How to calm down anxiety- 200 shocking truths

Anxiety is a condition defined as too much, continuous worrying over an imminent event such as death or illness of oneself or the others, or may be even small events such as being late for an appointment or other uncertain outcomes.

Anxiety is a feeling of fear, alarm, or nervousness that can occur in response to stress or perceived danger which may or may not be present.

It is necessary to know when you are facing an anxiety attack by recognizing its symptoms. It generally occurs after a period of extensive worrying for hours, or even days.  There is no timeline defined to anxiety and the worries can last anywhere from minutes to hours, sometimes even for days and weeks.  

You may think that anxiety is just an emotional and mental issue. However, because of anxiety you may develop several symptoms which might affect or disrupt daily functioning of your life.

You may sometimes feel that anxiety has taken over and doesn’t seem to go away. It has become difficult for you to calm down.

In this article, we will discuss in detail the various strategies, tips and techniques which will help you to relieve the symptoms of anxiety and will calm you down.

1. Breathe deeply and slowly

Having trouble in breathing is among the most common and disturbing symptoms of an anxiety attack. When you are not breathing properly, remember that the brain is receiving less oxygen than required which further hampers you in thinking and functioning properly.

You should focus the attention on your breathing and try to inhale and exhale slowly and at a steady rate. This will help you in calming down.

Slow and deep breathing is one of several stress reduction techniques which brings your heart and mind under control.

2. Admit/acknowledge that you are anxious

Plenty of daily events can cause anxiety. The trigger can be the stress at work, relationship problems, current events, or any other emotional event, everyone.

It is natural to feel anxiety.

Acknowledging the disorder is the first step towards dealing with it. Accept that you are suffering from this disorder and you need help towards alleviating the symptoms and have to work upon it. Practice acknowledging anxiety by saying, ‘Yes, I am feeling anxious right now.’”

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3. Try to change the way you think

Generally, people start worrying or getting anxious because of continuous thinking about the present and the future which may or may not be in their control.

 They are submitted to have feelings that something bad is going to happen to their loved ones or their finances are going to crash or they might behave strangely in a social situation etc. It is something which they are worried about continuously. They keep thinking about the “worst case scenario” and “what if cycle”?

When you experience one of these thoughts, pause for a while and try answering the following questions.

  • Is this likely to happen?
  • Is this a rational thought? Is there any reason for me to think like this?
  • Has this ever happened to me before?
  • What’s the worst that can happen? Can I handle that?

You will see a clearer picture than before when you have answered these kinds of questions.

4. Positive thinking

You cannot undermine the role of positive thinking on both your mind and your body. People with positive approach towards life tends to focus on their present and do not dwell on negative thoughts.

If you have been dealing with anxiety for some time, it is possible that you have developed automatic negative thought patterns that can fuel your anxiety. This means that your mind awakens, and without any conscious effort on your part, worried thoughts take center stage, leading to more anxiety.

Try replacing negative emotions with positive ones and negative statements with positive statements. You need to keep assuring yourself that you can handle the symptoms of anxiety as you have dealt with them before also.  Try and train your brain to think like that.

Though easier said than done; try to be in company of people who reinforce positive thoughts on you and make you feel happier.

Try to maintain a positive attitude towards life and in general. Try to warden off negative thoughts from your life.

5. Release the anxiety by way of physical activity

Physical exercise is a great way to bolster your overall health. Exercise releases hormones like serotonin in your body which improve your body’s ability to handle stress and help you relax. It also gives a positive feeling that you are doing something for yourself and taking care of yourself. Any physical activity lifts your mood and reduces anxiety symptoms. You may even go for a walk.

Aim to exercise at least five days per week for 30–45 minutes each session.

However, you should avoid physical activity that includes the expression of anger, such as punching walls or screaming. This further exacerbates the condition.

6. Try visualizing a mental picture of being calm

This tip requires you to practice the breathing techniques you’ve learned. After taking a few deep breaths, close your eyes and visualize yourself calm in a place that you like.

See your body relaxed, and imagine yourself working through a stressful or anxiety-causing situation (like a stressful meeting which cannot be avoided) by staying calm and focused.

