5 Quick Relaxation Techniques for Anxiety

Did you know that anxiety is by far the most common mental disorder in both U.S. and Europe? In modern world with fast paced life, stress is all-pervading and there are days when we feel stressed out most of the time. Anxiety is simply a natural response to strong and prolonged stressors.

See, there is no need to be anxious about anxiety. It’s a common plague in our hectic, busy reality so we have no other choice but to be constructive and find ways to alleviate it.

Medicines are the simplest solution, but not all doctors recommend them. After all, pills are pure chemistry with side effects which is simply a wrong answer to the problem which could be tackled with healthy lifestyle and mind power.

I feel anxious during flights, and once I even developed a panic attack, but didn’t even know what it was. I only learned about it later from a psychologist. The following time, I was mentally prepared for that option – and it just didn’t happen!

When not on a plane, I get anxious about dilemmas and having to decide on anything important. What I firmly decided though, was not to take highly addictive pills in such situations, but to stick to these natural relaxation techniques for anxiety:

1. Talk to Someone Close

Your family members and closest friends need to know about your anxiety. How else could they help you, especially if they happened to be there when the panic strikes? Having a familiar shoulder to lay your head on and hearing a couple of calming sentences will relax you instantly.

The same goes for a phone call. Start talking to an available close person, or dial them, as soon as anxiety symptoms start. They are highly individual and there are over 100 of individual symptoms, so you need to work out which ones pertain to you.

Pay attention to anything from chest pain to stiff muscles, numbness, tingling and excess sweating. Having a close person by our side kills the feeling of being all alone with the invading anxiety. Chatting to a friend about fun and positive things will keep your focus away, relaxing you and making anxiety recede.

2. Write It All Down

gold pen in womans hand

Even if you don’t feel like it, journal the sensations following the onset of an anxious episode, so you can activate relaxation techniques for anxiety as soon as you recognize the early symptoms. Aside from this immediate benefit, you should also write down all the feelings and thoughts related to the problem.

Go over your notes after a week, or when you feel strong and cool enough for self-analysis. Get ready to be amazed, because we tend to answer our own questions unknowingly once we confide in our journal. Typically, your writing will spell out what’s really bothering you deep down, causing anxiety in the first place. This is the best possible supplement to all forms of psychotherapy, because it brings out valuable insights for you and your therapist, rapidly cutting the number of sessions needed.

Writing is an effective relaxation activity because you will start feeling in control of your thoughts once you start tracking and enlisting them as if it was your job, or a science project.

3. Change Your Diet

Having a single fresh pear will help you relax and relieve the anxiety far better than a chocolate bar. Thank the high potassium levels in this fat and cholesterol-free fruit.

One of the common anxiety symptoms is craving for sweets. Eating simple sugars lifts us up and brings comfort initially, but makes us more depressed and anxious in the long run. Not to mention gaining weight after repetitive nightly chocolate feasts.
The good news is, you don’t need to stop drinking alcohol and coffee, just limit their intake. One alcohol unit with plenty of water along the way won’t be detrimental to your condition, and the same goes for up to two cups of coffee a day.

The general rule is to consume natural, unprocessed whole food, altering predominantly protein and carbohydrate meals. Some of the white-listed groceries are: yogurt, fresh fish and seafood, cooked or grilled poultry, pears, bananas, veggies and raw nuts.
What you should stay away from are sodas, french fries, chips, pastry and all industrially processed food.

As for beverages, my all-time favorite stress and anxiety fighting potion is natural sage infusion. Just pour a sachet or a teaspoon of loose dried sage herb with a cup of boiling water, and leave to infuse for 5 minutes only. Sage is not only anti-bacterial, but very calming while it doesn’t inhibit alertness. Enjoy it half an hour before going to bed in the evening, or before going to work.

Introduce dietary changes gradually. A few improvements will make you generally more relaxed and upbeat, no need for extremes.

4. Breathing Exercise

Yoga Breathing Exercise

When anxiety creeps up and you experience that annoying and terrifying shortness of breath, taking a deep breath is a common advice, but you know too well it’s not enough.

Proper deep breathing technique is the key to quick relaxation. Relax your shoulders and exhale first. Only then inhale slowly starting from your stomach which should go out. Don’t use complicated breathing patterns,just count up to four when inhaling, make a second-long pause and then count again to four. Counting is a great relaxation trigger because it just lets you be, driving the racing thoughts away.

5. Diverse Daily Activities

Obsessing about your anxiety will get you nowhere. Your nervous system needs relaxation, and to make this happen, you need to enrich your days with new, enjoyable activities the main purpose of which is to keep your mind busy, away from anxiety-related thoughts. What can evolve from your breathing exercises is meditation.

The basic form of meditation is focusing on a repetitive sound, or geometrical shape with the aim of blank, clear mind and relaxed body. Meditation is a whole another topic, and it is best to find a tutor for the first few lessons. Singing around the house is another simple and rapid relaxation technique.

You could also join a local choir and meet new friends there. If singing is not your thing, consider dance therapy or taking up art lessons. Focusing on your drawing or painting in the making will also keep your mind busy, leaving you relaxed in minutes.

About the author


Alex is your savvy and fun guide for globe trotting and all aspects of self-improvement, from professional and financial to physical. When not writing or traveling, Alex enjoys practicing martial arts and yoga.

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