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How To Calm Stress And Anxiety

How To Calm Stress

Box breathing relaxation technique: how to calm feelings of stress or anxiety

This article was co-authored by Trudi Griffin, LPC, MS. Trudi Griffin is a Licensed Professional Counselor in Wisconsin specializing in Addictions and Mental Health. She provides therapy to people who struggle with addictions, mental health, and trauma in community health settings and private practice. She received her MS in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Marquette University in 2011.There are 21 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been viewed 19,407 times.

Stress is a common side effect to worry or anxiety. When things aren’t going well, or something isn’t quite right, you might start to feel stressed. If you are feeling stressed, there are several things you can do to relax yourself quickly. When facing longer term stress in your life, you can use different strategies to reduce stress and remain calm.

Calm Your Anxious Heart

Managing anxiety can improve your quality of life and take stress off your heart.

A wave of dread overcomes youyour chest hurts, your heart flutters, and you can’t catch your breath. These classic anxiety symptoms are often mistaken for a heart attackand for good reason. Emotional turmoil triggers the release of stress hormones, which act on the same brain areas that regulate cardiovascular functions such as heart rate and blood pressure.

Reducing Stress In Your Life

  • 1Identify the things that cause you stress. Worrying about something can be healthy, a reminder of something that needs to get done. Recognize that your stress is your body sending you a message, and consider what you need to do to resolve its causes.XResearch source
  • Sometimes stresses are signs of negative situations in your life. They could come from toxic friendships or troubles at work. It may also be stress brought on by getting too much in the way of negative substances, like alcohol, caffeine, or junk food. Identifying these stresses can help you address them by changing your behavior.
  • Your stress may also be the result of cognitive distortions, where you incorrectly interpret the world around you. Try to stop negative thoughts and change negative thought patterns such as catastrophizing or filtering . Recognizing that you are making these mistakes can help you find ways to move past them and calm your stress.XResearch source
  • 2Make a list of things to do. Spelling out all the things you need to get done can help focus your mind on what is out there, and perhaps let you know it is less than you initially feared. Plus, as you accomplish things, you’ll be able to cross them off the list, which always feels good.XResearch source
  • Keep in mind that eight hours of sleep per night is considered ideal not only for your health but also to relieve stress at night. Some people need a little more or less, though.
  • Also Check: How To Become Anxiety Free

    Quick Stress Relief At Home

    Entertaining. Prevent pre-party jitters by playing lively music. Light candles. The flicker and scent will stimulate your senses. Wear clothes that make you feel relaxed and confident.

    Kitchen. Ease kitchen stress by breathing in the scent of every ingredient. Delight in the delicate texture of an eggshell. Appreciate the weight of an onion.

    Children and relationships. Prevent losing your cool during a spousal spat by squeezing the tips of your thumb and forefinger together. When your toddler has a tantrum, rub lotion into your hands and breathe in the scent.

    Sleep. Too stressed to snooze? Try using a white noise machine for background sound or a humidifier with a diffuser for a light scent in the air.

    Creating a sanctuary. If clutter is upsetting, spend 10 minutes each day to tidy. Display photos and images that make you feel happy. Throw open the curtains and let in natural light.

    How To Reduce Anxiety In The Long Term

    How To Calm Down During A Panic Attack

    If you find that you’re often suffering from anxiety and nervousness, even when you’re not in a situation that typically cause that level of anxiety, you may be suffering from an anxiety disorder. Anxiety disorders cannot be cured overnight but many people do improve. They’re the result of years of experiences, and they take time to heal.

    The fastest way to reduce anxiety is to first identify what you’re experiencing, and then use step by step methods to move forward.

    Was this article helpful?

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    The Complexity Of The Brain

    The brain is the most complex and incredible organ on earth. The brain contains 100 billion nerve cells and each of these are interconnected with other nerve cells through hundreds and thousands of other synapses . There are believed to be more connections within the brain than there are stars in the sky.

    Brain cells are constantly fluxed with both excitatory and inhibitory signaling molecules. Individuals with anxiety have a poorly controlled balance that favors over excitation in certain regions of their brain. Here are the key brain regions and mechanisms that may favor the development of anxiety.

