10 Tips for Tackling Anxiety

how to relieve anxiety

I’m an anxious person by nature, so I stress about nearly everything.  The past few weeks I’ve been feeling overwhelmed from work, upcoming events and a lengthy to-do list. Fortunately, over the years I’ve learned strategies to help alleviate my anxiety when I’m put under pressure. Here’s 10 ways that help me find a sense of calm.

Meditation
“For someone with anxiety, it sometimes feels like their mind is like a hamster on a wheel — constantly running, but not really getting anywhere.”

It’s scary how much that quote resonates with my life. Introducing meditation to my daily routine has helped stop me from over-attending to my thoughts and feelings, and kept me grounded.

Some useful meditation resources:
10 Minute Meditation for Anxiety
Guided Deep Relaxation
6 Calming Breathing Exercises
20 practical tips for quieting the mind

Colouring
Colouring, and even painting, is a form of alternative therapy for your mind. Adult colouring books are all the rage right now, and have even outsold cookery books in France. It’s so easy to become engrossed and it forces the mind to focus on the present.

A few recommendations:
Colour Yourself Calm
Secret Garden book
The Art of Mandala

Also, here’s some free adult colouring therapy printables.

Herbal tea
Valerian tea has proved quite effective to help alleviate stress and anxiety, particularly at night. It works by increasing the amount of GABA, or gamma aminobutyric acid, in the brain, which helps regulate the activity of nerve cells, thereby relieving anxiety. It doesn’t taste too pleasant on it’s own, so it’s usually combined with another herb. This Lemon Valerian Tea is my favourite, and the lemon also contributes to the calming effect.

Other herbal teas I would recommend are Passion Flower. It works well at relieving anxiety and also promoting sleep, so one cup of tea before bed should be enough to help calm the nerves.

A comforting ambiance
I’m most anxious when I’m around clutter. I just can’t deal with looking around and everything is just everywhere, but that’s just me. Find what works for you. My ideal situation: candles (with autumnal-inspired scents, of course), a cup of tea, cozy knits, fresh flowers, organised stationary and a good playlist.

Mobile Apps
Mobile apps have come such a long way, and they can be an extremely effective tool to help manage anxiety. None of these should substitute for a doctors care, but they may help with day-to-day stress. They’re especially great when you’re not at home, and possibly dealing with anxiety at an airport, plane, public transport, etc. A couple favourites include Flowy, which is a game designed to combat panic attacks, anxiety and hyperventilation, and Headspace, which provides short guided meditations depending on your mood.

Write everything down
If it’s possible, tackle the reasons causing you to feel stressed or anxious. I prefer to do this in form of a to-do list, but you could also write it all down in a journal. Every time I have a worrying thought of something I need to do, instead of letting it play on my mind, I write it down throughout the day (no matter how minute). It’s been a therapeutic tool for me ever since high school, by clarifying my thoughts and helping me feel at least a little accomplished at the end of the day. Now, since working from home, I think it’s more important than ever. It also helps writing down your thoughts or to-do list the night before for a more restful sleep.

Calming sounds
Atmosphere can play a huge role when it comes to anxiety. I mean, does anyone else feel immediately calmer at the thought of being a rainy cafe? the beach at dusk? the thought of being drowned in kittens? (or is that one just me..?)

Since it’s a bit difficult to get to these places, here’s some websites that may help:
Rainy Cafe
Rain Mood
Calm

Rescue_Remedy

Natural flower essence
I’ve used Rescue Remedy ever since my high school days, and although some may argue it’s due to a placebo effect, it did help me deal with daily stress and anxiety. It’s made from flower essences which are a foundation of energy medicine that aim to harmonize through emotional and spiritual well-being. Take 4 drops in a small glass of water, or directly on/under the tongue in the morning.

Create a ‘Happy Place’
Your happy place refers to a state of mind, a tranquil place you can visualize that calms you. It helps a lot when you’re feeling anxious and trying to sleep. Just close your eyes, and picture every single detail. My happy place is traveling. I picture and live through every moment from getting on a plane, being on a plane, arriving at the airport, exploring, etc. It always manages to make me feel at peace and distract me from negative thoughts.

