5 Easy Yet Effective Ways to Calm Yourself Down When You’re Feeling Anxious

– Posted in: Anxiety

Woman with Don't Worry ShirtAnxiety is a thin stream of fear trickling through the mind. If encouraged; it cuts a channel into which all other thoughts are drained.

– Arthur Somers Roche

Sometimes nothing feels quite as awful as anxiety. In this state of mind, we tend to think of only the worst case scenarios.

It robs us of our joy, makes us lose focus and leaves us feeling as if we have no control over our own lives.

Fortunately for us, there’s much we can do to reduce anxiety and its effects on our mind, body, and soul.

Here are simple and fuss-free tips to apply that I have found to be effective to help me establish and maintain a calmer peace of mind in situations that previously would send me into a tailspin:

Couple Breathing Deeply in Early Morning

1. Take Deep Breaths

It seems hard to believe that one of the simplest actions that you can take – taking deep breaths – may just be one of the most effective ways to calm ourselves down when we feel an anxiety attack coming on.

Breathing deeply differs from our normal breathing (shallow breathing) as it requires your focus to breathe from your diaphragm as opposed to just breathing from your nose. Moreover, shallow breathing may often feel tense and constricted, whereas deep breathing induces relaxation.

By just taking a minimum of 10 deep breaths whenever you find yourself feeling anxious, you can instantly feel more peaceful and more importantly, it could bring our focus back to the present moment even in moments of panic or extreme anxiety. Through focusing our attention in the present moment, we are able to give our best effort in finding solutions to the issue(s) we worry about.

Another great thing about this anxiety-reducing tool is that it is also accessible to you whenever and wherever you need it.

If you’re looking to gain a more lasting effect that you get from deep breathing, I highly recommend that you take up the practice of meditation. Not only will you be able to feel more at ease and calmer, you’re bound to also reap the many other benefits that come with meditation!

Woman Listening to Music

2. Listen to Inspiring Tunes

I’m a true believer in the power of music and great tunes can be a great tool in lifting our spirits whenever we feel anxious or overwhelmed.

Create a special playlist of your favorite inspiring (preferably upbeat) tunes and be sure to have them on hand to give you a spirit boost whenever you feel less than stellar.

If you’re up for it, why not kick it up a notch and have yourself a dance party of one while you are listening to favorite music!

It may sound silly but I personally have found it to be a great and quick way to lift my spirit and shake off those pesky anxieties.

3. Let it Out

Relieve palpable worry by talking with someone you trust

When we are plagued with anxiety, one of the best ways to alleviate yourself from that palpable worry is to talk it out with someone you trust. One of the toughest things to deal with when it comes to anxiety is the facade that you are alone and that you are the only one in the world who is going through challenging times.

Feeling anxious and feeling like you have to keep it all bottled up is unhealthy and can often feel excruciatingly difficult.

The truth is, all of us have experienced anxiety and worry and this is why it is crucial for us to be able to turn to our spouse, friend, parent or sibling and share our troublesome thoughts.

More often than not, you’d find that they too have experienced similar situations and would able to offer solutions to help you or at the very least, lend an emphatic shoulder to lean on.

Person Writing in a Journal

4. Jot it Down

If for one reason or another you feel uncomfortable sharing your feelings and thoughts with others, an alternative tool you can use is to keep a journal. That way, you can “spill” whatever you are going throughout and/or feeling in private.

There’s something soothing and cathartic about writing out your inner most thoughts onto paper that often leaves you feeling calmer and more at peace.

As someone who has journaled regularly since her early teen years, it became evident that most of my anxieties were just stories that I created and that my worries were far from being real.

In writing our thoughts down consistently, you too may find most things that you have previously felt anxious or worried about in the past never actually end up happening.

Our minds like to play tricks on us, making us focus on the worst scenarios of situations as opposed to what’s actually real and this is definitely something worth keeping in mind the next time we find ourselves filled with worry.

As Dan Zadra, a renowned author said, “Worry is a misuse of imagination”.

Couple Running on a Bridge

5. Get Physically Active

Science has provided much evidence that physically active people have lower rates of anxiety and depression than sedentary people (those who are not physically active).

