How to Calm Anxiety - 12 Tips & Tricks You Should Know
Although feelings of anxiety are a natural part of being human, where feelings of anxiety appear before a big life event or something generally nerve-wracking, anxiety disorders are among the most commonly diagnosed mental health conditions in the United Kingdom.
A diagnosis of a generalised anxiety disorder comes when someone finds it difficult to control their worries. Their feelings of anxiety will be more constant than sporadically throughout their lives, and can even affect how they go about their daily activities - like going to the shops or going out with friends.
Symptoms of anxiety can appear as a significant factor for several conditions, which include but are not limited to:
Panic disorder Specific phobias, such as claustrophobia or agoraphobia Post-traumatic stress disorder Social anxiety disorder, also known as social phobia
People who suffer from anxiety disorders often struggle to remember the last time they felt relaxed, especially as the related conditions can cause the person affected to feel heightened levels of anxiety about a wide range of situations and issues rather than one specific thing.
How to Calm Down Anxiety
If you suffer from the symptoms of anxiety, or you have been suffering from anxiety for a long time, and want to know how to calm constant anxiety, the purpose of this article is to help you to figure out methods that work for you in getting your anxiety under control.
While your symptoms and feelings of anxiety may not leave you until you understand and address them, the 12 tips and tricks we’ve gathered will help you to learn the skills so that you can react in a more positive way when anxiety symptoms strike.
1. Food and Drink
You may get so wrapped up with your day at work that you forget to eat anything until the mid-afternoon. It can be a very easy mistake to make, and you may only remember that you need to eat because you realise you feel hunger pains or experience feelings of fear or worry.
Low blood sugar can make you feel nervous, irritable, and anxious, so try eating something easy to digest, like a banana or another piece of fruit, and then follow it up with a well-balanced meal with protein, carbs, and vegetables.
Did you know that having a magnesium deficiency can also increase levels of anxiety? So by increasing your intake of magnesium-rich foods, like avocados and legumes, you can effortlessly get the essential minerals you need to maintain a healthy level of body and brain function; as well as reduce levels of anxiety.
If you feel like eating a lot of magnesium foods is a difficult ordeal, or you simply wish to supplement with a further intake of the mineral, OHMG magnesium water is a fantastic solution.
Wondering how much magnesium is needed for anxiety? Studies show that a dose of magnesium between 75 and 360 mg of magnesium per day can have anti-anxiety effects. Each can contains 56mg of magnesium, which is about as much as an avocado, and is available in a great range of delicious flavours that make your intake of magnesium easier than ever.
2. Avoid Caffeine
Caffeine has the reputation of an inducer of anxiety, but you may drink it so often that you may forget how sensitive you are to it, or that it even has these effects in the first place.
If you’re feeling anxious or if you’re expecting it to be a day where you’ll feel anxious at some point, like before a job interview or you need to go shopping, try making a conscious decision to stop drinking caffeine as a way of how to calm nerves and anxiety in your day - at least until after the predicted anxiety-inducing event has passed. This also includes soft drinks, like energy drinks and cola, that contain caffeine.
3. Avoid Alcohol
Treating yourself to a beer or a glass of wine can feel like a great idea when trying to quell the feelings of anxiety. Alcohol can be delicious and they say alcohol gives you confidence, right?
Although this may actually work, it is an extremely short term solution that comes with its own repercussions. Alcohol works by changing the levels of serotonin and other neurotransmitters within the brain, and can even cause your symptoms of anxiety even worse.
Not only this, but you may feel more anxious once you sober up; that’s not to mention the hangover in the morning either.
4. Write Your Feelings Down
Some of the worst things about suffering from anxiety is that you often feel as if you can’t justify your feelings for feeling anxious to yourself. Not knowing why you feel anxious in the first place can also lead to further frustration. You could be in your favourite restaurant or somewhere completely peaceful and still have a feeling of worry and anxiety for seemingly no reason. This is where writing can help.
Writing your feelings down can be used as an effective tool that allows you to explore how you feel, especially if talking out loud or to someone feels like a mammoth task.
Studies have shown that journaling is a very healthy way to deal with negative thoughts and feelings, whilst also helping to reduce feelings of stress. Further research also suggests that, in regards to test participants who exhibit signs of anxiety, writing notes before bed about how you feel and what you were thinking at that time can help you to control your anxiety better over time.
