7 Easy Things You Can Do To Release Anxiety (Immediately)
In the past years, I’ve worked really hard to overcome my anxieties, to stop the worry chatter in my head. Along...
In the past years, I’ve worked really hard to overcome my anxieties, to stop the worry chatter in my head. Along the way, through my coaching practice, I’ve also helped a lot of women overcome their anxieties, fears, worries.
Through this work, I’ve learned that anxiety can be lessened, sometimes even cured entirely, but that to do so you need to change one or more aspects of your life.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety is a terribly unpleasant feeling of fear, worry or even panic. When we’re anxious we feel stressed out, our heart pounds in our chest, our breathing changes, our mind goes into overdrive, with what seems like millions of thoughts per second. Or we’re so focused on one fearful thought or experience, that we can’t get it out of our head, as if it was haunting us! We get up with it in the morning, we go to bed with it at night. This can last for hours, days, weeks on end. Believe me, I know, I’ve been there many times.
The thing is, everyone experiences anxiety sometimes. We all inevitably worry about ordinary, day-to-day issues, such as health, family, work, money. That’s perfectly OK.
When Fear Or Worry Won’t Let Go
The problem starts when you can’t seem to shake a fearful, negative thought or when – even after a particular experience has ended – it remains in your mind, and you still worry about it. Another expression of anxiety, one that I struggled with for a long time (still do sometimes) is worrying about all possible, negative scenarios concerning an experience (past or present), a person, or a thing.
Most of the excessive worry is irrational, yet the fear or worry won’t let go. Unpleasant to say the least, often difficult to live with, anxiety can be mild or strong depending on a number of factors, ranging from higher emotional awareness, sensitivity to stress, family history, trauma, or even genes.
Your environment, what you eat, the amount of sleep you get, the people you surround yourself with… all of these things can also have an impact on your level of anxiety.
7 Easy Things You Can Do To Release Anxiety (Immediately)
Throughout the years I’ve learned how to deal with my anxiety, and worry much more efficiently. The good news is, there are simple and effective ways to get rid of big chunks of anxiety, calm the brain, relax the body, get back on track with your life. Some start working right away, while others need more practice, may help lessen anxiety over time.
1. Get Enough Sleep
Women often don’t get as much sleep as they need or don’t sleep well. But sleep is designed specifically to help control stress. It’s something you should never skip on purpose.
Go to bed at the same time each night and wake up at the same time each morning (even on the weekends). Try to schedule a full seven to nine hours of snooze time every day.
When I don’t get my eight hours of sleep I’m not just tired, I’m more anxious too, I even get a tat depressed (another symptom of anxiety to some people).
2. Eat Well-Balanced Meals
Give the body the support it needs. You should limit your intake of rich, fatty, or spicy food, especially during your evening meal.
Try to eat more products that contain vitamin B, omega-3s, healthy whole-grain carbohydrates.
A morning glass of green juice can get you on the right side of calm. You can try this recipe (which is one of my favorites) for a guaranteed mood-booster: combine one banana or green apple, sliced ginger, a bunch of kale, one lime, cucumber slices, a few ice cubes, a cup of water to a blender or juicer. For more protein add an egg, yogurt, nuts, or protein powder.
3. Get Rid of Clutter
A messy workspace or home can make it difficult to relax. Make a habit of keeping things clean and anxiety-free. Take 10 minutes to tidy up your living space or work area every day. I don’t do this nearly enough, but when I do the feeling of bliss that comes over me when things are neat and tidy is incredible.
If you have too much stuff cluttering up your living or work space, try this quick hack for instant clean-up madness:
- Choose just one drawer, cabinet or closet to clean out
- Take everything out
- Categorize the stuff you don’t use (I usually get rid of anything I haven’t used for four consecutive seasons) by making three piles for items to throw away, to donate, to sell
- Only put back the stuff you use
- Get rid of the throw-aways immediately, mark your calendar for the ones to donate or to sell
Meditation or mindfulness training can help you learn how to better cope with stress. One aspect of anxiety is racing thoughts that won’t go away. Meditation helps with this part of the problem by quieting the overactive mind. Or it will teach you how to not let yourself be affected by your thoughts, which is my case.
Give yourself the gift of serenity, start the day with 10 to 20 minutes of solitude and positive energy.
I’m a big fan of transcendental meditation. It has helped with my anxiety tremendously, amazing results from a practice of two times 20 minutes a day.
5. Hold Your Breath
Yoga breathing has been shown to be effective in lowering stress and anxiety. There is a classic yoga breathing technique “The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise”, also called “The Relaxing Breath”. This was one of the first breathing techniques I was every introduced too, long before I was practicing transcendental meditation, or any other effective anxiety-relieving method, I was using this technique successfully.
One reason it works is that you can’t breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. How great, right? To do the 4-7-8 breath:
- Sit comfortably in a straight up position.
- Exhale through your mouth, making a ‘whoosh’ sound.
- Close your mouth, inhale quietly through your nose for 4 seconds.
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds.
- Exhale through your mouth, making a whoosh sound for 8 seconds.
- This is one breath. Now inhale again, repeat the cycle three more times for a total of four breaths.
6. Get Hot
Heating up your body reduces muscle tension, anxiety. One of the symptoms of my anxiety has always been muscle stiffness. When I get stressed, my muscles contract without me realizing it. This puts a lot of pressure on my body.
Take a long bath or hot shower, you may find that your anxiety decreases right away (it does with me).
Warming up may be one of the ways that exercise – not to mention curling up by a fire with a cozy cup of tea – boosts your mood.
7. Create a Vision Board for Your Anxiety-Free Life
If you believe that positive things are going to happen, they usually do! I’m a big believer in visualization. One way to enjoy the benefits of visualization is to create a vision board. This is a type of blueprint for the kind of life you’d like to create for yourself.
It’s important to make sure that your vision board not only holds the vision you have for your life, but also reflects the feelings you want to see come forward when you’re actually enjoying that life, looking at the board.
When it comes to anxiety, your vision board should be about things that calm you down. Sounds crazy, I know, but it really does work!
You can also try to make an e-vision board using Pinterest for some Pinspiration. Keep this vision board within your reach. Look at it with love, know that each time you see it, you’ll feel grounded, happy, calm.
Remember, life isn’t something to take too seriously. Often when we worry, that’s all we do. Everything is so serious, so scary, so fearful. When I’m working my way through anxiety, I try to remember to make time to do something I truly enjoy: read a book, talk to a friend, craft, learn something new.
Especially when your anxious, it’s important to find balance in your life focus on the good things that surround you.
Looking forward to hearing from you below. So do tell me, what works to reduce your anxiety? How do you deal with worry?
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Hi, I’m Murielle. I created the online course Soulful Productivity™, a 6-week program to redefine productivity and help you get from overwhelm to flow, and I have a private coaching practice where I help ambitious, multi-passionate creatives and entrepreneurs start, grow & scale businesses, and create their freedom lifestyle. PS: I love Instagram. Let’s connect!