Exercise may also improve mental health by helping the brain cope better with stress and feelings of worry. In one study, researchers found that those who do regular vigorous exercise were 25% less likely to develop depression or an anxiety disorder.

Whatever type of exercises you prefer, aside from being extremely beneficial to our health and fitness, making sure that you get your regular dose of exercise is a great way to reduce anxiety.

Though it sounds counter-intuitive, exercise actually increases our endorphin levels which are our body’s “feel good” chemicals and this, as a result, helps us burn off excess adrenaline that we produce when we are at a heightened state of anxiety.

Lystia PutrantoLystia Putranto is a personal and professional development blogger who seeks to inspire and to motivate people to create and to live out their best lives. A proponent of meditation, she actively encourages those who seek to become their best selves to integrate meditation as part of their daily routine. She blogs at BookMeditationRetreats.com.

10 comments… add one
Stephen H. East February 22, 2017, 11:47 am

I hope you really care because I don’t want to waste my time. So I try. A psychiatrist cured me of OCD. I didn’t follow through he later died. To cure a case of OCD you train the subconscious to give up it’s secrets. Read the patients repetitive thought pattern aloud as the patient free associates. Do it in brief word groups till the patient acts out the repressed experience(s) and relates them to the therapist. Get the patient to face them to face it so you can reverse them. Make sure the patient follows through or the patient could end up in worse shape like me. Learn more at schizophreniarepressioncured.blogspot.com (Oct. 24, 2016 post) Have a great one.

hoa tuoi April 5, 2017, 2:29 am

I didn’t follow through he later died. To cure a case of OCD you train the subconscious to give up it’s secrets. Read the patients repetitive thought pattern aloud as the patient free associates.

Jessica May 3, 2017, 10:45 am

I use these tips a lot to avoid a full on panic attack. Unfortunately even the deep breathing doesn’t help during a full fledged panic attack.

van tai minh hoa May 15, 2017, 10:26 pm

I was shocked when my grandparents died in the same year. I have to ask a psychiatrist to treat depression for almost a year after I can return to normal. Later, a friend of mine asked me to take a yoga course. Since then, I have been able to control my worries and sorrows.

Cindy Vien May 29, 2017, 8:30 pm

I was diagnosed with OCD at the age of 26, after a ‘click’ sound occurred at my desk at work!! This ‘click’ shook my head and it felt like a gunshot went off in my head/brain!! Immediately after that, without any warning, I had an urge to wash my hands and I could not stop fearing germs, re-check my work, I had fearful thoughts I did not agree with and sometimes my mind and body felt separated and I felt numbed out!! I had ongoing panic attacks evweryday, and the fear of germs worsened them!! I washed my hands so much, my hands became raw and bleeding, it has been a painful journey, though some cognitive behavioral therapy has helped me cope more when I really needed it as well as some vitamin B-50 complex over 13 years ago which at that time helped me reduce my panic attacks by over 75% and this continued for over 12 years until the last 3 to 4 years, my panic attacks made a comeback and they worsened with chronic stressful situations, such as worrying about our daughter who has been suffering from ongoing severe insomnia for awhile now ad this affected her erratic behavior at times!! She has been meditating and exercising to help herself, she is a Gymnast as well!!

Vishal June 15, 2017, 1:49 am

Hey Lystia, excellent insights! I am happy to see that you mentioned physical activity as a way to to deal with anxiety. Many times people underestimate the value of exercise in calming the mind and getting over anxiety. Apart from meditation and deep breathing, sweating it out also work wonders in having a clear mind! I hope your this article actually helps people dealing with severe anxiety and OCD.

mau biet thu binh tan August 8, 2017, 11:17 pm

Posts with great ideas, thanks!

NguyenLinh August 27, 2017, 10:01 pm

I often practice the # 1 principle of deep breathing but not always effective.

Ash May 17, 2018, 8:15 pm

I think that the ‘Let it Out’ advice is excellent. This one is often neglected as people fear their friends knowing about their anxiety, but it’s one of the best courses of action to take. Sharing your fears with your friends is a perfect piece of advice to give.

Jakes Pietro February 8, 2019, 7:28 am

Great post! Thanks for sharing. There are so many ways to keep mind healthy and calm one is Meditation.

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