It sounds too good to be true, but anxiety really is something that can be reduced very quickly. While you cannot CURE your anxiety in one day, you can CALM it to a degree that it stops affecting you as much. With the right tools and tricks, you can successfully calm your anxiety in as little as one evening, and potentially leverage those improvements towards fighting your anxiety permanently once and for all.
How Severe is Your Anxiety?
In order to cure anxiety quickly, you have to first know how severe your anxiety is. Our free 7 minute anxiety test can provide you with an anxiety severity score, graph your anxiety compared to others, and then see solutions that can help you cure your anxiety quickly.
Attacking Anxiety Based on Symptoms
Symptom relief is the key to attacking anxiety. By placing individual symptoms into buckets or groups, you can control anxiety separately in a way that will allow you to permanently prevent anxiety from controlling your life. Take my anxiety test now to learn more.
But let's say you have to reduce your anxiety in one evening. Is it possible? The answer is absolutely yes. In fact, there are many strategies that help control anxiety that can take place in as little as a single day.
Step 1: Exercise
Before you do anything else, go for a jog. Jogging is quite literally as effective as anxiety medications, with none of the side effects. Studies have compared jogging (and most intense exercise) to medications and found that jogging reports results that are just as strong, with none of the side effect risk.
You've always thought that jogging was important to your physical health, but by taking up jogging you can immediately see results for your mental health. Jogging releases endorphins (neurotransmitters that improve mood), relaxes muscles, burns away the stress hormone cortisol, improves sleep, and provides mental distractions. Some people find that jogging alone literally cures them of their anxiety disorder. Make sure the first thing you do is jog.
Step 2: Breathing Training
If you're suffering from anxiety this very moment, see how you're breathing. Often you'll either feel like you're not getting a deep breath or you'll be breathing too quickly. These create hyperventilation, and hyperventilation is one of the main causes of most physical anxiety symptoms.
So start breathing better. There is a method of relaxation known as deep breathing that can be effective, but it can take a while to practice. For now (since we only have one evening), simply slow down your breathing to 15 seconds minimum, and do your best to fight any urge to take a deep breath or cough.
This will help you regain the carbon dioxide you lost when you hyperventilated, and improve blood flow to your brain.
Step 3: Sensory Stimulation
Generally, technology actually creates more anxiety. Staring at bright moving lights, watching stressful things on TV, playing around with your iPhone - all of these have been known to increase anxiety.
But technology isn't always a bad thing. Anxiety can actually decrease as a result of sensory stimulation. The more you surround yourself with mental distractions, the less your mind is able to focus on anxiety. When you have anxiety, your mind is your own worst enemy.
The best type of sensory stimulation is one that involves doing healthy activities with your friends, like hiking. But assuming you're in your own home and your friends are not available, turning on humorous and non-stressful TV shows, listening to happy and/or relaxing music, and working on a puzzle or talking on the phone with someone you love are all effective ways to make it much harder to think about your anxiety.
Anxiety is self-sustaining. It causes thoughts that increase anxiety. Overwhelming your senses is a powerful way to decrease the amount of thinking and internalizing you do. Make sure that every piece of technology you choose though is always focused on happiness and relaxation. No dramas, no horror shows, no loud and angry rock music, no reality TV shows. It doesn't matter if these things relax you - they stimulate anxiety at a subconscious level, and are thus not effective ways to promote relaxation.
Step 4: Journaling
It may sound like something only children do, but writing out your thoughts is incredibly therapeutic. In fact, all thoughts - even those that aren't inherently stressful - can cause anxiety. Your mind has a tendency to feel stress when it's trying to remember things, and when it focuses on negative things.
So keep a notebook by you and start writing out the thoughts that come into your head, no matter what they are. This activity will put those thoughts on paper so that your mind doesn't feel it needs to focus on them anymore, and this will reduce your anxiety.
Step 5: Accepting Anxiety
You also need to be okay with your anxiety symptoms and not try to fight them. Ironically, the act of trying to fight anxiety creates anxiety, because you essentially are pushing yourself and stressing yourself to rid yourself of that same stress. Fighting anxiety isn't possible.
Anxiety is an incredibly curable condition, and nearly everyone that seeks treatment can eventually find relief. But fighting it simply doesn't work. Be okay with your anxiety, and know that it's not something that will affect you forever so that you can face it head on and not be ashamed of it or mad at yourself.
Other Methods of Overnight Anxiety Control
If you integrate just these five things into your life right now, your anxiety will decrease overnight. But let's assume you have more time. You can also do all of the following:
- Drink Water Dehydration is extremely common in today's society, and studies have shown that it makes anxiety symptoms worse. Even if you don't feel thirsty, drink more water and you may find that your anxiety decreases right away.
- Take Magnesium Magnesium is a mineral that studies have shown often provides anxiety relief. In addition, as many as 50% of the country is magnesium deficient due to modern food processing practices. Talk to your doctor about taking magnesium for your anxiety.
- Herbal Supplements Like magnesium, many herbal supplements have been shown to help with anxiety. Talk to your doctor about taking kava, which is considered one of the most effective herbal supplements out there and non-addictive.
Taking a long bath or shower may also have some benefit, as can lovemaking with your partner. Combine all of these strategies and your anxiety may be drastically reduced quite literally overnight.
I've also helped thousands of people with their long term anxiety reduction starting with my free 7 minute anxiety test. The test is available online, takes nearly no time to complete, and will provide you with recommendations about treating your anxiety and keeping it away.
Start the test here, now.
Author: Micah Abraham, BSc Psychology, last updated Sep 28, 2017.