We’ve all been there: shallow breathing, tension in the gut, chest pains, rapid heartbeat, and some days feeling like even putting one foot in front of the other is all getting too much.
We are losing control. Every moment is exhausting, crushing, and painful.
Anxiety destroys your confidence, your productivity, your relationships, and your ability to enjoy life.
That’s why we have decided to create a list with some of the best ways to relax and ease your anxious mind!
We hope you’ll find at least some of these tips and suggestions helpful but please remember, by no means is this list exhaustive nor will every item on this list possibly feel good and right for you.
Alright, let’s get started, shall we?
• Lifestyle and Productivity
1. Get enough sleep
Our body and mind need sleep in order to rest and refresh. Sleep deprivation is one of the primary causes of anxiety. An average person requires eight hours of sleep every day. When your brain is sleep deprived, it may not be able to respond to emotional events appropriately. Go to bed early and make sure that you get seven to nine hours of sleep every night to maintain a healthy mind.
2. Take a power nap.
For many, short and frequent “power” naps help a lot. A quick nap, around 15 to 20 minutes, will often refresh and revive your body and mind.
3. Awaken 10 minutes earlier and set the stage for a successful day
Life gets a lot easier when you plan out your day. Get a head start by waking up 10 minutes earlier. Then, create a rough plan in your mind about how you plan to spend your day. Sometimes it is helpful to jot down a list and take it with you. Check off each event as you finish it and then you’ll have a feeling of accomplishment at the end of the day.
4. Stop over-analyzing
Over-analyzing things can quickly lead to mounting stress. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Let it go! If you find yourself worrying over things you have no control over, distract yourself. Go outside. Check out the sky. Are the stars out? Is the wind blowing? Will it be warmer as the day progresses? Play your favorite song. Look at pictures or photos that make you smile. List all the little things you can be grateful for and focus on those.
5. Feelings are just feelings, not facts
Everything you feel isn’t necessarily correct or factual. Negative feelings bubble up sometimes with little warning. Remember fear is often F(alse) E(vidence) A(ppearing) R(eal). Remind yourself to go one step at a time. Be confident and replace the negative feelings by focusing on something you enjoy. Practice by noticing things around you that give you a sense of wonder and beauty. A painting in the hall…the cat sleeping in the sun…your dog’s cheerful greeting. Anything that creates positive feelings for you will work. Then when the negative stuff seeps up, counter it with a positive memory.
6. Clear your mind.
Like your closet, your mind can fill up with unnecessary and unwanted stuff, so it’s important to get things straight and organized. Practice mindfulness by focusing your attention on the present. Slow down, breathe to a slow count of 5, make a to-do list, keep a journal, take a walk, or immerse yourself in a favorite pastime. Do less and focus on only one thing at a time as much as possible. Delegate when you can, ask for help if you need it.
7. Organize and get rid of clutter!
Just like the clutter and chaos in your mind can cause trouble, messy clutter in your home and/or workplace can create stress and feed frustration. Clean out, then recycle and repurpose anything you no longer need. Create the space you need to breathe and feel comfortable.
8. Invest in yourself
Invest in yourself and learn something new. Are you creative? As a child, did you love to draw or play the guitar? If so, pick it up and do it again! Read, take short courses and learn from others. Invest time and money on you and do it with joy and happiness. Just have fun with it and don’t push yourself too hard in the process.
9. Smile. Make yourself happy
Have you ever smiled even when you were feeling bad? That’s highly unlikely. Make yourself to smile more. Make a mental file of people, places, and things that make you smile. Pull something out of this mental file when you are feeling overwhelmed. The positive energy will transfer to your surroundings and echo back to you. In this study participants demonstrated that forcing a smile resulted in feeling more relaxed and an overall greater positive attitude.
While this is practically a no-brainer, it’s still important to note that exercising is an excellent way to get rid of stress. Find the type of exercise that suits you and makes you happy doing it. Some people find walking or jogging very relaxing while others like to dance or lift weights. Find a physical exercise that suits you and raise your heart rate around 20-30 minutes every day. Simple ways to increase exercise are to take the stairs, and park farther away so you have to walk further. Look for opportunities to walk and move at home, school or on the job.
