6 Easy Ways to Lower Your Anxiety

Reduce Panic and Anxiety Symptoms

6 Ways to Lower Your Anxiety. Photo Copyright Microsoft

Panic disorder sufferers often struggle to manage the symptoms of anxiety. Feelings of anxiety can leave you feeling nervous and fearful. You may have a difficult time concentrating, lack energy, or spend far too much time worrying. Anxiety cannot only impact your thoughts, but can also negatively affect your body. For instance, anxiety has been known to contribute to muscle pain and aches, headaches, and other somatic tension.

You may even notice that the more anxious you feel, the greater your panic disorder symptoms persist. For instance, during times of high anxiety, you may notice increased panic attacks, inability to sleep, and irritability.

Don’t let anxiety leave you feeling physically and emotionally drained. Try some or all of these 6 easy ways to lower your anxiety:

1. Express Gratitude

Gratitude has been linked to feelings of happiness and satisfaction. Finding gratitude in one’s day-to-day life can help lift the spirit, reduce negative thoughts, and cope with anxiety. Gratitude can easily be expressed by letting others know you appreciate them. For example, you can verbalize you gratitude by thanking others who have helped you in any way or you can write a simple thank you note to show your thankfulness.

To get in the habit of expressing gratitude on a regular basis, you may want to consider investing time in a gratitude journal.

From your family to your health, to the sunrise you happened to catch on the way to work, you may want to jot down all that you feel thankful for. Keeping this journal can allow you to write down all that you are appreciative of in your life.

2. Sleep In

Anxiety and sleep issues often play a vicious cycle in which each impacts the other.

For instance, you may have a hard time falling and staying asleep because anxious thoughts, worry, and physical tension keep you up at night.  At the same time, you may be feeling anxious if you aren’t getting enough sleep.  Anxiety is often heightened by a lack of sleep. If possible, try to get the recommended 7-9 hours of sleep. If you suspect that you may be suffering from a sleep disorder, it’s time to get help. Getting adequate rest may do wonders to lessening your sense of anxiety.

3. Distract Yourself

Anxiety and worry often go hand-in-hand. You may find yourself worrying about everything from things you felt you did worrying the past, your current situation, and what the future hold. At times, it can be helpful to temporarily refocus your mental energy elsewhere.  Escape from your anxiety for a little while by watching a captivating movie or reading a good book. Once you’ve spent some time with your attention elsewhere, you may find that you have unconsciously let go of some of your anxiety.


4. Take a Day Off

Sometimes jokingly referred to as a “mental health day,” when anxiety is high, you may want to consider taking a day off. You may not be able to take a day off from your actual job. However, you may be able to use one day of your weekend to simply relax. Unplug from your computer and phone, allowing yourself time off from emails, work-related tasks, and social media. Take a day to simply rest and rejuvenate, noticing how it can have a positive impact on your mood and mental health. 

5. Be Mindful and Silent

Anxiety can wear at one’s ability to focus, making it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. Mindfulness exercises can help bring back the awareness, clarity, and focus that are often depleted by anxiety. To become more mindful, try to complete a task quietly while centering only on what you are doing. For example, try being mindful of yourself as you are cleaning the dishes. Notice how each dish feels in your hand. Be aware of what you are doing as you soap, rinse, and dry each piece. It’s not unusual to find that your thoughts begin to drift onto other things, such as what you plan on doing after the dishes are done. If you mind begins to wander, try to bring your focus back. 

Mindfulness meditation is another exercise in which you can sit in silence, acknowledging your thoughts as they come. While sitting in meditation, you may notice that anxious thoughts arise. Through mindfulness meditation, you acknowledge these thoughts and let them go. Mindfulness teaches us how to calmly respond to these thoughts instead of quickly reacting to them.

6. Watch What You are Taking In

From television to social media to caffeinated beverages, consider what you consume on a daily basis. Watching sensationalized news stories can trigger your fight-or-flight stress response. While trying to keep up with social media can increase your stress. Additionally, certain foods and substances, such as caffeine and alcohol have been known to increase anxiety.  To begin to easily lower your anxiety, start noticing what you are consuming and make an effort to let go of stressful or anxiety-provoking aspects of your life. 

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