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Anxiety Hacks for Instant Relief

Jonathan Riley

“There is only one way to happiness and that is to cease worrying about things which are beyond the power of our will.” – Epictetus.

Anxiety is often caused by worrying about things that have not happened yet and may never happen. Even if everything is fine, you may be concerned about potential issues such as losing your job, becoming ill, or the safety of your loved ones. Life can be unpredictable, and you cannot always control what happens, no matter how hard you try. However, you have the ability to choose how you will deal with the unknown.

There are many different approaches to anxiety management that you can experiment with. However, what works for one person may not work for another, and it may take some time to find the strategies that work best for you. If your anxiety is proving difficult to manage, seek professional help.

The following are 12 methods for coping with anxiety:

  1. Slow breathing. When we are anxious, our breathing becomes shallower and faster, and our heart rate increases. Try deliberately slowing down your breathing. Let go of any tension by taking a few deep, slow breaths and telling yourself to be calm as you exhale, then repeat the process.
  2. Progressive Muscle Relaxation. Find a quiet place. Close your eyes and slowly tense for three seconds, followed by quickly relaxing all of your body’s muscles to help induce a deep state of relaxation.
  3. Stay in the present moment. People who suffer from anxiety often imagine a terrible future that has not yet occurred. Keep your mind on the present moment and tell yourself that everything is fine ‘right this minute.’
  4. Practice meditation. A 10-minute guided meditation may be a gentle way to incorporate more mindfulness into your day. Through the use of relaxation techniques such as body scanning, deep breathing, meditation classes, and yoga, you can become more aware of your anxiety.
  5. Healthy lifestyle. You can reduce your anxiety and improve your quality of life by engaging in physical activity, eating a healthy balanced diet, spending time with loved ones, and engaging in activities that you enjoy.
  6. Changing your diet. Caffeine, alcohol, soda, energy drinks, and chocolate are just a few of the foods and beverages you can limit or avoid if you want to reduce your anxiety.
  7. Physical activity. Exercise can help to reduce stress hormones and cortisol levels in the body while also increasing endorphin levels, which can induce feelings of relaxation and boost mood.
  8. Challenge your self-talk. Anxiety can cause you to exaggerate the danger in a situation while underestimating your ability to deal with it. Rather than jumping to the worst-case scenario, consider alternative interpretations to a situation that is causing you anxiety. Then, look at the facts for and against your thought being true.
  9. Learn what triggers your anxiety. Keep a journal when you are experiencing high levels of anxiety so that you can track any patterns that emerge.
  10. Plan worry time. Set aside some time to explore your thoughts and feelings in order to get to the bottom of your anxiety. Even ten minutes a night spent writing down your worries in a journal can help prevent them from dominating your thoughts at other times.
  11. Focus on one single task at a time. If you are at work or school, do the most important thing you need to do that day to feel less overwhelmed. Because our brains are designed to handle only one thing at a time, focusing on a single activity can help reduce anxiety.
  12. Keep lavender on hand. In addition to its sweet, floral aroma, lavender has therapeutic and medical benefits, including the reduction of anxiety symptoms. Various research indicates that lavender essential oils can help relieve stress and anxiety and promote good sleep.

Finally, there is no quick fix for anxiety, and it can feel like a never-ending battle. Anxiety may always be a part of your life, but it should not rule your life. Some of these strategies may work for you, while others may not; however, the important thing is to keep trying. Make it a habit to regularly uncover and express your feelings of anxiety. You can manage your symptoms by becoming aware of what causes them and seeking help from a counsellor.

My Practice provides affordable counselling and all profits are reinvested into the organisation to continue providing low-cost counselling and mental health services to our community. If you’re interested in scheduling a free 15-minute consultation with us, book online today.