11. Avoid low blood sugar
Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar) is a major cause of episodic anxiety. Start off your day by having a good breakfast (try to avoid foods that are high in sugar like processed cereal or even smoothies). Eat small frequent meals every few hours throughout the rest of the day. Make sure you have enough protein in your diet and be sure to limit sugary snacks and sodas.
12. Get inspired – quotes, motivational videos or positive affirmations
Surround yourself with positive affirmations and inspiration. Find quotes that help you feel better by inspiring you and post them where you can see them easily. Watch motivational videos and listen to inspirational music. Find (or create!) your own favorite positive affirmations. Hang them on your mirror or your workstation and read and repeat them several times a day. Or just make them your desktop or phone’s wallpaper to keep yourself inspired and motivated at all times.
13. Be social and schedule interesting activities, and don’t feel guilty about it!
Negative thoughts and feelings usually stay away when you are a good time. Schedule some time with your closest friend(s) or family regularly. Go out to dinner, listen to music, take a walk or just sit and have a cup of coffee. The activity is not as important as the shared experience. Such activities often help you take your mind off your worries!
14. When you notice the anxiety building, go to a trusted friend and talk about it.
Sharing your feelings often relieves anxiety, so keep in touch with yourself. Whenever you feel like anxiety is building inside of you, speak your mind. Find someone close to you who understands you and is able to help you rise above. Always go to that person when you are feeling anxious or simply need to ease your mind.
15. Pet an animal
Taking care of a pet can help you deal with anxious fear and a sense of aimlessness. Caring for your pet by providing food, love and safety may give you affection and satisfaction that will help you when you are feeling anxious. You want a caring companion, so make sure that you get a pet you can manage and look after without too much trouble or expense. Alternatively, you can borrow a friend’s dog and take him for a walk!
16. Realize that you are not on your own, find a support group
Sometimes it really helps to know that you are not alone. There are many people who have similar issues and find comfort and help with each other. Support groups are amazing when it comes to sharing feelings with like-minded people. Find a support group nearby and attend their meetings or if that may seem a bit too much at this point, find and join a private chat group on social media.
17. Realize that you are still your ‘Old You’
Always remember that you are still your ‘old you.’ Never stop working on yourself. You are always there, even when you are experiencing anxiety. You are not just your anxiety! Remember your struggles and solutions to provide a path back when anxiety strikes. Keep track of what works to help you move through your anxiety.
18. Lend a helping hand, even if it’s something very small
Remember how you felt when you helped someone? It’s one of the best feelings anyone can feel and could especially benefit those who are dealing with anxiety. Your actions may be very small, but that doesn’t take the satisfaction away. There are so many ways that you can help people and you don’t have to spend money to do so. Many civic and other helping groups need volunteers to operate so find one that works for you and volunteer!
19. Welcome any form of help from friends or family
Never turn down family or friends who offer help. Keep them close to you and go to them whenever you feel like you need someone to talk to or need help. It’s much easier to handle anxiety with the help of others rather than trying to do it all by yourself.
20. Use Pinterest and create your own inspiring boards
With Pinterest you are able to create and manage boards (or “pins”) of your favorite quotes, affirmations and articles that can inspire you(or others) during difficult times. Be sure to check out our own Pinterest account as well!
21. Loosen your clothing during an anxiety attack
Wearing tight clothing and heavy jewelry can weigh you down, especially during anxiety attacks. Avoid wearing such clothing and too many layers in general.
22. Take regular baths
Taking a nice hot bath has a soothing effect on your mind and body. To further improve the experience try lighting a few candles, read a book or add a few drops of lavender oil to your bath. Adding Epsom salt will also calm and rejuvenate you.
23. Limit or avoid alcohol
While the occasional glass of alcohol might help you unwind for a bit, limit your consumption carefully. Studies have shown that alcohol use can potentially increase anxiety.
