Anxiety is a normal part of life from time to time, but other times it makes life unbearably stressful, and altogether not very enjoyable. Many people wonder how to calm anxiety, because it’s often hard to shake off once it has taken hold. Thankfully, there are many simple things you can do that can have a positive effect almost immediately!
You’ve probably heard the expression “laughter is the best medicine.” It turns out that the expression is far truer than you could have imagined! How does laughter calm anxiety? For starters, it does actually relax your body, melting away tension and stress. Laughter releases endorphins – the body’s natural feel-good chemicals. Just a couple of minutes of laughter will also boost your immune system, help pump blood to your heart, and cause any negative feelings to flee your mind almost immediately!
So go ahead – laugh at that lame sitcom, or corny joke your colleague just told. It’s good for you!
Speaking With a Loved One
Being around the people we care about can have a marked improvement on our emotions. Sometimes all it takes to calm down from anxiety is hearing the laugh or seeing the smile of someone who matters to you. If you need to, ask your loved one for a shoulder you can lean on, and open up to them about how you are feeling and what they could do to help.
On the other hand, you can also just sit back and listen to them. Letting your loved one steer the conversation (in a positive direction) can easily take your mind off of your anxieties.
The powerful effect our loved ones have on us works just as well over distances. So don’t worry if you are feeling anxious at work or at school: simply hearing your loved one’s voice or laughter over the phone during your lunch break can change your mood around.
Changing Your Environment
This one is simple – walking away! And no, this is not the same as running away from your problems at all. The difference is that this is only temporary. Let’s look at a simple example: you are at work, under a huge deadline, and your colleague is frustrating you endlessly. Your anxiety is rising and you feel close to your breaking point. Rather than letting the situation overwhelm you, you can simply walk away. Yes, you have a huge deadline, but you only need a couple of minutes to compose yourself.
Politely excuse yourself to go to the bathroom, and take a minute or two to just gather yourself and breathe. Putting some distance between you and the situation causing you anxiety gives your mind and your body a small enough break to just relax and give yourself a pep talk.
When you get back to your desk, you’ll be refreshed and refocused; and in the correct frame of mind to tackle your problem effectively.
Bringing Out Your Inner Child
Games aren’t only for children – just a few minutes playing a fun, silly, or challenging games can take your mind off of your anxieties and increase cognitive functions or lift your mood. Playing fun games on your phone like Bingo or Snakes and Ladders is light and entertaining, so it works well for feeling less stressed out.
Playing challenging games like Sudoku or a difficult word search requires you to focus. If you are focusing on your game, you don’t have time to focus on your anxieties!
Group games, or outdoor games are even better. Kicking a ball around with some friends gets your blood pumping, requires concentration, and provides social interaction – a perfect combination for combating your anxieties!
No matter which method you try, you can be sure that anxiety doesn’t have to overwhelm you, and that you can relax in the midst of stress and pressure.