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    Remember To Seek Help And Support When You Need It

    Remember, that it is okay to ask for professional help. If you feel that you are struggling to manage on your own, then you can reach out. It is important to know that you can get help as soon as possible, and that you deserve to get better.

    The first person to approach is your family doctor. He or she should be able to give advice about treatment, and may refer you to another local professional. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Mindfulness based approaches are known to help reduce stress. There are also a number of voluntary organisations which can help you to tackle the causes of stress and advise you about ways to get better.

    Anxiety UK

    Anxiety UK runs a helpline staffed by volunteers with personal experience of anxiety from 9:30-5:30, Monday to Friday. Call 08444 775 774.

    Citizens Advice

    Citizens Advice provides free, independent and confidential advice for a range of problems as well as providing information on your rights and responsibilities.


    StepChange provides help and information for people dealing with a range of debt problems. Freephone 0800 138 1111.

    Mind Infoline

    Mind provides information on a range of mental health topics to support people in their own area from 9.00am to 6.00pm, Monday to Friday. Call 0300 123 3393 or email .

    Rethink Advice and Information Service

    Rethink provide specific solution-based guidance – 0300 5000927 Fax: 020 7820 1149 email .


    Specialist mental health services

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    Breathing And Relaxation Exercises

    Many people find exercises that focus on breathing and muscle relaxation to be helpful in relieving stress. The playlist below will help you to understand how stress works and start feeling better. These exercises can be done anywhere and are designed to help you feel more relaxed in general, as well as helping you feel calmer if you are becoming stressed.

    This playlist is free to download, and you can also stream it using the Soundcloud website or app. You can download and listen to individual tracks if there are particular exercises that work best for you. If you’re listening to it for the first time, it’s best to start from the beginning.

    To access a BSL version of this playlist, .

    Find out more by checking out these 10 stress busters.

    Resilience To Stress: Putative Mechanisms

    Quickly Calm Anxiety And Stress With This ONE Simple Practice

    Psychological resilience represents a process of adapting well in the face of adversity. The psychosocial and neurobiologic characteristics of resilience to stress are extremely complex, and their discussion is beyond the scope of this article . However, the literature suggests the sympathetic nervous system and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenocortical system are extensively involved in stress response and resilience.2

    In summary, stress resilience seems to be associated with an ability to keep the HPA-axis and noradrenergic activity within an optimal range during stress exposure and terminate the stress response once the stressor is no longer present. Based on these findings, we may postulate that for social support to increase stress resilience, it should enhance the ability to optimize the neurochemical stress response summarized above.

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    Talk To Someone You Trust About How You’re Feeling

    Just talking to someone about how youre feeling can take a weight off your shoulders. Make sure you trust the person, work out what you want to say to them, and then just go for it. If youre finding it tricky, weve got four more steps for talking to someone you trust here.

    If you want to talk to someone anonymously, check out the ReachOut Forums or a hotline here.

    Identify Pressure Points To Calm Anger And Anxiety

    Going for a massage or getting acupuncture is a wonderful way to manage anxiety and anger. But its not always easy to find time in your day to make it happen. The good news is, you can do acupressure on yourself for instant anxiety relief.

    This method involves putting pressure with your fingers or your hand at certain points of the body. The pressure releases the tension and relaxes your body.

    One area to start with is the point where the inside of your wrist forms a crease with your hand. Press your thumb on this area for two minutes. This can help relieve tension.

    Also Check: Does Exercise Reduce Anxiety And Depression

    Taking Steps To Manage Stress

    The full text of articles from APA Help Center may be reproduced and distributed for noncommercial purposes with credit given to the American Psychological Association. Any electronic reproductions must link to the original article on the APA Help Center. Any exceptions to this, including excerpting, paraphrasing or reproduction in a commercial work, must be presented in writing to the . Images from the APA Help Center may not be reproduced.

    Pay Attention To Sleep

    Quotes To Calm Anxiety. QuotesGram

    Some people have a hard time going to sleep even at night, because of too much stress or worry. Sometimes, such worry or stress leads to sleep disorders. On the other hand, a sleep disorder may come first, and result in anxiety in the long run. Having said that, research has found out that sleep deprivation may contribute to the aggravations of anxiety.