24. Kick your 4-cups-a-day coffee habit
Caffeine is a stimulant, so too much coffee can make you jittery. If you are a caffeine addict (that would be me!) find an alternative. Tea, for example, has much less caffeine. While caffeine may not be the cause of your panic attacks, it could definitely make things worse.
25. Maintain a healthy weight
A healthy body contributes to a healthy mind. Maintaining a healthy weight and practicing good nutrition are vital to helping you control anxiety. A healthy weight will help you gain the physical and mental strength that you need to fight your anxiety and achieve a general sense of happiness.
26. Avoid finding comfort in complacency
Watch out for self-satisfied complacency! Be aware of each situation and avoid believing that you have things covered when you actually don’t. Be eager to learn about specific tasks, situations, and about life in general.
27. Deal with annoying tasks first
Complete annoying tasks first and get them out of the way. Finishing them quickly will help you feel calmer throughout the rest of the day. Whenever an annoying task takes too long, take a break. Getting it done is important, but don’t push yourself too hard.
28. Freshen up your life
Freshen up your life by changing simple things around you from time to time. This helps your mind to unwind and refresh. Take up a new hobby or learn something new. Redecorating your room home or rearranging your desk are other great ideas, even a small change can give things a new look and a fresh start.
29. Explore new places
The world is out there to be explored. Make sure you go and visit places that you haven’t been before from time to time. This can also include a short walk on a street you haven’t been on before or a sweet, short trip.
30. Accept your flaws and learn to live with them
Everyone has flaws, just like you. Identify your weak points and accept them. Learn to live with those flaws rather than trying to fix them entirely. The combination of your strengths and weaknesses make you the person you are!
31. Accept that overthinking won’t provide insight
Overthinking, or obsessing, seldom provides any new useful insights. In fact, it can create more anxiety. Accept that truth and keep yourself from doing it, because it seldom helps.
32. Journal your day-to-day experiences
Keep a journal that tracks your day-to-day experiences with anxiety. By putting your thoughts on paper, you both express your feelings and may also help identify certain triggers that are causing the anxiety. Make it a point to update your journal every night for the best results.
33. Get in the sauna from time to time
Either you’re a total fan or not, but there is no denying that the feeling of warmth relaxes people. Besides that, studies have shown that occasionally spending time in the sauna lowers stress, keeps the heart healthy and might even extend your life.
34. Keep a gratitude journal
Keep a Gratitude Journal to remind yourself about the amazing things that you have in your life. Jot down three to five things that you are thankful about in your journal every day. Doing so will help focus your attention on the positives in your life and provide a sense of all the good in your life.
35. Limit (social) media exposure
In a world where the only thing news sites are non-stop talking about are crime, corruption, economic breakdown, and the end of the world, you realize that exposing yourself to this on a daily basis is the same as planting seeds of fear and anxiousness. Try and limit the time that you spend watching the news or browsing on social media, and focus your time and energy on things that will help you get forward and appreciate who you really are without you having to worry about the future.
36. Avoid the Cyberchondria trap
Doctors think looking up health information online can be problematic because the computer doesn’t have the same diagnostic skills as a healthcare professional. Physicians determine whether an issue is serious by considering personal factors like a patient’s family history and age. (Wrinkles at age five isn’t normal— sorry, Benjamin Button.) On the other hand, when someone searches for “headaches” online, they may find several sources suggesting they are suffering from something much worse…
37. The world Is not mad at you because of your anxiety.
The folks in your life that matter are well aware that you haven’t chosen to suffer from anxiety. So stop feeling guilty and thinking that everyone is mad at you for it. Keep your loved ones close to you and always believe in their love to you. No one is mad at you about your anxiety and they are all rooting for you to get through it!
38. Visualize positive things and hang on to those thoughts
Take a few moments throughout the day to visualize something positive that makes you happy. It could be a beautiful place at the park, or something you saw in a book. Hang on to those thoughts throughout the day and revisit every detail when you start to feel anxious.
