One Infinite Life
November 12, 2014

8 Ways to Help Reduce Anxiety | One Infinite Life | www.oneinfinitelife.com/ways-to-help-reduce-anxiety/

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.

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The lowdown on anxiety

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.

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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.

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8 ways to reduce anxiety

 

Be present

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.

 

“Realise deeply that the present moment is all you have. Make the NOW the primary focus of your life.” Eckhart Tolle clicktotweet

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Surrender

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.

 

“Work with the moment, not against it” Eckhart Tolleclicktotweet

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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.

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Meditation

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.

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Avoid being overstimulated 

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!

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Tapping

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.

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Regular movement

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.

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Get to know anxiety

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.

 

“You need to know anxiety to be free from it” Beyond Blue clicktotweet

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Impermanence

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.

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A few extra things that I do to help reduce anxiety:

 

  1. +  I use Bach’s Rescue Remedy, which is an absolute lifesaver and I have it on me at all times. The spray and drop forms of Rescue Remedy are my favourite, but I find the pastilles to be much more convenient and less obvious when in public.

 

  1. +   Getting enough sleep is something I’m still working on, but I find when I do get sufficient sleep it really helps to keep anxiety at bay. I’ve written about how to get better sleep here.

 

  1. +  Lying with my legs up the wall really makes me feel less anxious and more calm. Apparently it activates your parasympathetic nervous system which is responsible for calming the body down. You may look silly but I find it really does help.

 

  1. +  I love using essential oils to help promote relaxation. I love burning and diffusing them in my house and wearing the Perfect Potion chakra balancing balm on my skin. I also love washing my bedding with a few drops of essential oils and spraying my pillow with this Perfect Potion spray, this helps me to relax at night time.

 

  1. +   I have found that taking supplements has been very helpful in reducing my anxiety. Kava, magnesium, vitamin B and probioitcs work really well for me, however I recommend speaking to a natropath to work out what is suitable for you.

 

  1. +   Spending time in nature is grounding and calming, so I make an effort to try to do this often.

 

  1. +   Being conscious of what I am consuming and how it influences my anxiety has been incredibly beneficial for me. I have found that certain things that make my anxiety worse and because of this I avoid refined sugar, caffeine and alcohol.

 

  1. +   Talking openly with other people about my experiences with anxiety has really helped me feel supported in dealing with my own anxiety.

 

  1. +  Breathing deeply and fully may seem simple, but I find it an effective way to relax and calm down.

 

  1. +  When I’m riddled with anxiety I find declutter my environment really helps. I go through my wardrobe, bathroom cupboards, pantry, computer files, my inbox – pretty much everything. It always helps to make me more calm.

 

  1. +   As Danielle Laporte says ‘interrupt anxiety with gratitude’. Gratitude is such a powerful way to help shift your perspective and reduce anxiety. You can check out my tips on how to create a powerful gratitude practice here.

 

  1. +   Giving yourself permission to look after yourself is really important when trying to reduce anxiety. Allow yourself to take the time to incorporate the things that help to relieve your anxiety and calm you.

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And remember this: 
There are over two million humans in Australia alone who experience anxiety. 
If you are one of them it is important that you know…

 

You are not alone.

 

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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,

One Infinite Life

 

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  • What an amazing list Chloe!

    This is something I have been wanting to write about for a whole now, and paradoxically, it was making me feel, well, ANXIOUS! I commend your bravery to push through and press publish. Your post will help a lot of people and I love how clear and concise you have made this. Like you, I have battled anxiety for as long as I can remember. Before I learned mindfulness and meditation I used to get debilitating panic attacks. Thanks for the courage to share your story gorgeous:)

    Love Chelsea xxx

    • Thank you Chelsea for your really kind words. Honestly it was a really difficult post for me to publish but after I did it I realised that it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be. Mindfulness and meditation are such powerful tools, especially for anxiety.

      Thank you for commenting Chelsea 🙂

  • This is absolutely beautiful Chloe!! You should be super proud babe!! These are such excellent tips and the whole post feels like a big warm hug. Number One – Be Present- My absolute favourite. You are definitely going to help people with this gorgeous one! Xx

    • What a beautiful comment, thank you so much Megan. I have to agree, presence has to be my favourite too! 🙂

  • So great to see more people opening up and talking about this, Chloe! Great tips x

    • It definitely is. Thank you Katherine 🙂

  • Great post Chloe – comprehensive and so useful! 🙂

  • Amanda Phillips

    Dear Chloe,

    Thank you so much for commenting on my own article about mindfulness, as it has led me to your beautiful website and this amazing article – what a gift!

    Someone close to me has been dealing with anxiety for a long time and it breaks my heart to see them suffer. I keep trying to find ways to help them but most of the time I feel useless. Your article contains so many practical tips and tricks which I cannot wait to share and also try myself. I truly believe that anxiety can be conquered if there were more people like you in the world openly sharing their own experiences. It reassures sufferers that they are not alone.

    Thank you again for sharing and I can’t wait to read more of your articles!

    Amanda xxx

    • Wow, what an amazing comment Amanda. Thank you so much for sharing your beautiful thoughts here. I am so glad that you thought the article was helpful. I hope you find some things that help you both 🙂

  • Thank you Chloe for sending me the link to your article x The tips you’ve given are so well written and easy to put into place in everyday life. Thank you for sharing and being brave enough to hit publish on this article 🙂

    • It’s my pleasure Kate! I hope that these tips will be of use to you in your life. Back when I wrote this post it I decided that if my experience and tips could ease someone else’s anxiety a little, then it was worth some discomfort for me pressing publish on this post. And it totally was worth it 🙂