    Moreover, a lack of sleep also increases your risk of developing heart disease or heart failure. Some may also increase their risk of having high blood pressure, heart attack, stroke, obesity, and irregular heartbeat. These are just some of the reasons why you should pay attention to your sleep pattern.

    On a much deeper view, disrupted sleep is almost present in other mental health issues like depression, affecting your daily living. For instance, it can negatively impact your work performance, academic performance, cognitive ability, and increases the risk of physical injury. Surely, these health problems that may arise in the future may create additional worries. Therefore, it is better to take care of your sleeping pattern as early as possible.

    Also Check: What Can You Take For Depression And Anxiety

    Move More Eat Well Sleeeeep

    Its pretty well-known that exercise lowers stress, reduces anxiety and improves mood. And the good news is: you dont need to run a marathon to get the benefits. It takes just 30 minutes of exercise a day to make a difference. Weve got some tips on how to exercise when you’re not motivated.

    Diet and sleep are also really important for your wellbeing. A healthy diet will make you feel healthier and stronger and better able to handle stress, while enough sleep positively affects your mood and stress levels.

    Highly Effective Tips For Relieving Stress

    There isn’t a one-size-fits-all option when it comes to stress relief, however. What works for one person might not work for another.

    And what works for you at home might not be an option when you’re at work or in the community .

    So it’s important to have a variety of stress relief tools at your disposal. Then, you’ll be able to pick a strategy that works best for your current circumstances.

    Read Also: Can Anxiety Make You Shake

    Put Relaxation And Self

    A fully packed schedule would make a lot of people feel stressed. Make sure you take time out each day for at least one thing you enjoy doing whether its spending time on a hobby, watching a Netflix episode, or chatting with a friend. It can also help if you schedule the activity into your day, so that you dont feel guilty about not doing something else. Read our guide to relaxation for more ideas.

    If youre feeling overwhelmed, dont be afraid to say no to things when you need to.

    Practise Muscle Relaxation Techniques

    How-To calm down, stop anxiety and stress

    Also called a body scan, this technique helps you to focus on yourself and release tension youre holding in your body.

    Breathe in and tense the muscles in your face, squeezing your eyes shut. Clench your jaw and keep your face tensed for five seconds. Gradually relax your muscles over the time it takes to count to ten, then take a deep breath. You can say relax as you relax. Next, move on to your neck and shoulders, and gradually move down your body. Be careful with any injuries or pain that you have. Get more info on how to practise progressive muscle relaxation here.

    Read Also: How To Cure Anxiety Disorder

    Zyllion Shiatsu Back And Neck Massager

    • Price: $$
    • How it may help with anxiety: Shiatsu massage is known to relieve stress and anxiety. It also helps promote calmness and emotional and physical relaxation.

    Shiatsu massage is the best type of massage for people who want to feel relaxed and relieve stress, pain, and tension. Its a Japanese style of massage that may help relieve anxiety and depression.

    This Zyllion Shiatsu Back and Neck Massager bends to most neck and body contours, as well as the lower and upper back, abdomen, calf, and thigh.

    The best part is the 90-day trial window. So if you dont like it, you can simply send it back for a full refund.

    Write A Letter To Yourself

    Colangelo recommends future writing, a technique to envision a time beyond the stress of here and now, to help you calm down. Mindfulness is great until we get stuck in the present moment, she says. Writing to your future self can be cathartic and start to bridge the gap between the stuckness of here-and-now and the excitement for what good might come down the road.

    Also Check: Can Atrial Fibrillation Be Caused By Anxiety

    Final Thoughts On The Best Healing Crystals

    The best healing crystal for you is going to be personal.

    If you start to collect crystals, you will likely notice you feel called to certain ones. You will have your favorites. How a crystal feels to you matters above all when using crystals to relieve stress, anxiety, and other negative feelings.

    Different people will experience crystals differently. For example, one person may feel called to use clear quartz while meditating. While another prefers amethyst. So practice using your intuition when it comes to healing crystals. And keep on learning and enjoying.

    Please let me know your thoughts in the comments!

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