39. Talk to a therapist
Talking to friends and family does help, but you can benefit a lot more by seeing a counselor or therapist. They are trained to know what you are going through and how to help you find the best ways to move through it successfully. Read our guide on getting professional treatment to get familiar with the basics.
• Handy Tools
Adult coloring books have become very popular lately. If you read our previous article, you know coloring has a ton of potential therapeutic benefits. To many, it is considered a meditative practice. Benefits include increased focus, increased creativity and reconnection with your inner child. If you’d like to try it yourself, then print out some of the mandala templates we have created for you.
41. Set a reminder on your phone to get ready for bed and read fiction to unwind.
We all know that we need sleep, but we get busy sometimes and simply forget about it. Make sure that you go to sleep on time by setting a reminder on your phone. When you set the time, don’t forget to give yourself enough time to get ready for bed. Do this for short naps too. To help yourself relax, try reading your favorite book.
42. Stress ball
Stress balls are fun! They have so many health benefits, including stress relief, nerve stimulation, diversion of attention and mood enhancement. In other words, it’s a great idea to have one with you at work or play with it for a bit whenever you feel overwhelmed.
43. Sleep mask
Going to sleep on time and spending seven to nine hours in bed does not ensure that you get enough sleep. Using a sleep mask can help ensure that your brain recognizes 100% darkness so it releases powerful neurochemicals that help you go to sleep. You can also use earplugs if you are having trouble with noise in your surroundings. White noise, as from a fan or recording, can help, too.
44. Massage blocks
Massage blocks help you release tension by applying pressure to certain points of your body, similar to what massage therapists do to relieve tension. If you’re interested in these, check out Amazon for a good selection and be sure to check the reviews.
45. Scalp Head Massager
Feeling a bit itchy? If so, you’re in luck! Not only can the scratching of a scalp relieve you from that nagging itch, it could also be an easy way to make your hair stronger, alleviate headaches, improve your sleep, and above all, reduce stress and anxiety.
46. Acupressure Mat
Self-acupressure is a pretty common and effective methody, although most experts recommend seeing a specialist. Laying on it for as little as 20 minutes daily can help you lower your stress levels. Plus, it increases circulation, energy, reduces back pain, blood pressure, muscle aches and much more.
47. Zen garden box
Zen gardens are created to represent different soothing elements of nature. These meditation gardens were first used centuries ago by Buddhists. However, anyone can use a Zen garden to find their inner peace. Small Zen garden boxes represent the same elements of traditional Zen gardens and they can help you reduce stress and anxiety in powerful, positive ways. Cultivate your Zen garden to develop quiet mindfulness and inner peace. Like coloring, this meditative practice enhances your ability to find and maintain your own inner strength and peace.
48. Essential oils (and diffuser)
Our mind and body respond to scent as the brain reacts directly to smell. Aromatherapy is based on exactly that. Different scents have different effects, and there are volumes of research about which scent does what. Some have the ability to calm and relax, which is exactly why aromatherapy could be very useful for people with anxiety. Use an oil diffuser to spread the aroma of your choosing around your household or simply add a few drops of oil to your bath or onto your skin. Take care using undiluted oils on your skin, however. Read the instructions carefully as some can cause irritation.
49. Anxiety apps for your smartphone
There are quite a few smartphone apps which have been designed to help people deal with their anxiety. This could help you out a ton when you’re on the move, so make sure that you have a few of these apps installed on your phone to access them whenever you feel your anxiety building.
Healthline has compiled a list of 15 self-help anxiety apps of which many are completely free to use. Try different apps and see which one works the best for you.
• Healthy Diet
50. Stay hydrated
Water is life. While dehydration may affect anxiety in a variety of ways, the clearest link is that when the body is dehydrated, it starts to function improperly. Hormones are unable to reach their destined locations because of poor blood flow. Muscles may tense up and at the same time, your brain may experience weakness or changes as a result of water loss. In other words, stay hydrated!
