Anxiety. We all have it at one time or another. Some of us are just unlucky enough to suffer with it more often than others.
Part of what makes this mental health condition so difficult to overcome is that it has many different causes. For instance, Medical News Today shares that sometimes it is environmental factors such as jobs, relationships, or schooling that can bring about anxious feelings, whereas other people struggle with this feeling due to genetics, medical reasons, or their brain chemistry make-up.
Regardless of the root cause of your feelings of nervousness and worry, here are 12 effective ways you can begin to be at more peace, both quickly and naturally:
- Identify the problem. You can’t resolve your anxiety if you don’t know what is causing it. Therefore, one of the first things to do when you’re having anxious feelings but unsure why is to ask yourself what you were doing when the anxiety hit. Once you can identify the underlying issue, it becomes much easier to find a solution.
- Create anchors. This option is helpful because it reminds you that, even though you may be feeling extremely anxious at the moment, you’ve made it through similar situations in the past. Use these previous times as anchors, grounding you when you feel like your anxiety is out of control.
- Close your eyes and breath. When you feel overwhelmed with anxiety, if possible, find a quiet place where you can sit for a moment, close your eyes, and just breath. Focus on the air as it enters and exits your body, giving your mind a much-needed break from thinking about whatever is bothering you.
- Go for a walk. There’s something about getting out in nature and moving around that, when combined, can typically ease even the most troubled soul. So, when you feel your anxiety start to rise, put on your tennis shoes and head out the door. You should notice a major improvement by the time you get back.
- Talk to a trusted friend. We are often our own worst enemies, building up situations in our minds to the point where they eventually send us right over the edge. Yet, talking to a trusted friend can help talk us back off that ledge. Counselors, therapists, and clergy work well for this too.
- Reduce your sugar intake. Did you know that eating too much sugar can actually worsen your anxiety? That’s right. Healthline explains that “a sugar rush makes your body work hard to get back to normal levels.” This process of re-stabilizing can make your anxiety feel worse than it already does.
- Lower your caffeine. Have you noticed that your anxiety is also worse when you’ve drank a lot of coffee, cola, or other caffeine-containing beverages? That’s because caffeine speeds up your system, further aggravating your feelings of anxiousness. By simply lowering your intake, then, you’ll likely feel better quite quickly.
- Write it down. If you like to journal, you can use this activity to help you naturally ease your anxiety while also recording your thoughts. Sometimes just getting our concerns out and on paper is enough to take their power away. Plus, many times it’s easier to gain a better understanding of why you feel so anxious if it is in black and white.
- Practice muscle relaxation techniques. Anxiety and muscle tension typically go hand in hand. So, if you can relax your muscles, you can often relax your mind as well. Start with your head and work your way down your body, consciously focusing on each muscle group to get it to relax. This is a great one to do at night as it often results in drifting off to sleep.
- Get lost in creativity. If you like to draw, paint, or otherwise create works of art, why not put that passion to good use and engage in these activities when you’re feeling some angst? Allow your mind to get lost for a bit and let go of the tension that it holds. Who knows? This may just help you create your next masterpiece.
- Make a list. In some cases, anxiety is caused by simply having too much to do. One way to combat this is to make a list of everything you want or need to get done. Each morning, pick the top three things on that list and focus on them. Just knowing that you’re making progress and crossing these items off can make you feel better almost instantly.
- Ask for help. Finally, if you have tried everything you can think of, yet still struggle with anxiety, it may be time to seek professional help. Psychology Today offers a list of anxiety therapists in every state. Find one close to you and work with him or her and you can discover ways to begin to let your anxiety go.