5. Use Fragrance
Did you know that lavender is renowned for its calming properties? In order to keep anxious thoughts at bay as a method of how to calm your mind from anxiety, why not try keeping a small bottle of lavender oil on hand?
Other tactics you can use that involve the use of lavender scents include during yoga or meditation, baths with lavender soaps and bath bombs, or even foods and drinks with lavender contents. Over time, the association of relaxation with lavender will happen subconsciously which can make its effects even more effective.
6. Talk to Someone Who Can Understand
While talking to a health professional can help if you find your feelings of anxiety are becoming overwhelming, making it difficult to function in daily life, talking with your close friends can also help. If your friends have similar symptoms, if they’ve been through similar things, or are simply understanding people, sending them a message to discuss how you’re feeling can help.
Sharing your problems with others, like friends or close work colleagues, offers a range of benefits. Not only does venting and sharing the burden make it a bit easier for you to deal with, but they might also have some tips that can help you with how to calm down anxiety at work. They may be able to point something out that might have acted as a trigger.
7. Discover a Mantra
We know it sounds a bit cheesy, but bear with us. Positive affirmations do work for some people, and having different mantras to tell yourself can help you through various situations.
Telling yourself that “this feeling is temporary”, along with a variety of other positive affirmations, can help you learn how to calm anxiety attacks and feel calm when panic attacks are on the horizon. You can also remind yourself that you’ve survived panic attacks before, and this knowledge will help you to realise that it’ll be okay.
8. Go for a Walk
Sometimes a buildup of adrenaline can cause symptoms of anxiety. Exercise, even if it is just a short walk through town, in your neighbourhood, on the beach, or through the country can all help to use that extra built-up energy and adrenaline.
Walking outside in the fresh air can improve your mental well-being as a whole, and even help you to learn how to calm down when an anxiety attack is on its way. One study discovered that people who took a walking trip through a woodland area produced a lower amount of stress and anxiety hormones compared to when they remained in the centre of a city.
9. Are You Drinking Enough Water?
It isn’t common knowledge, but not getting enough water into your body can actually make your symptoms of anxiety even worse. Especially if caffeine is the only thing you’ve had to drink in one day.
Dehydration can cause heart palpitations which can lead to feelings of panic and if you don’t know what’s causing the increased heart rate, it can trigger an anxiety attack.
In order to prevent dehydration from being the cause of your anxiety, take a few moments to relax and drink a decently sized glass of water. See if you feel any better once it's been absorbed into your system.
10. Take Some Time Out
Alone time is essential for some who suffer from anxiety. It can help to recharge your batteries alone and relax. If you’re feeling anxious around people, find a reason to be alone for a while. You could nip to the shop for some groceries for dinner, go to the gym to burn off some energy, or even do some household chores with your headphones on so you can listen to music.
All of these are some clever ways that allow you to find some time alone without seeming rude to others. It is also a fantastic opportunity to practice mindfulness - another tool that can help you know how to calm anxiety.
11. Turn Your Phone Off
Being constantly online and plugged into the internet is a modern-day phenomenon that our parents and the likes did not have to deal with. But that means we need to try harder to adapt to this brave new world.
Don’t hesitate to turn off your phone every now and again. Use this period without your phone as a chance to relax, practise mindfulness, go for a bath, or begin journaling your feelings about why you feel anxious.Relaxation is Key
Speaking of baths, if you feel like you’re trapped in the vicious cycle that is your anxiety taking a toll on your physical and mental wellbeing, a bath can help you to relax.
Taking a nice hot bath with some Epsom salts enriched with magnesium can be a fantastic way to help you relax your mind and your muscles.
12. Controlling Your Anxiety Will Take Time
While there is no method for how to calm anxiety quickly, gaining awareness of what causes your symptoms and making sure to get help from your GP when you need it can help you to manage your symptoms. It may often feel like an uphill battle, and that’s because gaining awareness and learning how to regain control is a difficult thing in learning how to calm anxiety yourself.
You may find that some of the tips above will help you straight away, others may take time to get used to, and then they also may not work at all. The important thing to note here is that you should keep trying.
Giving in to your feelings of anxiety by retreating from the world is not a defeat, but it is a setback that can make your life difficult in the long run when learning how to calm anxiety effectively yourself. Practice always helps in these situations, so please don’t give up on yourself; keep working at it until you find a solution that works for you.