
- Am I safe?
- What’s happening right now?
- Is there anything I can do right now?
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7. Channel Your Breathing
Try the “tactical breathing” technique, which is taught in the military. It’s designed to control anxiety. It’s easy. Just breathe in through the nose for a count of four, then hold your breath for a count of four again. Exhale through the mouth for a count of four.
8. Play the 5-5-5 Game
This mental trick will help the brain refocus when anxiety strikes:
- Look around and name 5 things you see.
- Then name five sounds you hear.
- Finally, move five body parts like your head, a finger, an arm, a leg or a foot.
9. Smell Lavender Oil
According to a study in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience, smelling lavender oil can ease anxiety and reduce stress because it has a profound effect on the limbic system, an area of the brain that deals with emotions.
Add a few drops to an aromatherapy diffuser and breathe deep. Jasmine oil has calming effects, too.
10. Listen to Calming Music
Music increases the production of dopamine and serotonin hormones that ease blood pressure and calm the brain. Set up a playlist with calming and soothing sounds like raindrops, waves crashing, chirping birds, or try ASMR sounds.
Tip: I truly love to listen to Brain.FM, which offers music for the brain. They have a variety of choices: Music for focus and concentration for when I am working from home, but also music for relaxation, stress reduction, meditation and sleeping better. I totally recommend it! You can start with a trial period and get 20% off of your membership here or you can simply enter the code dreamsinheels once you are ready to sign up.
11. Go for a Brisk Walk
A brisk walk around the block, backyard or even the living room forces the body to create carbon dioxide and breathe normally. Walking provides a sensory distraction for the brain because the eyes, ears, and nose are processing different sights, noises and smells and less on whatever triggered the anxiety.
12. Drink a Glass of Water
Approximately 75 percent of brain tissue consists of water. And according to research, dehydration can lead to anxiety because it causes the brain to not function properly.
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