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7 instant tricks to reduce anxiety

January 10, 2020

Long-term anxiety management aims to help you resolve underlying issues and create healthy new mental habits, but in the meantime, it’s useful to have some tricks up your sleeve to deal with anxiety as it occurs. Here are seven great strategies for you to try.

#1 Practice deep breathing

It sounds too good to be true, but focusing on taking slow, deliberate breaths can reduce your anxiety instantly.

#2 Challenge your thoughts

When you feel anxious, you usually have a list of highly exaggerated concerns running through your mind. Pay attention to the specific worries you’ve been focusing on, and ask yourself if they’re realistic. For example, if you’re anxious about flying, you’ll probably find that many of the scenarios you’re visualizing are extremely rare and unlikely to occur during your flight.

#3 Use soothing scents

Lavender is widely recommended as a fragrance which helps people to relax, but others might work just as well for you, particularly if you have a strong positive association with them. Keep a small bottle of essential oil handy, and smell a few drops when you feel anxiety beginning to kick in.

#4 Get some exercise

Any exercise – even a brisk walk – can help you to burn off excess energy, and reduce feelings of anxiety in your body. It’s even more effective if you pair it with fresh air and beautiful natural surroundings such as a river or park.

#5 Meditate

There are a wide range of short, simple guided meditations available for use on smartphones, and these can be a great starting point for beginners. Meditation helps to settle your mind, and can give you clarity on what’s causing you to feel anxious.

#6 Give someone a hug

Hugging a loved one or a cherished pet can be a great way to calm yourself, experience positive emotions, and reduce your anxiety in the moment.

#7 Change your focus

If you realize that you’re feeling increasingly anxious because you’re dwelling on something that happened in the past or might happen in the future, refocus on something that’s firmly in the present, such as mindful coloring, brewing a cup of tea, or watching clouds scud past in the sky.

While it’s great to have tools on hand to reduce anxiety as it occurs, it’s also important to address the underlying causes and develop a plan for ongoing anxiety management. Ilona Nichterlein can support you through the process of identifying your negative thought patterns, letting go of emotional baggage once and for all, and developing positive new mental habits. Call her on 0411 046 175 to find out more or book your first appointment.

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