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7 Simple Tips to Reduce & Relieve Anxiety

Victoria LeBlanc, MS, LCPC
7 Simple Tips to Reduce & Relieve Anxiety

Anxiety isn't something that can be cured overnight. Addressing anxiety requires long-term changes, and a comprehensive treatment plan is preferable. But there are simple ways to ease anxiety until you're ready to commit to something better. In this article, we'll list seven simple and easy ways to ease anxiety so that you can find some relief from your anxiety symptoms.

Learning to Manage Anxiety

While experiencing some anxiety is normal, even healthy, when it interferes with daily living then it is a problem which should be addressed. By learning tools and strategies to reduce the amount of anxiety you experience every day anxiety becomes less intrusive, and even manageable.

Managing anxiety effectively requires an understanding of your symptoms and triggers, as well as the type of anxiety you're experiencing. This type of understanding typically comes from committing to a long term treatment plan such as therapy. But even if you aren’t ready for that big of a commitment yet, there are still ways you can manage your anxiety every day. The following are the most common and simplest anxiety reduction strategies to implement into your daily routine.

  1. Exercise Regularly Time and time again, the value of exercise on mental health is forgotten. Movement and activity promote blood flow, improves neurotransmitter production and regulation, calms anxiety symptoms and much more. It can be as powerful as any medication, and while it's not a permanent cure, you'll experience considerable relief if you exercise every day.
  2. Learn Relaxation Techniques There are many relaxation strategies that are also effective at reducing stress. Most people are aware of these strategies but find them unfulfilling and stop using them. The reality is that relaxation strategies do not always work right away. They can often take time to master and for your body to get used to being in a state of relaxation. Often, in the beginning, you're thinking too much about everything you need to do, it is hard to focus and relax, and your anxiety may stay the same. Only after you've practiced them a lot will you get the relief you need. Examples of these strategies include:          
    • Visualization
    • Progressive Muscle Relaxation
    • Meditation
  3. Sleep Inadequate sleep can create an increase in anxiety symptoms. Sleep helps to alleviate both physical and mental stress. By ensuring that you are getting enough sleep you can greatly reduce the impact of stress on your body and therefore decrease the amount of anxiety you experience. 
  4. Systematic Desensitization You can also work on desensitizing yourself to your fears and worries. By exposing yourself to worries and fears you take away their power. You can do this for all sorts of fears and anxieties. You can even do this for many of the symptoms and triggers of panic attacks.
  5. Journaling This is a great tool to utilize when you are feeling stressed or anxious. By writing down your thoughts you provide your brain with an outlet for that stress. You can get it all out on paper and allow your mind to let it go. Some people enjoy writing exercises while others prefer free association, which means you write about anything that comes out on the paper without putting thought and intention into what you write. Others prefer to simply write about their thoughts, emotions, and experiences. 
  6. Find Healthy Distractions Distractions are a great tool for managing anxiety. Healthy distractions, like listening to upbeat music, watching funny shows on TV, or playing a game with friends, are all great ways to manage anxiety. Anxiety tends to control your thoughts. Spend less time sitting back and thinking and more time making it hard for yourself to worry, because you're too busy doing other things.
  7. Create Art Art is also a powerful tool for reducing anxiety. Art allows you to express yourself in ways that are therapeutic, while also giving you an activity that serves as a distraction from your mind. Also, once you complete an art piece, you'll get the joy of accomplishment, which can be a powerful anxiety reduction tool.

It is possible to manage your anxiety so that it no longer interferes with your life. The above coping tools should help you decrease the degree to which anxiety affects you, and hopefully, make your life more manageable. And when you're ready to commit to a longer-term treatment, there are many options available to you.

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