Quick Tips to Reduce Your Anxiety
Feeling anxious? Struggling with anxiety? Here are some things to try.
Accept Your Anxiety
Accepting that you have anxiety is the first step. By accepting that anxiety is a part of your life, you free yourself from feelings of guilt or shame. One way to work on acceptance is by writing your anxious thoughts in a journal. It will allow you to both accept and release your anxiety. You might also read positive affirmations to help you remember that you are able to handle your anxiety.
Learn your triggers
If you know what sets off your anxiety, you can be prepared when anxiety strikes. Think of it as strategic preparation.
Stay in the present
Often when we are anxious, we are anticipating the future, and our thoughts can spiral into a vicious cycle of “what ifs.” But anticipating the future will only increase your anxious feelings. It is important to ground yourself in the present, to focus on the here and now to prevent feeding your anxious feelings.
Grounding by counting
There are many tricks to reduce anxiety that involve counting. One popular trick is the 5-4-3-2-1 grounding technique.
First, you need to calm your breathing.
- Take a deep breath in while you count slowly to 4
- Hold this breath while you count to 4
- Let it out while you count to 4
- Count to 4 again before taking another deep breath
Repeat until you have your breathing under control.
Next, follow these steps to ground yourself:
- Name five things you see around you.
- List four things you can touch around you.
- Count three things that you hear.
- Take note of two things you can smell.
- Acknowledge one thing you can taste.
By doing this, you are not only controlling your breathing, you are also distracting yourself from the anxious thought by focusing on your senses.
Make sure you get enough sleep
You might be tired of hearing this, but it’s true! Anxiety can take a lot of your energy and being tired can exacerbate your anxiety. Getting the right amount of sleep is important to restoring your energy each day and reducing your anxiety.
Take a time out
Sometimes you just need to step away from what is causing you to feel anxious. Some people practice yoga, and others meditate. Try taking a brief walk, or even go into another room. Everyone is different, so try various things to see what works best for you.
Do something fun
Watch a funny video. Spend time with friends or family. Read your favourite book. Do something that will change your thoughts from being anxious to being entertained.
Not only does exercise help keep your thoughts in the present moment, but it releases natural chemicals that are good for your health. If you are intimidated by implementing exercise into your weekly routine start small: do a little bit of exercise each day and add more as you become more comfortable. If you can’t do a lot of exercise, that’s okay! Every little bit helps. It’s best to stick with what works for your schedule and your health concerns.
Get rid of clutter
You might think that your messy room is your “organized chaos,” but in the long run it will cause you more harm than good. A disorganized, messy living space can increase your anxiety. Try to develop a cleaning routine; even a few minutes each day or an hour once a week can help.
– Gabrielle Lesage
From Share&Care Fall 2021.
If you need help managing your anxiety, visit amiquebec.org/anxiety.