7 Ways To Address and Calm Anxiety
Start writing a post

7 Ways To Address And Calm Anxiety

How do you deal with anxiety briefly, day-to-day, or constantly?

26
7 Ways To Address And Calm Anxiety
Personal Photo

Everyone understands the stress of finals week, but what about factors that affect you daily? As classes begin and we start a new chapter in our lives, many new people and circumstances enter our lives, and it can cause an overwhelming surge of emotions...particularly anxiety. Some strategies are fitting for a day, or even a week, but in this article I will share strategies of my own or some that I have learned from others that help you deal with both long term and short term stress.

Now, I have to be honest. Anxiety is not one singular experience multiple people share. It affects people differently, and the way some people deal with it may not work as well for others and so on. I will simply be sharing my experience, and if any of these strategies are something new, maybe you can find something that works for you.

Just take a breather

It seems so simple, but when stress builds up it can feel nearly impossible to do. There are a couple different strategies available that help breathing become a tool to relax.

One example is called "square breathing". With this technique you breath in while counting to four, hold your breath while counting to four, and release the breath to the count of four. It also works with counts of six, and eight, and can be done however many times it is needed.

Controlling your breathing makes you focus on the specific action, rather than wait is causing your stress, and the counting combined with an increased amount of oxygen can lower the heart rate and ease tension. This could also include a specific movement that may be subtle or exaggerated. You can add a bigger movement of your chest. You may include moving your arms in a way that 'guides' the breath, such as moving your arms up or out and away from you while exhaling, and bringing your arms down or closer to you while inhaling.

Try meditation

Yes, I was skeptical about this one too. However, after trying it a couple times, I found it was very helpful in not only regulating my anxiety, but it also helped me strengthen my focus and even boosted my confidence. The most important part of meditation is mindfulness. It is about sitting quietly and reinforcing a certain habit or thought pattern. It also allows you to focus on your body: everything that you think, feel physically, or experience emotionally becomes something you can focus on and release.

There are many resources that can help you too. There are YouTube videos, websites, and many apps that offer guided meditations. I, personally, use an app called 'Peace' that allows you to change the background music and offer guided meditations for different scenarios. It also has a visual of watering an inner flower with each mediation session.

Release through art

This one is great because it is a fun hobby that you do not have to be good at. A lot of people put pressure on themselves while doing this, but if you can you need to let go of that standard and just have fun. This is also a very broad topic so I'm going to give a few examples.

One thing that many people find helpful is keeping a journal. This is appealing because it is usually private, and can take whatever form you want it to. You can write about your day, write a fictional story, or write poems. You can write letters to someone, and even if you don't send them, you will have put thoughts down on paper.

You may also draw, paint, or create some sort of collage. As long as it is visual and physical, it would fit within this category. Putting a visual to your feelings can be really helpful for a lot of people. You can draw characters, or objects, or just put a bunch of color on paper. You can explain their meaning to someone, or you can keep it to yourself. This has helped me on a few occasions, as I was better able to express my feelings through a picture than trying to assign words to it that I couldn't think of in the moment.

Express yourself through music

Another form of art? Really? Yes. If you can't tell, I am a fan. Listening to music may help anxiety, yes. But playing it can also be a great way to relax. Playing drums, guitar, or any instrument you can think of requires focus, and movement. It's a way to move, but also get your mind active. Playing music engages several parts of your brain and body, and once again directs your focus from your stress to the activity.

Pray and/or read your Bible

You know, if you're into that sort of thing. It isn't easy; to release that stress and if you are a believer, hand it to God. However, doing something spiritual, finding wisdom, or simply feeling as if you are talking to someone can go a long way. You don't have to do it a specific way. As long as you are acknowledging the beliefs, and focusing on your spiritual well being, you will find that stress may be a bit easier to handle.

Try exercising

It may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it had to be included nonetheless. Often, when feeling particularly anxious, I find I have an excess of energy. I want to pace, or I'm shaking, and I just need to move. So I would go for walks, or go to the gym on campus. I've tried kickboxing, and yoga, and the machines, and I find all are fairly useful, depending on the level of anxiety I have or how much energy I need to get rid of. Again, you do not need to be particularly skilled at this in order to do it, or in order for it to help. I'm not athletic; I'm not very fast, or strong, or coordinated, but just getting moving and sweating helped me calm down and think clearer.

Look into counseling or just talk to someone

When you are feeling anxious, some people may find a need to vent. There is no shame in getting help, especially professional help. It is also okay to find friends, family, someone you trust and let them know if you are having a hard time. It can be scary, but if you find that helps then please pursue it. Those who care about us will be happy to help if it means we do not suffer. It is important to release these feelings, because the longer you hold onto them, and the longer they build, the harder it gets to deal with the next issue.

