Until recently, a large number of people viewed anxiety as a mild condition that required little to no medical attention. However, as mental health awareness continues to gain prominence, anxiety is finally being taken as a serious medical condition which, if not properly handled, can lead to depression and other physical illnesses as well.
As revealed by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), anxiety affects over 40 million US adults thus making it a serious condition that needs immediate attention. As you might be aware, the main symptoms of anxiousness are such as rapid breathing, increased heart rate, fatigue and sweating. If you suffer from regular anxiousness, then it is important to seek professional anxiety treatment to prevent the condition from escalating further.
To help you in the fight against nervousness, below are fourteen proven ways to find calm when dealing with anxiousness.
1. Manage your breathing
As mentioned earlier, rapid breathing is among the main symptoms of anxiousness. When anxious, your body responds through shallow, rapid breaths that make you more nervous. Therefore, whenever you detect anxiousness creeping in, it is crucial to manage your breathing by taking in deep, long breaths. The best way to manage your breathing is by holding your breath for three to five seconds then breathing out gently through your mouth to release the air slowly. To prevent hyperventilation from occurring, it is advisable to take slow breaths repeatedly.
2. Have a support system
All doctors offering anxiety treatement will agree that talking to people helps to calm a patient when anxious. As such, it is important to talk to someone you trust whenever you feel that anxiety is creeping in. A simple conversation with a trusted friend or family member can go a long way in helping you to prevent an attack. Therefore, whenever you start to feel anxious, it is advisable to take immediate action by reaching out and talking to a friend about your situation.
3. Have a personalized mantra
When anxiousness starts to creep in, you should be well prepared to fight it off by remaining calm. Although it might be hard to believe, using a simple mantra can help reassure and calm you down. All you have to do is find the right words to tell yourself whenever you detect an impending attack. By reminding yourself of how far you’ve come, you will give yourself the motivation required to overcome the intense feelings of anxiousness.
4. Have a ready playlist on your phone
While most people advocate for slow, soothing songs, we recommend listening to songs that make you happy and relaxed. Whether you love hard rock or fancy old school, be sure to create a playlist that can genuinely soothing and relax your mind. The significance of music in anxiety treatement cannot be overstated, more so due to its role in calming the nervous system and allowing for smooth blood flow as well as easy breathing. If you experience feelings of anxiousness regularly, having a playlist containing your favorite songs is recommended.
5. Understand your triggers
As you might be aware, there are different triggers that can make an individual anxious. To successfully fight anxiousness, you will need to understand your triggers and find ways to control, if not avoid them. Unfortunately, avoiding triggers can be impossible, especially since some triggers are a basic part of our daily lives. The important thing to do though, is to understand your triggers and be prepared to control them. For instance, if you get anxious when required to make presentations, you can prepare yourself adequately by listening to your favorite songs, or taking deep, slow breaths before stepping on the podium.
6. Accept that you are anxious
The greatest error made by most victims of anxiousness is failing to acknowledge that they are actually anxious. To avoid making similar mistakes, it is important to accept and own your emotions, especially when feeling anxious. The first way to control and contain anxiousness is to accept that, due to the triggers, your body is responding by being anxious. Once you acknowledge that you are anxious, you significantly increase your ability to fight off nervousness and control the condition.
7. Essential oils and aromatherapy
If you have never tried aromatherapy or the use of essential oils to manage nervousness, then you need to start doing so immediately. Due to their brain activating qualities, essential oils help to release chemicals such as serotonin which are well known to ease stress, and depression symptoms. Recommended oils are such as Lavender, Chamomile, Frankincense, Bergamot and Cedarwood. However, you are free to use essential oils of your preference provided they are natural. Aromatherapy, too, can help brighten your moods, especially after a hard day at work.
8. Eat food and drink water
If you have a history of regular anxiousness, having a bottle of water around you is always recommended. A simple sip of water can go a long way in reinvigorating your body and taking concentration off the trigger. When you start breathing rapidly, ensure you drink water as you take deep slow breaths. Drinking water whenever anxious is a proven way to contain nerves and ease your breathing. Also, if you are in a place where you can eat, do not hesitate to grab a snack in a bid to take your mind off whatever might be triggering nervousness.
9. Switch up activities
Whenever you are participating in activities that make you anxious, it is advisable to take a bit of time off and focus on other activities. For instance, if studying for your final exam makes you nervous, then you should give yourself a short break to focus on other activities that can relax your mind. Luckily, distracting the brain is not a hard task as all you have to do is engage in other activities for your brain`s concentration to switch.
10. Develop relaxing techniques
To avoid becoming over-anxious, it is crucial to develop relaxing techniques that can help nullify anxiousness before it becomes serious. A simple technique can be walking or jogging on the same spot, raising your hands, or even tapping your fingers. By doing such activities, you divert your brain’s attention from the trigger which allows you to calm down. Since everyone is different, relaxing techniques should be specific to an individual. Put simply, your friend`s coping mechanisms might not work for you. Therefore, take enough time to understand yourself and the activities that can help to boost your moods. Having such an understanding can help in preventing attacks.
You will be shocked at how powerful your mind is once you take time to meditate daily. Meditation is known to soothe the brain and calm the nervous system allowing you to have the much-desired peace of mind. However, for meditation to have positive outcomes, it is important to cultivate a habit of regular meditation. A simple 15-minute meditation routine can help you overcome feelings of anxiousness whenever they arise. Impressively, meditation can help you to overcome your triggers provided you take enough time to concentrate and focus on your issues.
12. Change the scenery
Whenever you feel anxious, a change in scenery can serve as the best anxiety treatment. As such, make a list of areas close to your neighborhood that you can visit preferably by walking or jogging. The change in environment will not only help to relax your mind but also to ease up your nerves. Regular walks or jogs to scenic locations around your neighborhood will help you to forget about the various stresses in your life. In fact, it is advisable to make a habit of jogging and walking regularly to keep fit, and improve your mental health.
13. Close your eyes and visualize something you love
Of course, it is impossible to jet off to your favorite destination every time you become anxious. However, by closing your eyes and picturing something you love, it is possible to control nervousness and remain calm enough to avoid an attack. When visualizing, be sure to be as creative as possible to divert your mind from the various triggers that make you anxious. You can picture yourself in the moon or somewhere in the middle of the ocean if such thoughts can help to ease your nerves.
14. Make a habit of counting objects
Luckily, there can never be a shortage of items to count. If you are at work, you can count the tiles on the floor or even count your pens and office accessories. The whole idea behind counting objects is to divert your brain’s attention from the trigger. Remember, although controlling anxiousness is not easy, you can successfully manage feelings of nervousness by shifting your brain`s focus from a trigger. If embarrassed to count out loud, you can do it silently provided you concentrate on counting the objects of interest.
Final thoughts on how to calm down when you have anxiety
When it comes to anxiety treatment, the best remedy is to calm yourself down whenever you feel anxious. As can be seen from the above tips, managing anxiousness is not as difficult as most people perceive; all you have to do is concentrate on diverting your brain`s focus from the trigger.
If you have a history of being anxious, then it is advisable to take extra caution when the symptoms surface. Remember, controlling the symptoms early enough will go a long way in preventing an attack or the occurrence of other mental illnesses such as depression.