Feeling anxious? Whether you’re experiencing only slight feelings of anxiety or the more intense, tight-chested, upset stomach, ready-to-cry feelings of anxiety, there are some fairly simple things you can do right now to help calm your anxiety.
Ten Simple Ways to Calm Your Anxiety (That You Can Do Right Now)
- Take ten deep breaths
Deep breathing helps oxygenate the blood, slow your heartbeat, and can lower blood pressure. Focus on breathing in through your nose and filling your belly with air. Then out through the nose and get rid of all of the air you took in before you breathe in again. If you’re comfortable or in a safe space, try closing your eyes and really thinking through your whole breathing process.
- Make a list of the top three things that are weighing on you right now
Nothing complicated. Just 1, 2, 3. Get them out of your brain on onto paper (or a digital note if that’s more your style).
- Expand on the list you just made
Come up with 1 or 2 things you can do to help lessen the stress being caused by those three things, even if your “thing” is “stop thinking about it so much”, you’re still meeting your anxiety where it is and coping instead of it filling your brain up.
- Get 5-10 minutes of low-effort exercise
Go for a walk (yes, even in circles around your house counts), pop on a gentle 10 minute yoga flow video, or do some basic stretches. Get your blood flowing but take it easy – you’re not in a race or competition, you’re just moving your body a bit.
- Do a 3 minute meditation
The MyLife app guides you through checking in with your emotions, then gives you options for short, medium, or long meditations. They’re all guided and very simple – lots of breathing, focusing on your body… when you’re done, you’ll check back in and see if you’re feeling any different than when you started.
- Get up and dance
Put on some music that makes your heart happy and dance! Or sing, loudly. Express yourself with your body and your voice and get some of that pent up energy out.
- Make and take time to enjoy a hot cup of herbal (caffeine free) tea
Caffeine can exacerbate stress and anxiety, but a hot cup of tea can help calm our nerves. Don’t have tea? Squeeze some lemon into hot water, make a decaf cup of coffee, or make some chicken broth to sip on. Try to do this distraction-less; a phone/computer/work break where you just enjoy your hot beverage is all you need for this one.
- Check in with your body
Are you hungry? Dehydrated? Do you have a headache? Let’s fix those issues. Get a snack, drink some water, and pick your best headache remedy (sometimes it’s some OTC medicine, sometimes it’s peppermint gum, sometimes it’s essential oils in the diffuser or my favorite candle).
- Write in a gratitude journal
This simple gratitude journal I picked up from Amazon gives me space to write three things I’m grateful for every day. Lots of times they’re really similar, and that’s okay – it just means my gratefulness is magnified for my husband, coffee, and my Brandi Carlisle Pandora station.
- Express yourself with creativity
Being even just a little bit creative can help our brains refocus on the expression of creativity instead of what is making us anxious. Jot down your thoughts, put some stickers in your Happy Planner, or grab some crayons and color. Don’t have anything to color in? There are lots of free coloring sheets you can print, or adult coloring apps to use on your phone/tablet instead.
Hopefully one, some, or all of these will help you find some peace right now. Remember, meeting your anxiety is much more sustainable than beating your anxiety. #yougotthis
Have other simple ways that you use to help calm your anxiety? Please feel free to share them in the comments below.