Again, THERE IS NO SHAME IN SEEKING HELP. There are many resources that offer help when you are feeling your anxiety is too much. The suicide prevention lifeline website offers chat rooms that allow you to speak to a professional who can help in the moment. You may also call 1-800-273-8255. If you are on campus you can seek counseling in the Student Union for one session, or many. You may also "Call SAM". This is an acronym that spells out Student Assistance by Mercy, which offers a 24/7 lifeline on which you may speak to a professional, who will help during times of depression, anxiety, and stress. The number is 1-855-225-2726. If you are needing assistance, particularly if it is urgent, call. Reach out. Get help.

You are not alone, and anxiety affects a lot of people. If none of the above resources or strategies help you, please don't stop your search. The internet offers the world at our finger tips and these are only the strategies I have used and can vouch for. Feel free to continue looking for solutions. Your answer, and what will work best for you is out there, just stay determined. I wish you all the best of luck, and I hope you find your peace.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Health and Wellness

Exposing Kids To Nature Is The Best Way To Get Their Creative Juices Flowing

Constantly introducing young children to the magical works of nature will further increase the willingness to engage in playful activities as well as broaden their interactions with their peers

1169037

Whenever you are feeling low and anxious, just simply GO OUTSIDE and embrace nature! According to a new research study published in Frontiers in Psychology, being connected to nature and physically touching animals and flowers enable children to be happier and altruistic in nature. Not only does nature exert a bountiful force on adults, but it also serves as a therapeutic antidote to children, especially during their developmental years.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

5 Simple Ways To Give Yourself Grace, Especially When Life Gets Hard

Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we are becoming.

737898
Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

If there's one thing I'm absolutely terrible at, it's giving myself grace. I'm easily my own worst critic in almost everything that I do. I'm a raging perfectionist, and I have unrealistic expectations for myself at times. I can remember simple errors I made years ago, and I still hold on to them. The biggest thing I'm trying to work on is giving myself grace. I've realized that when I don't give myself grace, I miss out on being human. Even more so, I've realized that in order to give grace to others, I need to learn how to give grace to myself, too. So often, we let perfection dominate our lives without even realizing it. I've decided to change that in my own life, and I hope you'll consider doing that, too. Grace begins with a simple awareness of who we are and who we're becoming. As you read through these five affirmations and ways to give yourself grace, I hope you'll take them in. Read them. Write them down. Think about them. Most of all, I hope you'll use them to encourage yourself and realize that you are never alone and you always have the power to change your story.

Keep Reading... Show less
Entertainment

Breaking Down The Beginning, Middle, And End of Netflix's Newest 'To All The Boys' Movie

Noah Centineo and Lana Condor are back with the third and final installment of the "To All The Boys I've Loved Before" series

750381
Netflix

Were all teenagers and twenty-somethings bingeing the latest "To All The Boys: Always and Forever" last night with all of their friends on their basement TV? Nope? Just me? Oh, how I doubt that.

I have been excited for this movie ever since I saw the NYC skyline in the trailer that was released earlier this year. I'm a sucker for any movie or TV show that takes place in the Big Apple.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

4 Ways To Own Your Story, Because Every Bit Of It Is Worth Celebrating

I hope that you don't let your current chapter stop you from pursuing the rest of your story.

484048
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

Every single one of us has a story.

I don't say that to be cliché. I don't say that to give you a false sense of encouragement. I say that to be honest. I say that to be real.

Keep Reading... Show less
Politics and Activism

How Young Feminists Can Understand And Subvert The Internalized Male Gaze

Women's self-commodification, applied through oppression and permission, is an elusive yet sexist characteristic of a laissez-faire society, where women solely exist to be consumed. (P.S. justice for Megan Fox)

298204
Paramount Pictures

Within various theories of social science and visual media, academics present the male gaze as a nebulous idea during their headache-inducing meta-discussions. However, the internalized male gaze is a reality, which is present to most people who identify as women. As we mature, we experience realizations of the perpetual male gaze.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

It's Important To Remind Yourself To Be Open-Minded And Embrace All Life Has To Offer

Why should you be open-minded when it is so easy to be close-minded?

437468

Open-mindedness. It is something we all need a reminder of some days. Whether it's in regards to politics, religion, everyday life, or rarities in life, it is crucial to be open-minded. I want to encourage everyone to look at something with an unbiased and unfazed point of view. I oftentimes struggle with this myself.

Keep Reading... Show less
Swoon

14 Last Minute Valentine's Day Gifts Your S.O. Will Love

If they love you, they're not going to care if you didn't get them some expensive diamond necklace or Rolex watch; they just want you.

294947

Let me preface this by saying I am not a bad girlfriend.

I am simply a forgetful one.

Keep Reading... Show less
Student Life

10 Helpful Tips For College Students Taking Online Courses This Semester

Here are several ways to easily pass an online course.

198515
Photo by Vlada Karpovich on Pexels

With spring semester starting, many college students are looking to take courses for the semester. With the pandemic still ongoing, many students are likely looking for the option to take online courses.

Online courses at one time may have seemed like a last minute option for many students, but with the pandemic, they have become more necessary. Online courses can be very different from taking an on-campus course. You may be wondering what the best way to successfully complete an online course is. So, here are 10 helpful tips for any student who is planning on taking online courses this semester!

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments