Six Proven Ways to Calm Anxiety and Ease Stress
As stress levels rise, so does the need for self-care. Having effective ways to calm anxiety becomes even more essential amid challenging times.
We all feel anxious from time to time. That sense of tension, nervousness, and apprehension is the body’s response to a perceived threat. As anxiety levels increase, the idea of calming down can seem impossible, but there are many techniques available that can help you remain calm in stressful situations.
Here are six of our favorite tips for calming anxiety so you can put your worries to rest and enjoy life more fully.
1. Immerse yourself in nature.
Don't underestimate the power of a little fresh air. Whether you settle down to observe wildlife in the forest or sit quietly by a soothing body of water, nature is the perfect relaxation enhancer. If you can’t make it outdoors, tune in to some sounds of nature or watch a video.
2. Grab a weighted blanket.
Studies have shown that using a weighted blanket can significantly reduce anxiety symptoms. The gentle pressure it provides to the body induces calm by activating the parasympathetic nervous system, which lowers the heart rate during stressful situations. This “pressure therapy” is similar to the comforting feeling of being hugged, swaddled, or held.
3. Focus on your breathing.
Feeling panicky? Breathe. That may sound basic, but basic is the way to go when managing anxiety symptoms. We tend to breathe quickly and shallowly when we’re stressed, which creates a vicious cycle by increasing the stress response. Instead, focus on breathing deeply and slowly. When we draw attention to our breathing and really focus on it, the thoughts that trigger the anxiety become more distant, the heart rate slows, and calm is induced. Many people find 4-7-8 breathing to be particularly effective:
- Breathe in for 4 seconds
- Hold your breath for 7 seconds
- Exhale slowly for 8 seconds
- Repeat five times or until you feel calmer
4. Binge something soothing.
Whether it’s your favorite playlist, an often-watched episode of your favorite show, or your most beloved nostalgic movie, you can calm your headspace through repetition. When a melody or show is familiar, it is comforting because you know what to expect. It removes the fear of the unknown so you can fully relax and enjoy the moment.
5. Tap into humor.
Experts say working humor into daily life can reduce anxiety and stress. Make it a point to hang out with fun folks who make you laugh or tune in to some silly cartoons. Other laughter-inducing tools might include reading jokebooks, watching sitcoms, or attending a belly-busting comedy act.
6. Give yourself a massage.
Tense muscles might be one of the first places you’ll notice that your stress is mounting. The benefits of regular self-massage include relieving muscle tension and increasing blood flow. Try a hand, foot, or temple massage using circular motions and medium pressure. Or, outsource your rubdown to a heated mechanical massager. Add some soft music, scented candles, and some aromatherapy oils to enhance the relaxation effect.
Stress reduction techniques don’t have to be involved or expensive. There are many easy, affordable options that can help you unwind and put your worries to rest.
If you have questions about effective ways to calm anxiety or if you need additional resources, we are here to help. Please reach out to our caring professionals anytime.
About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved ones. With two convenient locations serving North and West Philadelphia, it is always our pleasure to be of service. For more information about our funeral, cremation, memorial, repast, and grief counseling services, please visit batchelorbrothers.com.