Get stuck in a book
Pretty self explanatory, but a good novel allows you to escape from the real world. It’s a great way to relax and reduce stress levels, especially if it’s a really thrilling book.

I’d love to hear, how do you relieve anxiety?

  • I couldn’t agree more with everything you said, for me I find the sound of a rainforest really helps to relax me and just calm me down!

    Jodie, xo // Jodie Loue

  • Thanks for sharing these amazing tips- they will definitely help so many others who suffer from anxiety!

    Candice | Beauty Candy Loves

  • Lisa Jayne Quick

    Thank you for sharing these tips. My anxiety has got so bad recently I’ve had to ask for help and am currently waiting for one to one CBT so in the meantime I will try these. I am wanting to get in to drinking more healthy tea so will give that one ago and the book one I agree with!
    Thanks,
    Lisa – lisajaynetextiles.co.uk

  • Writing things down definitely helps – having a to do list where I can physically see things being checked off one by one is so helpful!

    Also – EXERCISE <3

  • I couldn’t agree more with your tips – I deal with anxiety on a daily basis and recently took up meditation before I go to work. It’s hard at first to get out of your head, but it’s making an enormous difference to my wellbeing.

    Tessa at Bramble & Thorn

  • Reading for me is the best!
    Jabeen x
    http://www.spilling-the-beans.co.uk/

  • Dustikes

    I needed to read this!! I’ve had trouble sleeping and frequent panic attacks for several weeks now. I now see it’s because I stopped doing everything on your list that calms me.

  • Zoe

    This is a brilliant post, dealing with my anxiety has been quite a journey. I love using rain sounds to help me calm down, and I’m definitely going to download that app! xx

    http://mynameiszoeee1.blogspot.co.uk

  • Jacinta

    I find reading is my best distraction, takes you away from the real world and is a great distraction. I use Goodreads to track the books I have read and the ones I want to read

  • I haven’t tried Valerian tea, but I will definitely be getting some of that! Its so easy to get into bad habits of not looking after yourself ‘ey! I find I need to give myself ‘permission’ to relax and look after myself – not sure how that became the exception rather than the rule!lol
    http://www.honestyforyourskin.co.uk

  • Lovely post! Rescue Remedy has helped me a tone ever since I was a little girl. I know many don’t believe in its power but I highly recommend it to anyone struggling with anxiety. I, myself, stress about almost anything and Rescue Remedy in addition with Yoga + Meditation classes have helped me through really hard periods in life.

  • Denise

    What a thorough collection of strategies. I utilize many of these. I especially find physical exercise, possibly yoga, followed by a warm bath and a session with a crossword puzzle to help tremendously (after I’ve written everything down, of course).

  • Thank you for this! I got home from seeing the family a couple of days ago and sat on my bed and started to have an anxiety attack, literally out of no where. I am definately going to try some of these because I haven’t really found my calming strategy yet. Once again, thank you for this post :D

    http://www.ohheyitsyazz.blogspot.co.uk

  • Agree with you 100%, for me, writing everything down helps tremendously. It’s a great way for me to unload everything that’s going on in my head. I always feel a bit more at ease afterwards.

  • Zara

    I have recently been struggling to sleep which leaves me exhausted everyday, in turn making me more anxious at the thought of not sleeping. I’m going to try some of these suggestions and hope they work!

  • I love the idea of coloring! It seems like a soothing activity that relaxes the mind. Will be trying that one out for sure next time!

    xo Anisha | http://empoweredinternetwomen.blogspot.com.au/

  • Thanks so much for this post. Everyone acts like they have it all together, but we are all truly a mess, haha! I began meditating and love it and will use your resources. Drowned in kittens, yes!
    http://www.pippihepburn.etsy.com

  • Alessia – TicketforHappiness

    Interesting post, I love Rescue Remedy and Bach Flowers too :-)

    Xoxoxo from Rome!

    Alessia

    http://www.ticketforhappiness.com/en/