Ways to Relax When Anxiety Won’t Let Go
Do you always find yourself worrying “what if?” Is it hard for you to turn off your brain and relax because you’re always thinking…and over thinking? Anxiety can come in many forms, and this type, generalized anxiety disorder, affects an estimated three to four percent of the population. While generalized anxiety disorder doesn’t usually lead to panic attacks, the anxious feelings are very real…even when you are aware they are irrational! Generalized anxiety disorder can easily rattle you and make you feel like you’ve got to keep moving. It’s hard to settle down and you may need ways to relax when feeling this way.
Settling down is the best thing you can do for yourself when you’re feeling especially anxious. So, how can you calm yourself when peaceful is the opposite of how you’re feeling at the moment?
Those who need to relax the most are often the ones who relax the least. We all aren’t naturally gifted at allowing ourselves to be in the moment or to clear our heads, so it’s worthwhile to learn a handful of anxiety relaxation techniques. To be clear, anxiety disorders can’t be cured by relaxation techniques alone, but they can reduce the level of anxiety you experience. This makes it easier to cope overall. Cognitive behavioral therapy has been shown to effectively help individuals with anxiety disorders. It is particularly effective in conjunction with anxiety relaxation techniques learned and practiced during therapy sessions.
Get started on the road to wellbeing with some techniques right now. Let’s relax!
Ways to Relax When Feeling Anxious
Massage away tension
- Why? Our mental health is intertwined with our physical well being. When we do things that relax our bodies, our minds are more likely to follow suit.
- Try it: Make a warm heat wrap out of a hot, damp towel. Roll it up and wrap it around your neck and shoulders for about ten minutes. Or, get a tennis ball and place it between your back and the wall. Lean into it firmly for fifteen seconds. Keep moving the tennis ball to different spots on your back. I also lay down and roll on a two tennis balls stuffed in a sock for lower back relief.
- Why? A good way to relax our brains is to distract them from our thoughts and anxiety through sensory stimulation.
- Try it: You might not always be somewhere you can light a soothing scented candle, but aromatherapy can still work when you imagine yourself smelling the scent. You can also carry a small bottle of a pleasant-smelling essence. Basil, juniper, lavender, sandalwood, geranium, or rose are some common scents associated with calm. Origins makes a lotion you can carry with you to rub on your temples when feeling stressed. Essential oil diffusers can also be very soothing and come in travel sizes for the office or car as well as compact sizes for home use. I use mine every night to unwind from the day!
- Why? This technique is most effective if you commit to it. Fortunately, it’s not very hard
to dedicate a few minutes to meditation on a daily basis. Daily meditation can change the neural pathways in your brain, which lessen the effects of stress on your mind and body.
- Try it: Sit up straight and plant both your feet firmly on the floor. Close your eyes and repeat a mantra, out loud or just in your mind, whatever makes you feel more comfortable. You don’t have to stick with “om,” many people find it effective to use a positive phrase like “I am at peace.”
- Why? For many of us, anxiety means shallow, quick breathing that can lead to hyperventilation. This technique takes practice to work well, but healthy breathing is key to reducing anxiety and its symptoms. Deep breathing soothes your body.
- Try it: Sit straight in your chair and place your arms on the armrests or in your lap. Take a deep breath, slowly, through your nose. Inhalation should take about six seconds. Hold for three seconds, then breathe out through your mouth (slowly, as if you’re going to whistle), for about seven seconds. Repeat ten times.
Therapy for Anxiety Relief
Houston therapists can help you work on symptoms of generalized anxiety disorder and address root causes of your symptoms. Contact us to find out how we can help, to schedule an appointment give us a call at 832-559-2622 or schedule an appointment online
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