Anxiety is something I have experienced on and off for as long as I can remember. Trying to find what helps me keep anxiety at bay has taken patience, persistence, an open mind and a willingness to try many different things. Today I am going to share with you 8 ways to reduce anxiety that I personally use in my own life. Keep in mind that everyone experiences anxiety differently and what will help to reduce it will also be different for each individual.
According to Beyond Blue anxiety is the most common mental condition in all of Australia, with 1 in 4 people experiencing anxiety.
It is normal to feel anxious sometimes. People will often feel stressed or worried when under pressure or faced with a stressor, and usually when the stressor is removed these feelings will subside. Anxiety is when the feelings of stress or worry are intense, persistent and cannot be controlled (even when there is no stressor present).
I know from my own experience that being consumed by anxiety sucks. It’s overwhelming, exhausting, and can really impact your functioning in your everyday life.
The tips I’m sharing here are based on my own experiences with anxiety and what has worked well for me. If you are experiencing intense, persistent anxiety that is interfering with your functioning in everyday life, I highly recommend and encourage you to seek professional help.
One of the best techniques that I have found to help prevent and reduce anxiety is being present. When experiencing anxiety we are usually not fully present, instead we are thinking about the past or the future. I really believe that focusing on the now really helps to reduce anxiety as it cannot exist in the present moment. I try to bring awareness to the present moment as much as possible as I go about my daily life. Even though practicing presence is challenging, I truly believe that it helps reduce my anxiety.
Completely surrendering to the present moment, and accepting whatever it is that I am feeling (no matter how much I may not want to be feeling it) has been crucial for me in controlling my anxiety. When we experience unpleasant feelings we usually resist them. However I have found that when I stop resisting the anxious feelings and instead lean into them instead, it makes me feel like it is less intense. I have found that surrendering to anxiety to have a powerful effect on reducing it, and it also gets me into a position where I am able to start doing something to help myself, such as meditation.
Highly recommended resource: Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now has been profound for me in learning to control my anxiety, and had a life-changing effect on my life in general.
Regular meditation is a highly effective tool for controlling anxiety, and I also find it helps me to be more present throughout the day. I meditate daily to help prevent anxiety and I also meditate when I’m feeling anxious. However I sometimes find that when I am consumed by anxious energy it can be really difficult to attempt to meditate. So if I’m feeling overwhelmed I go straight for Belinda Davidson’s Chakra Clearing Meditation (I’ve also spoken about this here). I always finish this meditation feeling more relaxed, and I also believe that doing this meditation regularly has been a huge factor that helps keep my anxiety at bay.
When you’re anxious you’re body is on overdrive. So it can be really beneficial to try and simplify what you’re doing. I avoid being overstimulated by trying not to multitask as much as possible. I have found this to be a really effective way of being able to continue to function when feeling anxious (without getting too overwhelmed). It has also been effective for me at preventing anxiety. I have found that doing one thing at a time is more enjoyable and it has helped increased my productivity – mono-tasking for the win!
Officially known as the Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). EFT involves tapping the meridian points of the body and is based on psychology and ancient Chinese acupressure. EFT can be used for pretty much any issue that you have, and you can find a demonstration on how to ‘tap’ here. This technique is simple to learn and easy to put into action. The first time I tried tapping I was really surprised at how instantly I felt calmer. At the moment I do a few rounds of EFT in the morning (to prevent anxiety and promote calmness) and I also use this technique whenever feelings of anxiety arise as well.
I have found that exercising regularly to be one of the best ways to prevent anxiety. I’ve made moving my body daily non-negotiable, which has been helpful at keeping my anxiety at bay. My favourite forms of movement to help reduce anxiety are walking (especially in nature) and doing yoga. I recommend moving your body everyday in a way that feels good for you.
I have found that learning about anxiety has really helped me to control it. I have been studying psychology at university for a couple of years now and this has been really helpful in aiding my understanding of anxiety and helped me to deal with it. You don’t a degree to get informed about anxiety, a good place to begin is the Beyond Blue site.
I learnt about impermanence while at a Vipassana meditation retreat. It means that everything is impermanent, that everything is always changing and nothing is constant. When I’m experiencing intense anxiety I have found that reminding myself that this feeling will change helps to immediately bring my awareness to the fact that what I’m currently experiencing is not permanent and will not last forever. This instantly helps to reduce the intensity, makes it a little bit more bearable and also allows me to surrender to the feelings instead. Practicing impermanence has helped me to be able to go with the ebb and flow of life more – which has also really helped me to be less anxious.
If you feel called to, I would love for you to share any tips or suggestions you may have for reducing anxiety in the comments below.
Also if you think that this article could benefit others, I would absolutely love for you to share it on social media – you can do this easily by using the buttons below.
Thank you for being here,
Enter your details below to receive fortnightly newsletter-only updates, insights and inspiration – plus you will also receive a FREE copy of my super inspirational eBook Infinite: Take your life to the next level and beyond!