How many times have you experienced moments of anxiety? How many times have you felt anxious before an important meeting or presentation in front of your colleagues? Do you tend to worry excessively about daily matters? Do you often feel anxious, agitated, nervous? Are you letting your insecurities to overwhelm you? Are these sensations triggering a roller coaster of emotional and physical conditions, such as racing heartbeat, a crippling feeling of fear, panic, sweaty palms, irritability, palpitations, sweating? Learn how to reduce anxiety symptoms.
Undoubtedly, we’ve all had situations in our lives that have been overwhelming. For instance, being nervous before an interview or not sleeping an entire night before an important exam in our career. Probably you felt worried when your child did not contact you for a long time. It is normal to have moments of stress. We can all experience these states. Yet, there are some essential aspects you need to consider.
Research has shown that if these symptoms persist for extended periods of time, you need to know you are experiencing some of the most common signs of anxiety disorder. Our first advice is to seek help from a professional. This would be the safest way to approach any severe emotional distress. In case you want to consider a personal approach, this article will provide you with some helpful information that will help you cope with anxiety symptoms.
You need to know that there are plenty of strategies to help you cope with anxiety. We have compiled the most effective ones, with immediate results.
What is anxiety? What does it look like?
First of all, we need to comprehend that the best way to overcome anxiety is to understand it. Anxiety is nothing more than the body’s natural reaction to daily stress. Surprisingly, a certain dose may have positive benefits. We all know how the pressure of a deadline can boost our motivation for performing a particular activity or studying. Worries keep us alert while guarding children against potential daily threats.
You need to be aware that you are not the only one, and you should not feel marginalized. The truth is that everyone faces anxiety from time to time. After all, it is the third most common mental health issue worldwide.
According to statistics from the National Institute of Mental Health, a staggering 31.1% of U.S. adults experience a type of anxiety disorder at some time in their lives. Worldwide, an accurate perspective is more challenging to get, but the situation doesn’t seem better.
What are the symptoms of anxiety?
Many of us suffer from anxiety, but we don’t have the courage to admit and seek help. Or maybe we don’t know how to spot the symptoms.
According to Medical Daily, there are 6 main types of anxiety: generalized anxiety disorder, panic disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, social anxiety disorder, specific phobias, and post-traumatic stress disorder.
It is important to know how to detect the most common symptoms of anxiety disorder: nervousness, shortness of breath, pounding heart, insomnia, sweat, increased muscle tenseness, irrational and intense fears, tiredness, feeling overwhelmed, dizziness, among others.
You can find here a detailed guide to anxiety symptoms and their causes.
5 practical strategies to reduce anxiety
Practice focused, deep breathing!
Anxiety is with us since the moment of birth and until the last moment. Yet, we so often take it for granted and underestimate its power. There are many types of breathing exercises to help you control your anxiety levels.
Doing breathwork can have positive benefits and, most importantly, calm you down and reduce the level of stress.
Why not try one of these: alternate nostril breathing, mindful box breathing, or diaphragmatic (abdominal) breathing? Here you can find more details about 8 types of breathing exercises to help you reduce your anxiety state!
Turn household chores into a mindfulness exercise!
Stop obsessing and feeling overwhelmed about endless to-do lists of chores! Why not take these as opportunities to breathe deeply and apply some tricks to embrace mindfulness while performing these autopilot activities!
You can read more about how to integrate mindfulness into your daily routine in our previous article.
Running: a unique therapy for anxiety!
Did you know that there is a research-backed link between running and reducing your anxiety and stress level? If you weren’t aware, just stop for a moment and think. Ever felt amazing after a long run?
What happens is that your body releases neurochemicals or the so-called feel-good endorphins1. These play a significant role in lifting your mood and promoting self-confidence.
Substantial research2 on mental health and exercise has shown that by boosting the oxygen intake and blood flow, running reduces some of the most common symptoms associated with anxiety. Regular running will have therapeutic value for you if you’re struggling with stress.
Running also distracts your mind from falling down the rabbit hole or the loop of negative thoughts. More than that, it allows you to confront difficult emotions. Plus, running simply gives you something to feel good about. Of course, any type of movement proves to be beneficial. If running is not your cup of tea, then why not go for a mindful walk or do 10 minutes of stretching?
Use natural remedies: the power of aromatherapy and essential oils
Aromatherapy is frequently used as a natural solution to alleviate anxiety and stress. However, you need to know some basic rules and take some precautions before using essential oils. It is important to know that any aromatherapy session cannot replace seeing your doctor or a mental health professional, particularly if you suffer from severe forms of anxiety.
You must always dilute essential oils with a carrier oil (such as almond, coconut, and jojoba, among others)! Never apply them directly to your skin! This diminishes your risk of irritation in case of hypersensitivity.
If you want more details about a specific essential oil, feel free to click on the one you are interested in to find more about.
Mental techniques to overcome anxiety
You can use triggers (words, phrases, quotes) to remind you to stay calm when you are struggling with stressful situations and you feel overwhelmed. Simple, yet powerful verbs and phrases like STOP automatic negative thoughts! or You can do it! can help you a lot when you are on the verge of falling into the trap of excessive worrying!
Don’t underestimate the power of motivational quotes or even your personal mantras! If you have them printed out or written in sticky notes in visible places for you (like your workplace, the mirror, in the kitchen), they can act as reminders or triggers for boosting your mood! Just give it a try and see some results!
You can also use objects as a trigger. Choose any door in your home! For example, before entering, you can use the door as a trigger to remind you that you need to leave all worries aside and bring your joy and positive mindset to your loved ones! You can choose the mirror! Whenever you look in the mirror, you can repeat a personal mantra to boost your self-confidence! Lots of high performers use these mental tricks to stay on top of their game! So, why not try it yourself and start enjoying immediate results?
Bonus takeaway: mindfulness meditationS to release anxiety
Try some of these beautiful meditations which are designed to help you embrace your fears and deal with the uncomfortable sensations.
We hope you will find some interesting ideas and tips to help you trick those states of anxiety! Of course, these are not meant to replace professional help, but can be used as personal tools to reduce the most common symptoms!
1Grisel JE, Bartels JL, Allen SA, Turgeon VL. Influence of beta-Endorphin on anxious behavior in mice: interaction with EtOH. Psychopharmacology (Berl). 2008 Sep;200(1):105-15. doi: 10.1007/s00213-008-1161-4. Epub 2008 Jul 5. PMID: 18604523; PMCID: PMC2818628.
2 Petruzzello, Steven J., Daniel M. Landers, Brad D. Hatfield, Karla A. Kubitz, and Walter Salazar. “A meta-analysis on the anxiety-reducing effects of acute and chronic exercise.” Sports medicine 11, no. 3 (1991): 143-182.