50 ways to calm anxiety in this new, crazy world



Anxiety isn't new, but the number of sufferers has grown exponentially in 2020. It's really no surprise, what with the pandemic, job losses, restrictions, school closures, and so much more.


Anyone can experience anxiety. If this is your first time, it might be scary to feel out of control of your body.


Anxiety is something that roots in your mind but manifests in your body, causing physical symptoms. These symptoms can range in severity and can include

  • heart palpitations

  • shortness of breath

  • dizziness

  • dry mouth

  • jitters

  • lack of concentration

  • stomach upset

In severe anxiety attacks, the symptoms are tough to differentiate from a heart attack.



Anxiety triggers

Your anxiety may be triggered by something physical (such as a location, smell, or person) or by a thought. Often, anxiety is tied to rumination and catastrophic thinking.


Rumination is when your thoughts play on a loop, and you can't get those thoughts out of your head. Catastrophic thinking is when your thoughts turn dark, and you essentially feel like it's the end of the world.


It's amazing how powerful your thoughts can be, and how those thoughts can trigger physical reactions in your body. That mental trigger creates a physical cascade of hormones in your body that amp you up and make your heart race.




How to calm anxiety

Understanding your triggers plays a role in calming your anxiety.


It's also important to understand that your symptoms are caused by a physical process inside your body. It takes time for those hormones to clear out, which is the first step in calming your anxiety.


The process may have started in your mind, but it doesn't stay there.



50 ways to calm anxiety

Therefore, calming anxiety involves techniques that focus on both the mind and the body. Both need soothing.


  • Take deep breaths

  • Count to 100

  • Sit with your head between your knees

  • Name everything you see in the room around you

  • Drink warm tea

  • Smell lavender

  • Write about your feelings

  • Take a walk

  • Work on a puzzle

  • Talk to a therapist


  • Talk to a friend

  • Write down the worst thing that could actually happen

  • Consider how you'd deal with it if it did happen

  • Consider the hardest thing you've overcome in your life

  • Recite a positive affirmation

  • Exercise

  • Do yoga

  • Play with a pet

  • Make a list of things you can control right now

  • Cry


  • Meditate on a positive thought

  • Try guided meditation

  • Lie your body under a heavy blanket

  • Place a weighted eye mask over your eyes

  • Take a hot bath

  • Organize something

  • Clean something

  • Use your hands to knit or crochet

  • Paint

  • Consider prayer


  • Flex each muscle in your body, one by one

  • Let someone hug you

  • Garden

  • Go for a hike

  • Smell eucalyptus

  • Imagine the anxiety floating away from you

  • Imagine a leopard protecting you from negative thoughts

  • Get a massage

  • Press on pressure points

  • Watch a favorite movie


  • Breathe into a paper bag

  • Make a list of the most beautiful and inspiring things you've ever seen

  • Light a candle

  • Get some sunshine

  • Rock in a rocking chair

  • Position your body in child's pose

  • Look at pictures of nature

  • Sit in a quiet room

  • Take a nap

  • Visualize yourself as strong and happy


When to get a professional involved

Sometimes anxiety becomes frequent or intense. It can interfere with your life.


If you are unable to calm your anxiety on your own and you are suffering, it's time to contact a professional. You can start with your doctor and tell them about your anxiety. They may refer you to a psychologist or a therapist.


Talking about your feelings with a professional can be a helpful way to control your anxiety. They can teach you guided techniques.


You may also be prescribed medication to help you calm your anxiety or to sleep. These should be taken exactly as prescribed, and you should do your homework on possible side effects. Popular medications, such as SSRIs, can actually increase anxiety and depression at first. You will need to monitor your behavior carefully if you start on a medication like that.


Medications will help calm your physical symptoms (eventually), but they won't get to the root of your mental triggers. You will still need to work on avoiding triggers and calming anxiety when it starts to bubble up by using the methods listed above.





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I'm Kat, the author of the healthy, happy blog. 

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