6 Simple & Natural Ways to Reduce Your Anxiety

Living with anxiety can make everyday life seem impossible. As someone who has dealt with anxiety for a number of years, I understand how bad it can feel. Tasks that would normally require little or no thought can be daunting. To help you overcome your moments of extreme tension, I’ve listed some effective natural ways to manage and relieve your anxiety below.

Acknowledgement  

The first step to relieving your anxiety is to acknowledge it. Don’t ignore your feelings. Trying to pretend you aren’t feeling it or that you aren’t struggling will only make things worse. Many people suffer from anxiety. You are not alone. Don’t hide from your feelings. Hiding from something doesn’t make it go away. Recognize that you have the power to overcome it.

Proper Breathing

One quick way to recover control over your emotions following an episode of anxiety is to simply breathe. Take slow breaths. Be sure to breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth. Breathe in for five seconds, hold for four to five seconds and breathe out for five seconds. Although it may take a few minutes to work, this can help to ease the feeling of panic lower your heart rate.

Crowding

The easiest way to explain the process of crowding is to give you an example. You could make a list of animals that you would see in a zoo, A-Z. Or you could list A-Z things you might find in a grocery store. You want the lists to be easy enough that you don’t have to skip a great deal of letters, but you want them to be hard enough that they actually make you think. This technique forces your brain to focus on the list’s items.

Crowding has been the most effective method for me by a long shot. You can even make these lists with someone else, going back and forth to see if you can both come up with a different item for the same letter.

If you are running out of ideas for a list, take some time to brainstorm. Sit with a pen and paper and come up with new ideas. Be sure not to start your lists though! You’ll want to save them for when you really need them.

Grounding

Grounding is another useful and commonly anxiety relief technique. To do this properly, find a place where you can either sit or stand comfortably for a few minutes. Next list at least two things you can see, smell, touch, hear, and taste (if possible). Try not to fly through the list. Take the time to really let your senses focus. If you are sitting on a chair, how does the fabric feel against your fingers? Is it rough or soft? Can you hear the sound of birds chirping outside? Maybe you can hear the sounds of cars driving down the road. By doing this you are training your brain to focus on the present instead of your feelings of anxiety and panic.

Completing this exercise successfully may require practice. Even when you are relaxed, take the time to practice grounding and clear your mind. You can do this while relaxing in the shower or even when you lay down at night.

Talk

Simply talking can temporary relieve your anxiety. Talk to a family member or call a friend. If you are comfortable sharing what you are going through with them, ask them to help you. I have found that just getting some reassurance from someone you trust can help tremendously. Tell whomever you are talking to that you need a distraction. Talk about something that truly interests you.

If you don’t want to share what you are going through, just talk about something detailed or interesting that you know will hold your attention. It can be something you viewed on social media, a new TV show that everyone is talking about, or even a dream vacation that you would love to take. The possibilities for a conversation are endless.

Focus

If the methods listed above don’t seem to be working for you, find something else to focus on. If you like to read, find a book to get engrossed in. If you like to write, grab a pen and paper and start free writing. Do anything that requires a fair amount of concentration and focus. By giving your mind something else to think about, you may just be able to pull yourself back to the present and away from your anxiety.

Anxiety isn’t easy to live with. It can hit you at unexpected times and places, but it’s important to remember that you can control it. Try the six methods listed above when you are feeling lost in your anxiety. Find the one that works best for you. If you aren’t having a great deal of luck with these, you can always do some research or go see a counselor for more ideas on how to naturally relieve your anxiety. Do your best and stay strong! You can get through this!