51. Drink a cup of tea
Even if you do yoga, meditate and perform other stress-reducing activities, calm may allude you. Instead of getting a prescription for Xanax, try a natural supplement to relax. There are several herbs you can take in a nice cup of tea that could give you the sedative effect you need during times of hardship. Examples of such herbs are Chamomile, Valerian, and Kava. Generally, one teaspoon of dried herbs or three tablespoons of fresh herb to one cup of water is a beneficial amount. Most herbs should steep for 5 to 10 minutes.
52. Listen to your gut
If you have read our article on ‘Gut-Brain Connection‘, you’ll know that adding more fermented foods to your diet may help you out a lot more than you initially would have thought.
53. Maintain a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy diet has many benefits as well as the simple satisfaction of taking care of yourself. Avoid unhealthy fats and sugars. Introduce more fresh veggies and fruits to your diet. Having a sugary snack from time to time is okay, but make sure that you stick to healthy food in general. Also add food that is rich in anti-oxidants to your diet.
• Helpful Exercises
54. Breathing exercises
You must have thought that breathing is just a simple thing. You do it all the time without even noticing. However, there’s a good chance that you aren’t doing it properly. If you breathe properly, there’s a great chance of reducing anxiety. Use the 4-7-8 breathing exercise a few times a day to ensure that you provide oxygen to your body the right way. This will calm you down and keep you grounded.
Start by exhaling completely. Close your mouth and inhale through your nose to a mental count of four. Now hold your breath to a count of seven. Finally exhale through your mouth making a whoosh sounds to a count of eight. Repeat this exercise a few more times.
If you would like a bit of visual assistance, you can practice following the next exercise:
You can take a look at a few other breathing exercises we have discussed in the past, here.
55. Progressive muscle relaxation
This involves relaxing your muscles in a two-step process. Identify each muscle group, starting with your toes and moving up. First tense the muscle or muscle group. Then release and relax them. Notice how you feel as you release the tension. You can do this with your fists, neck, shoulder and pretty much any other muscle you are able to control. But progressively moving up the body, one muscle group at a time, will be most effective.
56. Change your posture
Have you ever heard of power poses? These are body movements that increase your confidence and tend to be more powerful than traditional confidence-boosting exercises. Identify yours and make sure you practice holding that pose throughout the day. Also identify low power poses and remove them from your personal body language. Power poses basically trick your mind and tell it that you’re amazing! This feeds your subconscious mind, and increases your ability to be positive and anxiety-free.
57. Practice Yoga daily
Practicing Yoga is a great way to relax and center your mind to become calm and collected. Plus it has many, many benefits to your physical body, too. Learn a few simple Yoga poses, or asanas, and spend a few minutes every day practicing them. If you are happy with the results, you could perhaps take a class and develop your skills even further!
58. Practice Neuro-Linguistic Programming
Neuro-Linguistic Programming was researched and studied to understand what made certain therapists more effective than others. It is an alternative medicine practice used for psychotherapy, medicine and personal development. Get to know the basics of NLP and how incorporating it into your day-to-day life may greatly reduce your stress and anxiety.
59. Time your panic attacks
Panic attacks have certain patterns. Time how long it takes to build up, the duration of the panic attack, how long it takes to calm down and at what point you are finally able to resume your normal activity. It may not be easy doing this, but timing your panic attacks will enable you to have better control over it the next time it happens. You will also be able to tell those around you before an attack occurs, how long it is liable to last, and how they can help you.
60. Create your own personal success mantra
We all have different goals and challenges in life; therefore it’s highly important that we create our own life motto to keep us on track. This mantra will focus your mind and stop you from being anxious and overwhelmed when life throws you yet another curve ball. Identify your challenges, weaknesses and goals so you can craft your own personal mantra.
Here are a few steps you can take to create yours.
61. Emotional Freedom Technique (Tapping)
This method focuses on reducing anxiety by correcting the bioelectrical short-circuiting that occurs during an anxiety episode. Using specific ‘finger tapping’ methods, practitioners learn to moderate moods and stabilize anxiety. Research has found that EFT increases positive emotions, such as hope and enjoyment, while reducing negative feelings.
