Updated: Mar 9, 2020
Anxiety is becoming more and more common in everyday life and in every situation. Anyone can get anxiety for any reason. Here are 6 different ways to deal with your anxiety.
1) For immediate relief from anxiety, stand up, pull your shoulders back, plant your feet evenly and widely apart, and open your chest. Then breathe deeply. This posture, combined with deep breathing, helps your body remember that it's not in danger right now and that it is in control (not helpless). If you can't stand up (i.e. you're in your car), just pull your shoulders back and open up your chest. The most important thing is to stop hunching and breathe deeply.
2) When you're anxious, you're often caught in a (negative) thought loop. Play this to get back into your body and stop anxiety fast:
Look around and name 5 things you can see.
List 5 sounds you can hear.
Move 5 parts of your body you can feel (i.e. rotate your ankle, wiggle your ears, nod your head up and down).
It might sound silly, but this works.
3) Lavender oil has a lot of healing properties. It promotes a feeling of calm and supports deep, restful sleep. It can even help with headaches. To help reduce anxiety, keep a bottle of lavender oil at your desk (or in purse if you have one). Breathe it in and/or massage it into your temples when you need a boost of peace. Bonus points for combining the sniffing with deep, even breaths.
4) Yes, really. Watching a clip of your favorite comedian or blooper reel will help you stop feeling anxious fast. Why? Because you can't laugh and stay anxious at the same time, physiologically. Your body relaxes after a bout of laughter in a way that gets rid of anxiety. Plus, according to the Mayo Clinic, laughter brings in oxygen-rich air, which stimulates your heart and lungs, and spikes your endorphins.
5) Exercise is a long-proven way to lower anxiety. In addition to boosting your level of feel-good neurotransmitters, a brisk walk clears your mind and gets you breathing more deeply again--and anxiety is intimately linked to shallow breathing.
6) Do anything. Clear a few things off your desk. Walk over to the kitchenette and get yourself a glass of water. Walk outside and find a flower to smell--it doesn't matter. Doing an action interrupts your thought pattern, which is often where anxiety starts.
Let me know how this works for you.