How to Be Less Anxious

Note: I am not a medical professional and the following is not medical advice; simply the lessons I’ve learned.

Like so many people out there, I’ve struggled with anxiety. It runs in my family, and while I wouldn’t call what I had “severe,” it was certainly very real to me.

I’ve done a lot to combat my own anxiety – to the point where I now rarely have any issues with it – and there are a few key things I’ve learned along the way.

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Are you anxious?

For most of us, anxiety strikes when we’re uncomfortable or out of our comfort zones. Whether it’s when you’re out in a crowd, getting overwhelmed with stress, dealing with awkward situations, or just plain battling other insecurities.

If you’re anxious, first things first: it’s ok. It’s nothing you can help, but it is something you can control.

Find what works for you

Start by figuring out your own personal solution. There are a number of ways to control or subdue your anxiety. At the end of the day, it’s going to be different for each and every one of us.

Self awareness

One of the most effective things I’ve learned when it comes to anxiety is to be more self aware. Body scans come to mind here. If for whatever reason, you feel your body tensing during intense situations, ask yourself what caused it. Before long, you’ll be able to control your anxiety before it even strikes simply by being aware of your mind and body.

Self-soothing techniques

There are a number of self-soothing techniques that may work for you, including:

  • Breathing: If ever you feel anxiety about to strike, taking a few deep breaths (even the cliche “count to 10”) can help.
  • Self-pressure or “acupuncture”: For me, if ever I feel stress or anxiety, it lives in my chest. A therapist I went to many moons ago taught me to use my fists and essentially put pressure against my chest. (It sounds ridiculous, but picture gorilla beating your chest.)

Regular soothing activities

Dealing with your anxiety on a case-by-case basis is one thing, but changing your lifestyle to regularly combat with the disorder (sadly, that’s what it is) that ails you is how you’ll truly be less anxious.

  • Meditation: Just like breathing, meditation is a practice that calms your body. Regular practice is amazing for the anxious soul.
  • Yoga: Yoga has been essential to my anti-anxiety journey. A mix of meditation and exercise, yoga is another great way to regularly calm your body.
  • Exercise: Exercise has a number of amazing benefits, including calming you. Exercise has taken my anxious energy and helped banish it.

Homeopathic/Natural remedies

I haven’t had much personal experience with homeopathic anxiety therapies, but they are a good final step before going the Western medicine route.

  • Essential oils: Oils like lavender have calming elements and could be just enough to calm that body of yours.
  • Other therapies: A certified homeopath would be able to give you remedy that will help your anxiety. (I can personally attest to the fact that homeopaths are amazing, amazing people and can do wonders.)

Therapy

I’m the world’s biggest advocate for therapy. Whether you think you have enough issues for therapy or not, I truly believe we can all benefit. Talking through issues with a (certified) third party can be one of the most therapeutic experiences of your life.

Medication

I’ve personally never explored this resort, as I believe it’s an absolute last choice. If you’ve tried everything above, then consult with a doctor so that they can explore all options with you and use medication if need be.

It will be ok

The first step is to accept that you have anxiety, then the rest will follow from there. Just know: you can work through this. It will all be ok.

Photo credit: sprout_creative

Born/bred in MD. Raised in ME. Transplant to FL. Entrepreneur, wife, writer, puppy momma, Scorpio, fitness/nutrition enthusiast, eternal optimist.
I’m a strong, passionate, intense woman who has a thirst for life, knowledge, love, and the never-ending question of the meaning of life. I figure I’m bound to find it sooner or later.

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