Here is a short video demonstrating the basics:
Meditation has been known to mankind for centuries and has been practiced throughout the world. When you start meditating, it’s important not to resist your thoughts. Let them move through your mind. Visualize them then ‘surf’ through your emotions in a calm and collected manner. Imagine those emotions floating away as you remain calm and centered. You can read more on how to successfully utilize meditative mindfulness techniques right here.
This is a form of psychotherapy aimed at creating a change in your subconscious to form better responses, thoughts, behavior, feelings and attitudes. It’s a great treatment for anxiety disorders as it treats the root causes by changing your deep perception of specific obstacles that are manifesting in your life as anxiety.
64. Take a ‘Forest Bath’ to unwind and refresh
Forest baths have been shown to reduce stress and anxiety levels in multiple studies. Traditionally, we have a deep relationship with nature, but over the last few centuries we all have become increasingly disconnected from it. A walk through a forest will make you feel refreshed and provide a soothing effect so If you have one nearby, that’s great. If you don’t, go to your city park and spend some time in the midst of trees and other animals. Instant refreshment awaits you!
This amazing practice uses natural oils extracted from flowers, stems, roots, leaves and other parts of plants to improve your physical and mental health. When you inhale these essential oils, they tend to stimulate brain function and help you achieve calmness. Inhaling these essences allow the beneficial effects to occur very quickly due to the proximity of the nose to the brain.
Here’s how you can use Aromatherapy to ease your mind.
66. Spiritual Healing
While there is no concrete evidence that spiritual growth and a belief in a higher power directly improves your mental health, adapting your mindset to the point where it gets in touch with your beliefs better might still offer you some meaningful ways to alleviate anxiety.
67. Get hot!
Have you ever spent time in the sun during the summer time and felt so happy? That’s because the heat helps reduce anxiety through releasing stress in your brain and muscles. Find ways to warm up regularly and this will have a great effect on your anxiety problem. Use a sauna, go to the beach, dip in a hot tub or spend some time by the fireplace. The warmth will instantly boost your mood.
This alternative medicine form is a component of Chinese medicine involving thin needles inserted into the body at certain points known as meridians. This is an ancient healing modality that can be used solely or in conjunction with other treatments. There’s ample research evidence to indicate that Acupuncture can be an effective treatment for anxiety.
69. Craft and create
Create your own mindfulness jar of creative ideas. Exercise and refresh your mind by solving puzzles, knitting, jewelry making, sewing, card making, drawing, painting or any other DIY creative project that you enjoy. Such projects will keep you busy and give you a sense of satisfaction and pride!
70. Take time for yourself every day
YOU should be the priority, so allocate some time for yourself every day. Get out of your usual schedule for a little while by playing with your kids or your pet. Or take a walk. Find something that gives you joy, even if you can only carve out 30 minutes each day.
Utilize mindfulness to practice psychological and behavioral calming skills. Learn to observe, become more aware, work on a non-judgmental stance, and focus on the job at hand. With these exercises, you are able to achieve a balanced state of mind within a relatively short period of time.
A simple exercise that you can practice right now:
Sit straight and comfortably, focus on your breathing, pay attention to the sensations of inhaling and exhaling. Repeat it. Allow anything that comes to your mind to float away as you focus on your breathing. Measure your breath by footsteps and listen to relaxing music to make this exercise easier.
72. Ask yourself simple questions
Find the causes for your anxiety and panic attacks by asking yourself very simple questions like: Did I have too much coffee or sugar? Have I been too tired or sick recently? Am I eating correctly? Am I really anxious? Try to grasp the root cause of your negative feelings.
73. Exposure therapy
This is a technique used to treat different anxiety disorders by exposing you to the feared object in a safe, protected manner. This method teaches your brain to stop broadcasting the fear signal when the feeling is irrational and there simply isn’t anything serious to worry about.
74. Listen to relaxing music
Find some of your favorite soothing tunes and relax your mind. Have it played in the background while you work or when you are practicing some of the exercises in this listing.
