Everyone experiences anxiety at some point. For some people, anxiety is a temporary, passing feeling. For others, anxiety can be a daily struggle. Seventy percent of adults in the United States have reported feeling stressed or anxious every single day.
Let’s talk about four ways to lessen your anxiety right now:
4 Ways to Reduce Anxiety Right Now
- Accept your Anxiety. The truth is, you can’t avoid the feeling of anxiety. Anxiety is natural, and accepting that you’re going to feel anxious sometimes is the first step to moving forward.
- Take some DEEP breaths. Make sure you’re breathing. When we get anxious, we tend to take short, quick breaths which can worsen our anxiety. Instead, when you feel your heart racing, take deep breaths to activate your body’s relaxation response.
- Burn Essential Oils. When it comes to anxiety, nature’s got your back. There are plenty of essential oils that are soothing to our bodies, and burning them or rubbing them on your wrists can reduce the feelings of anxiety. Some of these essential oils are lavender, rose, and bergamot.
- Exercise. I know this one seems contradictory, but adding physical stress can lower mental stress. Taking a walk when you feel anxiety coming on is great, but adding regular exercise is even better. Exercise naturally lowers your stress hormones and releases endorphins, your body’s natural pain killers.
Bonus: Observe Your Surroundings
If you’re all the way in an anxiety attack, take a moment to observe your surroundings using the 5-4-3-2-1 technique. Observe:
- 5 things you can see (your feet, the door, your puppy)
- 4 things you can physically feel (the ground, a breeze)
- 3 things you can hear (the television, birds chirping)
- 2 things you can smell (lavender candle, coffee)
- 1 thing you can taste (a mint, gum, the fresh air)
The Bottom Line
Even though anxiety can be a daily struggle, there are plenty of ways to reduce anxiety in the short term and in the long term. The best way to combat anxiety is to take yourself away from the source of stress. Acceptance, deep breathing, and essential oils can relieve your stress in the moment, and an exercise routine can reduce your stress overall.