Anxiety can stem from a variety of situations and conditions. Some anxieties form from an early age and develop into disorders, while others are a result of more common stressors that can be encountered on a day-to-day basis. In fact, about 70% of adults in the U.S. claim they feel anxiety or stress on a daily basis.
If your anxiety is related to stress, then we’ve got some easy fixes for finding relief from your anxiety.
What Is Anxiety?
Anxiety tends to be an umbrella term that characterizes a feeling of tension, apprehension, fear, or nervousness. It can also relate to physical changes in the body such as increased heart rate or blood pressure as a result of these feelings.
If you’re facing something that could be potentially worrisome or harmful, such as a lab result from your doctor, for example, then it’s completely natural to feel anxiety. The emotions you experience along with the adrenaline boost in your body is really just your body’s “fight-or-flight” response, which stems from our innate reaction to any kind of harm.
Anxiety can stem from a variety of situations or concerns, including health concerns, finances, social situations, or other stressful scenarios that demand our attention. You’ll know you’re experiencing anxiety if you spot one of these common symptoms:
- Trembling or shakiness
- Increased or irregular heartbeat
- Restlessness or fatigue
- Tension in the body
- Digestive issues
- Chest tightness
10 Easy Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety
Sometimes we face situations that we don’t want to feel anxiety over but we just can’t seem to help it. You may be craving a sense of calm, but anxiety can often wash over you before you’ve had any time to prepare for it. If you find yourself experiencing anxiety and looking for a sense of relief, then try one of these 10 easy solutions:
One of the easiest fixes to anxiety is exercise. Not only will exercise shift your focus from stressful mental thoughts, but the activity will stimulate the release of endorphins which combat stress hormones in the body. Not only that, but regular and consistent exercise can prevent feelings of anxiety before they’ve even hit you.
2. Essential Oils
Essential oils not only smell good, but they actually have healing properties that can calm your senses. Essential oils, such as lavender oil, are commonly used in aromatherapy as a way to treat your mood and decrease anxiety. Try applying 1 drop near your sinuses and breathe in the aroma to calm your senses.
3. Chew Gum
Believe it or not, chewing gum can actually be an effective way to reduce anxiety. Studies have been conducted on the correlation between gum-chewing and relief for stress and anxiety, and researchers have found that people who actively and strongly chew gum were much less stressed and anxious after 10 minutes of chewing.
4. Socialize with Family and Friends
If your family or friends are not the ones causing anxiety in your life, then make sure you spend some time with them! Hanging out with loved ones can not only get you through the tough times in life, but studies have shown that women, in particular, benefit from hanging out with friends and children since it causes the release of oxytocin, a natural source of relief for anxiety and stress.
5. Watch Something Funny
When they saying laughing is the best medicine, they’re not lying. Laughing can relieve tension in the body and suppress symptoms of anxiety. Turn on a funny TV show or attend a comedy show to keep yourself distracted from your worries.
6. Ask for Help or Just Say No
A lot of times when we find ourselves anxious, it’s because we feel overwhelmed. Maybe you’ve taken on one too many projects or over-committed yourself to too many events, but learning to accept what your limits are or ask for help can help you reduce anxiety in your life. If help can’t be given for certain situations, then be cautious about accepting projects or invites in the future so that you don’t end up with too much on your plate.
7. Make a To-Do List
When you do find yourself anxious because you’re feeling overwhelmed, one immediate fix is to make a to-do list. Writing down what you need to do and the priority in which it needs to be done can help you clear your thoughts and help you feel more prepared. A to-do list will also prevent you from procrastinating or leaving prioritized tasks undone for the last minute.
8. Yoga and Meditation
Similar to exercise, practicing some yoga stretches can help you get moving and get the blood flow going in your body, reducing symptoms of anxiety. If you practice mindful meditation when you’re doing yoga, then you can also work on shifting your mental thoughts away from whatever is causing you anxiety and achieve some peace, clarity, and relief.
9. Listen to Music
Relaxing music isn’t just nice to hear. Listening to a classical song or nature sounds, for example, can actually lower your blood pressure, lower your heart rate, and reduce the stress hormones in your body. So if you find yourself feeling anxious, turn on a calming tune and find yourself easing into the relaxing sound.
10. Hang Out with Your Pet
Spending time with your pet can be very helpful in reducing anxiety. Studies have shown that hanging out with your pet can stimulate the release of oxytocin, which improves your mood and lessens anxiety. Your furry friend can also keep you distracted from whatever is worrying you and causing anxiety.
(n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2018, from https://www.calmclinic.com/anxiety-guide/symptoms
Team, T. M. (2017, December 12). Common symptoms of anxiety. Retrieved March 21, 2018, from https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/info/anxiety/symptoms-of-anxiety.php
16 Simple Ways to Relieve Stress and Anxiety. (n.d.). Retrieved March 21, 2018, from https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/16-ways-relieve-stress-anxiety#section16
Masticatory performance alters stress relief effect of gum chewing. (2015, September 03). Retrieved March 21, 2018, from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1883195815000717