75. Play It Away
If exercising feels to much like a chore then how about enjoying some guilt-free time with your friends? In ‘Play it Away’, author Charlie Hoehn explains how spending 30 minutes each day on any outdoor activity with your friends may actually be the key when trying to cure anxiety. He even created a Pinterest board with all sorts of activity ideas you can try out.
76. Scribble your thoughts on paper
Write down your thoughts on paper, you will be able to get a better view on them that way. Process your thoughts and think of ways to move the negative feelings and thoughts from negative to positive.
77. Create a ‘happiness spreadsheet’
It’s important to know what makes you happy and what doesn’t. Maintain a spreadsheet to track each activity and rate how happy you were doing them. This can help you discover patterns and isolate negativity. Then you can identify your triggers and work around them with activities that actually make you happy.
78. Panic attacks
“Just relax” – “Calm down, it’s not that bad”
While most of the time they mean well, anxiety attacks are not as easy as the outside world might think. With that being said, always remind yourself that you’ve had them before and that you’ve made it through every single time. Calm yourself during panic attacks with slow, measured breathing and by reminding yourself that this too shall pass.
79. Write a list of things that make you proud and happy
Compile a list or collect a box of things that make you feel happy and proud. It may be photos of your friends and loved ones or your pet. It may be memorable items or gifts. Did you go to a concert or movie that you enjoyed? Add the ticket stub to your collection. Look at your list or pick up items in your collection when you feel anxiety building. Realize that you have a lot to live and fight for in this world.
80. Learn to be more assertive
Never be afraid to stand up for yourself in a calm, collected manner. Believe in yourself, your qualities, and that you are a good person. Don’t be afraid to have faith in yourself. Stand up for yourself when the time comes.
• Other Activities and Habits
For many, cleaning and organizing is like meditation. Spend a little time every day cleaning your household or working in your garden. Make a point to get it done, because like many other things, starting is often the most difficult part. Get started and enjoy a feeling of accomplishment. It will also have a great effect on your anxiety as a decluttered environment will help you achieve a decluttered mind.
82. Trim financial stress
Most of us have dealt with financial stress at some point. Debt can easily become overwhelming and become a major contributor to feelings of low self-esteem and hopelessness. Organize your finances by tracking your expenses. Cut down unnecessary expenses. Create a budget for every week or month. Spend your money wisely and make a workable plan to pay your debt. Try to save a little of every paycheck.
83. Treat yourself
You’re wonderful and you deserve some special care! Treat yourself every now and then to a massage, mani-pedicure, or haircut. Take some time off for yourself to write or read poetry, take photographs or simply wander around. Go on picnics, watch movies or visit the beach. You need this type of fun activities to balance your work and daily responsibilities. Actively seek your peace of mind.
84. Plan your future
Have both short-term and long-term plans, so that you don’t put too much pressure on your mind with uncertainty. Know exactly what you are going to do each day, each week and each month. Unexpected events will arise, but you will be able to stick to your plans nevertheless. Knowing your plans and committing to them is so much easier on your mind and can be a great stress reliever.
85. Lay down on the ground
Let the earth/floor hold you. You don’t have to hold it all on your own.
86. Move your energy out
Whether you sing, shout or pound(a pillow pretty please!), sometimes it’s just necessary to let go of the stress and energy we’ve built up.
87. Dance away
Just do it! Don’t worry what you look like or who is watching. Dance your worries away! Put on some music and dance by yourself. Or, if you like to dancing with others, plan a night out with your best friends and let the worries go away.
88. Cry it out
“Do not apologize for crying. Without this emotion, we are only robots.”
― Elizabeth Gilbert,
“You know that a good, long session of weeping can often make you feel better, even if your circumstances have not changed one bit.”
― Lemony Snicket,
89. Reflect on the positive
Take time to reflect on the positive things in your life. Your achievements and accomplishments, and people you have helped or looked after. You’re not as bad as you sometimes may feel. Be proud of the person you are and know how far you’ve come.