7. Think- whether it is real

When you are anxious, you tend to over think about a particular thing/situation/scenario. That particular thought takes over everything.

Try to focus your mind on checking the importance of the stress causing you anxiety. Will this situation matter to me in a long run. When you start thinking this way, you will find that you are once again taking a rational approach towards dealing with things.

8. Listen to music

Research has proved that music has a soothing effect on the body. It sometimes lets you drift from the present and you flow with the tune of the music.

Press that play button on your tape recorder the next time when anxiety is taking over you. You may try listening to songs which calms your mind and help you enter a state of relaxation.

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9. Write it down

Keep a journal. Keeping track of your personal life can really help you and your mental health professional to identify what’s causing you stress and what seems to help you feel better. Know what the stressors in your life are. Try to manage or reduce these stressors.

Writing is also a way to get negative thoughts out of your head. Studies have indicated that keeping a journal is actually a healthy way to deal with negative feelings and can help you in calming down.

10. Avoid caffeine and alcohol

  • Caffeine is known to produce anxiety. Even if caffeine isn’t causing your anxiety, it’s a powerful stimulant that can fuel anxiety in a few people—so consider eliminating or at least cutting back on coffee and tea to see if your symptoms improve.
  • You should try to limit alcohol and caffeine intake in your body.
  • You may feel like grabbing a bottle of bear while tensed. Although this may work in the short term, alcohol actually changes the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters in the brain, worsening your symptoms. In fact, your anxiety level may actually go off after the effect of alcohol is over.

Alcohol and drug use and even caffeine or nicotine use can cause or worsen anxiety. You may seek professional help in quitting or reducing their intake.

11.Drink water

Drinking plenty of water keeps your body hydrated and nourished. Sometimes, if your body is dehydrated; it may also add to the anxiety. So drinking plenty of water also helps in combating stress.

However, please remember that that you should not drink too much water or gulp down too quickly, it may add to the nausea.

The next time when you are anxious or worried; take a few moments to relax and drink a large glass of water and see if you feel any better.

12. Eat something

Low blood sugar can make you feel nervous, irritable, and anxious. Try to eat something easy to digest like a banana. After that, you should eat well-balanced meal with protein, carbohydrates, and vegetables.

If you’re hungry or not properly hydrated, many of the above mentioned techniques will not work in reducing anxiety. Eat something-a small amount of something dry, like plain crackers or plain bread.

For long term

What you eat and drink definitely plays a role with the stress level and anxiety in your body.  Some research have suggested that people who suffer from anxiety disorders generally tend to have poor dietary habits like meals which are low in fruits, vegetables, and protein, and high in saturated fat and refined carbohydrates.

Talk to your dietician and try changing your diet to one that’s balanced in protein, omega-3 fatty acid and foods high in fibre and roughage. Choosing low-glycemic index carbohydrates at each meal will help avoid glucose spikes and dips that may contribute to symptoms of anxiety.

13.Turn off your electronic gadgets

Turn off or put your electronic gadgets on silent mode. Notification alerts and blue light from the screen keep your brain buzzing, and make it harder for you to reach a state of relaxation.  Watching TV and working on computer keeps your mind in active mode and doesn’t let relaxation take over your body.

14.Take a bath

Taking a bath is a great way to relax your body. A hot bath with Epsom salts is great for relaxing your muscles, which can also help relax your mind.

15. Drop your shoulders

It is quite probable that your body posture will be hampered if you are tensed. To ease this, Sit up tall, take a deep breath, and drop your shoulders. To do this, you can focus on bringing your shoulder blades together and then down. This pulls your shoulders down. Take a few deep breaths. You can do this several times a day.

16. Talk to somebody

Talking is a great therapy. People to whom you are close and understand you will give you a different perspective towards looking at things. Sometimes; it’s just the words which come out from your body simply relaxes you.

There are support groups also who will tell you how they have handled stress and what have been their stress triggers. Confiding in them while having stress can really help.

17.Take some time in being alone

Sometimes, when you are surrounded with people; thinking becomes rather difficult. Go for a walk or to a grocery stop. It will help you in reorienting your thought process and will also drift your mind to something other than the anxious thoughts.