Ways to calm anxiety when you're nervous
Almost everyone faces anxiety at some point in their life, and you don't need to be diagnosed with an anxiety disorder to need a release – we so we discussed with experts how to identify anxiety (and how to manage it).
"Anxiety can appear in our lives in different ways," says Ginger Poag, MSW, LCSW, therapist graduated from Brentwood Wellness Counseling in Nashville, Tennessee. "But the most common ones are often irritability, lack of patience, worry, difficulty sleeping, avoiding certain situations or people, inability to concentrate or concentrate, Inability to relax, food stress, tense muscles and headaches. "
If you suffer from anxiety, it can be difficult to continue, and although there are many ways to reduce anxiety in your life we have found some very specific options that you may want to try.
1. Listen to this song
It may sound strange, but research suggests that listening this song could help reduce anxiety by up to 65%. Music therapy was shown to help reduce anxiety in patients undergoing procedures – and it may even help reduce pain.
Try that: Block a few minutes and insert your headphones to listen to this song. (Yes, I tried it. And yes, it actually works.)
2. Get App-y
Anxiety can make you feel like you are on an island, which is why it can be very helpful to talk to someone about how you are feeling. Some people handle things verbally, so talking about what's going on in your head can help you understand and manage your anxiety.
"We can start to overwhelm the problem and pretend that the problem is far more serious and worse than we originally thought," says Poag. "I encourage clients to talk about their anxiety with a trusted friend or family member – by expressing our concerns verbally, we can begin to see the reality of our concerns."
However, talking to friends and family can sometimes be difficult when you are feeling anxious, and therapy can be expensive or overwhelming.
Try that: Download an app like 7 cups to overcome any anxiety that appears in your life. The app offers free trained "listeners" who are other app users, group chats and even virtual therapy sessions to help you when you feel overwhelmed. Even by simply working on the guided activities of the app, you can improve your overall emotional well-being and distract yourself when you feel anxious.
3. Drop into Cat-Cow
Need to relax quickly? There is a yoga pose (OK, lots of yoga poses) for that. however, cat-cow pose is a great way to reduce stress and anxiety so you can focus on your breathing.
Studies show that a regular yoga practice can have a significant impact on anxiety levels in your daily life, so taking the time to find your zen can be good for both reduce existing anxiety and prevent more in the future.
"Regular yoga practice can teach you to be aware of the present moment," says Lauren Zoeller, certified yoga instructor and whole life coach. "When you learn to live in the present moment, your body and your emotions are able to deal with anxiety more effectively."
Try that: Using a yoga mat, blanket, or space behind your desk (we won't tell anyone!), Place yourself on your hands and knees with your shoulders aligned with your wrists and hips on your knees.
With your weight balanced evenly, breathe in slowly looking up and drop your stomach to the floor. After a brief take, exhale and tuck your chin against your chest. As you move slowly, pull your navel toward your spine and round your back toward the ceiling. Repeat slowly for one minute.
4. Breathe with a .GIF (seriously)
It may sound a bit redundant – hello, we are already breathing – but experts agree that deep breathing can have a serious impact on stress and anxiety.
"Deep breathing allows the brain to receive more oxygen, activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which, in turn, lowers the heart rate and blood pressure, allowing the body to feel calm and relaxation" said Poag.
Translation: The parasympathetic nervous system is what helps you relax, which is definitely helpful when you're feeling anxious.
Try that: Use the handy .GIF below to focus on your breathing. Set a timer to give yourself a mini-break and turn on your phone while you breathe.
"Two minutes of controlled breathing can dramatically change your attitude and immediately lower your stress level," says Zoeller. "Even if it means locking yourself in the bathroom at work."
Don't worry about controlling your thinking or needing to find your zen, which can sometimes make you feel more anxious. Be gentle with yourself and focus as much as possible on the movement – and get that gentle oxygen.
5. Take a five-minute break
"There is evidence that regular meditation can help you deal with difficult situations, relieve mental and physical pain and eliminate the common factors associated with anxiety," says Zoeller. "Five minutes of meditation a day can dramatically reduce your level of anxiety."
In reality, a study have shown that 20 minutes of conscious meditation for four days reduced anxiety levels by almost 40%. Yes. As much.
Try that: Poag suggests downloading a guided meditation app to help the process, or you can try watching a video on guided meditation on YouTube. It only takes a few minutes to reap the benefits of meditation, making it a perfect tool for fighting anxiety.
6. Turn anxiety into excitement
If you are worried about a big work project, a date or a karaoke night, studies suggest that traditional anxiety relief techniques might not do as much as we would like.
Try that: Use your anxiety and focus on turning it into excitement instead. Research on performance anxiety among highly skilled musicians shows that those who view anxiety as a well thing are more likely to perform better.
And, honestly, it makes sense: perception is important, and science suggests that a little stress can be beneficial. We spend a lot of time talking about eliminating stress and anxiety (which, let's face it, makes perfect sense). But in reality, these things – in small doses – are not really the worst things for us, as long as we perceive them as good.
7. chewing gum
Chewing gum may not be the first remedy you think of when it comes to anxiety, but studies suggest that it can reduce fatigue, stress and anxiety, and even improve your mood. Of the 101 study participants, chewing gum was also associated with better perception of job performance.
Try that: Put a piece (or two) of gum in your mouth. Now is not the time to chew occasionally – a study suggests that the best advantage comes from more, uh, enthusiastic chewing.
8. Use method 5-4-3-2-1
LETS project—A non-profit organization dedicated to eliminating the stigma around mental illness, diversity, trauma and neurodivergence – suggests the 5-4-3-2-1 method as emergency response for panic attacks or anxiety.
This involves using all of your senses and engaging your mind to find calm in the midst of anxiety. Plus, it's something you can do out loud when you're alone or in your head if you're with other people.
Try that: Look in the room where you are and name 5 things you can see. Next, name 4 things you can touch or feel. Then you go for 3 things you can hear, 2 things you can feel and – finally – one thing you can taste.
It might take practice, but the Mayo Clinic suggests that trying this grounding technique when you are feeling anxious can help distract attention from your thoughts and place it on your surroundings instead. This may not seem like much, but disrupting anxiety before it develops can actually facilitate long-term management.
The Bottom Line
Anxiety can have a big impact on your life, even if it's not something that you treat regularly. If this is the case – and you have trouble identifying the difference between anxiety and an anxiety disorder – try speaking with a doctor or therapist.
"Anxiety is often linked to an event or situation and tends to last only for the duration of that situation or event. Anyone can feel anxious at some point, for example when a deadline approaches, "says Poag.
Anxiety disorder, she says, is different in several ways. It can appear for no specific reason, it is often long-term and not situation-based, and it may seem impossible to control, especially if you start to avoid certain people or situations and worry excessively.
"Individuals should seek professional help if they have tried to control anxiety and worry without success, and this has lasted at least six months," says Poag. "Or when anxiety starts to have a negative impact on relationships, work or routine tasks."
Stress and anxiety can be inevitable, but that doesn't mean that we can't take steps to prevent them from having a negative impact on our lives.