Anxiety can be overwhelming to deal with, and it’s important to understand how to calm yourself down.
Anxiety is the body’s natural response to stress. But it can be overwhelming to deal with, if not downright unpleasant. Whether your anxiety is in the form of an upset stomach, heart palpitations, nervous tension, or panic attack, it’s important to understand how you can calm down.
The following strategies and tips can help you manage your stress and regain control of your thoughts.
Tips to calm you down when you feel anxious
- Stop: Stop immediately, perhaps even telling yourself to do it out loud. It can help your mind pause anxious thoughts before they turn into a full-blown panic attack.
- Breathe: Concentrate on breathing to slow down your heart rate. Slow, deep breathing techniques where you focus on inhaling and exhaling can help you relax.
- Close your eyes: Closing your eyes and focusing on relaxing your facial muscles can help you regain a sense of calm.
- Stand straight: Stand straight with your shoulders pulled back, feet planted evenly and wide apart. It can help you feel more in control.
- Stretch: This is extremely effective in releasing tension in different parts of the body.
- Take a short walk: Going for a walk creates a diversion and can help clear your mind.
- Move: Anything that gets you moving, whether it’s gardening, a quick workout, or a game, encourages your body to release endorphins that can improve your mood.
- Drink water: Not drinking enough water can cause heart palpitations and worsen symptoms of anxiety. Drinking a full glass of water can help relieve symptoms of stress.
- Eat something: Low blood sugar can make symptoms worse when you feel nervous, irritable, and anxious.
- Try progressive muscle relaxation (PMR): This is a technique where you contract all of your muscle groups and then relax them, which makes the body calmer.
- Using aromatherapy: Smelling something pleasant, lighting a candle, or using a diffuser with a calming essential oil (like lavender) can help decrease anxiety.
- Check your fears: Intense feelings of anxiety and stress often stem from irrational fears. Use logic to challenge your fears and assess their realism.
- Look at your situation differently: Try to see things from a different perspective.
- Chewing gum: Chewing gum can help reduce stress and improve mood immediately by stimulating blood flow to the brain.
- Take a bath: Bathing in hot water can be relaxing and relieve tension in your body.
- Go outside: Sunbathing or being surrounded by nature can increase the release of serotonin in the brain, which can be calming for the mind.
- Write it: Writing about anxious thoughts can lighten your shoulders, help you deal with your emotions in a healthy way, and face your fears.
- Be grateful: Writing down a list of the things you are grateful for can help you focus on the positive aspects of your life.
- Listen to music: Soothing music or soothing sounds can lower cortisol levels and relax the mind, instantly relieving anxiety.
- Play with a pet: Playing with a beloved, cuddly pet can be a huge stress relief.
- Watch something fun: Laughter is the best medicine. Watch a clip from your favorite comedian or a reel of blooper from your favorite show.
- Meditate: Meditation can drastically reduce anxiety and stress levels. Silently repeating an assertive mantra or phrase can clear your mind. You can also use visualization techniques to get better head space.
- Practice yoga: Doing a yoga session can help lower cytokine levels and therefore lower your stress level.
- Sip herbal tea: Chamomile or green tea decrease symptoms of anxiety and depression. Even brewing a cup of tea can help relieve stress.
- Avoid alcohol: Alcohol changes the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, making symptoms of anxiety worse.
- Avoid caffeine: Caffeine is an anxiety inducer and should be avoided whenever possible, whether in coffee, chocolate, or other beverages.
- Talk to someone: If your anxiety is keeping you from functioning, talking to someone you trust can help.
See the answer
Medical examination on 7/7/2021
National Institute of Mental Health. Anxiety disorders. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/anxiety-disorders/
Medline Plus. Anxiety. https://medlineplus.gov/anxiety.html
ADAA. Tips for dealing with anxiety and stress. https://adaa.org/tips
Hughes L. How to stop feeling anxious now. WebMD. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/ways-to-reduce-anxiety