90. Utilize the power of affirmations
Make your own positive affirmations and repeat them outloud. Often. Tell yourself that you are strong. Tell yourself that you are safe and that you will get through this. Positive affirmations have been proven to work in a few different ways. Knowing something is one thing, but actually hearing it time and time again from within yourself will result in a boost to your confidence. Make sure to join our 30-day affirmation challenge to get started!
91. Put on fresh nightwear and use clean linen
Because, well… Nothing like a fresh set of nightwear and linen, right?
92. Read self-help books
Self-help and personal development material is one of those things that’s either embraced with open arms, or pushed away like a bad meal. I prefer the former. And I’m guessing that if you’re reading this article right now, you’re (at least) thinking about embracing books like these. But be wary, not all of them are quality material.
93. Lend a regular a helping hand
Remember how you felt when you helped someone? It’s one of the best feelings anyone can feel and could especially benefit those who are feeling anxious. Your actions may be very small, but that doesn’t take the satisfaction away.
There are so many ways that you can help people and you don’t have to spend money to do so. For example, volunteer at a retirement home or help out at a soup kitchen. Many civic and other helping groups need volunteers to operate so find one that works for you and volunteer!
94. Do something for the greater good
Help people or animals in need by donating money or volunteer for a cause you can trust and you identify with.
There are so many people and animals out there who need help. You can go out there and help make a difference, and you will often find yourself making new friends and learning new skills in the meantime.
95. Splash cold water on your face
Have you ever splashed cold water on your face and felt instantly refreshed? There’s a good reason for that because cold water helps with heart palpitations by making your system “reboot”. It’s a trick that you can apply a few times a day to keep yourself refreshed and stress-free and whenever you are feeling overwhelmed. It will also wake you up if you are too sleepy!
96. Trick your brain for happiness
Your brain listens to you. So talk to yourself even though you may not feel completely convinced on what you are talking about. Like affirmations, you can trick the brain into believing positive things and what works for you. This ‘fake it until you make it’ tactic takes a while to get used to, but could prove to be very beneficial in the long run.
To Write Love on Her Arms is a non-profit organization that focuses on providing hope to people struggling with depression, addiction, self-injury and thoughts of suicide. It also invests directly into treatment and recovery. TWLOHA connects people to treatment centers and resources such as websites, books and support groups. It also helps people share their experiences and have honest conversations with each other. It’s a community that can help each other in so many ways.
‘To Write Love on Her Arms’ was the name or the article that Jamie Tworkowski wrote for his friend Renee Yohe who was suffering with addiction, depression, self-injury and suicidal thoughts. The article was about the five days that he spent with Renee before she entered a treatment center. What started as a simple attempt to help someone realize that there’s more to life and it’s possible to recover has become a great non-profit organization.
You can visit the TWLOHA website for more info.
98. Get some accountability
Find other people with anxiety and find out what they are doing to cope. Discuss things that you know and have worked for you with them. It’s a good idea to ask others before trying something new out. Talk to each other, try out these tips together and help each other in the process, it’s much easier to do something like this with someone that is walking the same path. It also helps you find out what works best and how to make things work even better.
99. Laugh it off
Reseachers have discovered that laughter is among the simplest ways to lift your mood and overall well-being, even if it’s just a small chuckle here and there.
But, how is it that laughter can actually diminish anxiety over time? The act of laughing is similar to deep breathing in its ability to increase the oxygen in our bodies. Coupled with reducing stress hormones, the increased oxygen in the body helps lead to muscle relaxation. All of this helps reduce the physical symptoms of anxiety.
100. Learn to say ‘No’
This is quite common among us folks, we don’t want to let anyone down but we know we can’t handle that ‘one more’ request, ‘one more’ obligation or anything that pulls on our precious self-care time. It’s not fun to turn down others, but you know you have to and you shouldn’t be afraid to do so.
101. Give it time
Take it easy, step by step and day by day. Getting your anxiety under control is not a one-step process that happens overnight.
102. Have trust and faith in yourself
Seriously… You can do this. Here’s a tiny foxtato to cheer you along: