Think About Something Funny
Visualize your favorite humorous moments, says Sultanoff. One where you laughed so hard you fell down and peed your pants. These can be real situations, or they can be situations you saw on sitcoms, in stories, jokes, or cartoons.
If its difficult for you to come up with something in the moment, try picking a couple of memories ahead of time, so you can go to them as soon as you start experiencing anxiety.
Like most mindfulness training, humor visualization takes you out of worrying about things that might happen in the future and focuses you back in your present circumstances, in the now.
It does a few other things too. You experience mirth, which is the uplifting reaction to humor, explains Sultanoff. You feel emotions such as joy, pleasure, or delight all powerful emotions that can help you reduce anxiety quickly.
And if youre able to make yourself laugh by remembering that funny moment, he says, humor visualization is even more effective.
When you laugh, you contract and expand muscles, which reduces physical anxiety, stress, and tension, he says.
Laughter also combats the production of cortisol levels in the body, he adds.
Try The File It Mind Exercise
The File It technique works particularly well if youre lying awake at night thinking of all the things you have to do or havent done, or if youre rehashing something that happened during the day.
These are the steps for performing this exercise:
The idea with this exercise is that youre taking a moment to name your triggers, examine them, and then consciously put them aside with a deadline to tackle them later. In other words, youre validating your own feelings and making a plan to deal with them, one by one, when its a better time.
Relaxing And Calming Exercises
If you are feeling anxious, scared or panicked there are many things you can do to help yourself cope. A common and natural response to anxiety is to avoid what triggers your fear, so taking any action might make you feel more anxious at first. It can be difficult, but facing up to how anxiety makes you feel can be the first step in breaking the cycle of fear and insecurity. Here are some simple exercises you can try that might calm you down.
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How Can I Relax My Stressed Mind
While we cannot eradicate all stress from our lives, we can learn to manage it better. This starts with having some stress-reducing techniques at-the-ready for when you feel your mind reeling and ruminating with negative thoughts and emotions.
Here are four relaxation suggestions that are sure to relax the mind.
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.
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Gain Power And Calm With A Superman Pose
If you do Bikram yoga, the Superman pose is basically the full Locust position , except the arms and the hands are stretched out in front of you, not to the sides. You lie on your belly on the floor and extend your arms in front of you. At the same time, you extend your legs behind you and hold them straight out. Hold that pose for 10 seconds. Its a great exercise if you are groggy, overexcited, distracted, or antsy.
Help Yourself To A Little Honey
The amber elixir from our buzzy friends may help relieve anxiety, fight off depression, and even protect the brain Rahman MM, et al. . Neurological effects of honey: Current and future prospects. DOI: 10.1155/2014/958721 .
Is Your Worry Solvable
Productive, solvable worries are those you can take action on right away. For example, if youre worried about your bills, you could call your creditors to see about flexible payment options. Unproductive, unsolvable worries are those for which there is no corresponding action. What if I get cancer someday? or What if my kid gets into an accident?
If the worry is solvable, start brainstorming. Make a list of all the possible solutions you can think of. Try not to get too hung up on finding the perfect solution. Focus on the things you have the power to change, rather than the circumstances or realities beyond your control. After youve evaluated your options, make a plan of action. Once you have a plan and start doing something about the problem, youll feel much less anxious.
If the worry is not solvable, accept the uncertainty. If youre a chronic worrier, the vast majority of your anxious thoughts probably fall in this camp. Worrying is often a way we try to predict what the future has in store-a way to prevent unpleasant surprises and control the outcome. The problem is, it doesnt work. Thinking about all the things that could go wrong doesnt make life any more predictable. Focusing on worst-case scenarios will only keep you from enjoying the good things you have in the present. To stop worrying, tackle your need for certainty and immediate answers.
Starting A Relaxation Practice
As with anything, starting a relaxation practice is often the biggest hurdle people face. Once you start to notice that you seem to be losing energy quickly and constantly changing your mood, it may be time to re-evaluate yourself, as this can all be caused by stress.There are many relaxation activities that can help combat the stress in your life, from simple deep breathing, stretching and meditation to more advanced relaxation methods such as yoga and Tai Chi. To get the full benefit of these relaxation methods, you must take the time to practice them every day. Only then will you be able to harness its relieving power so that you can enjoy stress relief.You don’t have to take a lot of time each day, maybe 10 minutes to 20 minutes is enough to manage stress.To be more successful in developing this practice, take note of the following tips :
- Determine a set time each day when you can do these relaxation exercises. If possible, schedule once or twice a day, whichever works best for you. Then, make sure you stick to your schedule.
- Avoid scheduling your relaxation exercises close to bedtime, as your sleepiness may interfere.
- Never opt for an exercise method that might stress you out even more. Find a level of practice that you are most comfortable with and feel relaxed with.
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Hydrate With Water And Meditate On Water
During the workday, I will often walk a block over to a creek and follow the subtle current with my eyes. Maybe it is because as infants we emerged from water that it has the power to soothe. Water helps in many ways, writes Aron. When overaroused, keep drinking it a big glass of it once an hour. Walk beside some water, look at it, listen to it. Get into some if you can, for a bath or a swim. Hot tubs and hot springs are popular for good reasons.
Plan Your Life 12 Hours At A Time
Ive started to retrain myself to plan only for the day that lies ahead, explains Rachel Bowie, PureWows director of special projects. Compartmentalizing my life into 12-hour chunks makes all the worry for the future feel a bit less daunting. It may not be true, but I like thinking, OK, today? That I can control! Its also a great retraining on living in the moment. Pre-COVID-19, I spent so much time strategizing my next move. The restriction to focus only on the present has made me breathe a bit deeper, inhale fresh air from an open window a bit longer and cherish moments with my familyas long as my 2-year-old isnt melting down.
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Focus On The Physical
When your thoughts begin to take over, ground yourself in the physical world. You might use your five senses to identify three to five things you can see, hear, taste, smell and touch. Or, for example, you could participate in an outdoor hobby, such as gardening, to involve your senses and redirect your attention to the physical world.
Take Some Deep Breaths
When anxious, our breath becomes rapid and shallow. Deep belly breathing helps decrease anxiety by stimulating the bodys relaxation response, lowering our heart rate and blood pressure. Its a powerful technique that works because you cant breathe deeply and be anxious at the same time. There are many variations to try, including this simple exercise: Inhale deeply for a count of 4, hold your breath for a count of 4, exhale for a count of 4. Repeat several times.
A Guided Meditation To Help You Sleep
I have found that this exercise helps, but Ive been forgetting one crucial part of my body: my face.
Focus on relaxing one’s eyes and face a common area overlooked when trying to relax, says Dr. Paul Coleman, a psychologist, motivational speaker and the author of Finding Peace When Your Heart Is In Pieces: A Step-by-Step Guide to the other side of Grief, Loss, and Pain. Imagine a simple relaxing scene to focus on. Keep going back to that image if your mind wanders.
Try Some Aerobic Activity
During periods of anxiety, your body is filled with adrenaline. Putting that adrenaline toward aerobic activity can be a great way to improve your anxiety. Exercise has numerous advantages for controlling your anxiety symptoms:
- Exercise burns away stress hormones that create anxiety symptoms.
- Exercise tires your muscles, reducing excess energy and tension.
- Exercise releases endorphins in your brain which can improve overall mood.
- Exercise is linked to healthier breathing.
- Exercise is a healthy distraction.
Aerobic activity, like light jogging or even fast walking, can be extremely effective at reducing the severity of your anxiety symptoms, as well as the anxiety itself.
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What Makes You Afraid
Lots of things make us feel afraid. Being afraid of some things like fires can keep you safe. Fearing failure can make you try to do well so that you wont fail, but it can also stop you doing well if the feeling is too strong.
What youre afraid of and how you act when youre afraid of something can vary per person. Just knowing what makes you afraid and why can be the first step to sorting out problems with fear.
How can we manage and reduce stress? Our free downloadable pocket guide offers you 101 tips: www.mentalhealth.org.uk/publications/how-to-stress.
Give Your Mind A Break
Hopefully these 13 tips on how to relax your mind gave you some new ideas. You deal with so much on a daily basis, and probably just push through. But remember, just like your body needs a break from physical activity, sometimes your mind needs time to sit and relax as well.
The next time youre feeling mentally drained and exhausted, step away and just relax your mind.
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Say Positive About Yourself
Always say positive things about yourself, in your mind, and, also while speaking to others. Have a positive self-concept. Whatever you speak about yourself, your family members, and about your work they have a great impact on your state of mind, and the life you are going to lead in the present and the future. So, always think and speak positively, while you are alone, and while you are with people. As its rightly said in a famous quote: Take care of your thoughts when you are alone, and take care of your words when you are with people.
Figure Out What’s Bothering You
The physical symptoms of panic and anxiety, such as trembling, chest pain, and rapid heartbeat, are usually more apparent than understanding just what is making you anxious. However, in order to get to the root of your anxiety, you need to figure out whats bothering you. To get to the bottom of your anxiety, put some time aside to exploring your thoughts and feelings.
Writing in a journal can be a great way to get in touch with your sources of anxiety. If anxious feelings seem to be keeping you up at night, try keeping a journal or notepad next to your bed. Write down all of the things that are bothering you. Talking with a friend can be another way to discover and understand your anxious feelings.
Make it a habit to regularly uncover and express your feelings of anxiety.
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Tips To Manage Anxiety And Stress
Try these when you’re feeling anxious or stressed:
Fitness Tips: Stay Healthy, Manage Stress
For the biggest benefits of exercise, try to include at least 2½ hours of moderate-intensity physical activity each week, 1¼ hours of a vigorous-intensity activity , or a combination of the two.
- 5 X 30: Jog, walk, bike, or dance three to five times a week for 30 minutes.
- Set small daily goals and aim for daily consistency rather than perfect workouts. It’s better to walk every day for 15-20 minutes than to wait until the weekend for a three-hour fitness marathon. Lots of scientific data suggests that frequency is most important.
- Find forms of exercise that are fun or enjoyable. Extroverted people often like classes and group activities. People who are more introverted often prefer solo pursuits.
- Distract yourself with an iPod or other portable media player to download audiobooks, podcasts, or music. Many people find its more fun to exercise while listening to something they enjoy.
- Recruit an exercise buddy. It’s often easier to stick to your exercise routine when you have to stay committed to a friend, partner, or colleague.
- Be patient when you start a new exercise program. Most sedentary people require about four to eight weeks to feel coordinated and sufficiently in shape so that exercise feels easier.
If you are the parent of a college-aged child with an anxiety disorder, here are some tips to help with managing his or her anxiety.