10 Techniques and Tips for Self Soothing Anxiety | Muse Health
10 Techniques and Tips for Self Soothing Anxiety
Anxiety Self Soothing Tips Techniques
10 Techniques and Tips for Self Soothing Anxiety
Getting worried and anxious is part of being a human. Whether the stressors in our lives revolve around money, occupation, health, or social factors, the propensity to worry is fully normal. However, there comes a point when anxious thoughts can get out of control and cause disruptions in a person’s everyday life. And while telling yourself to calm down is easier said than done, there are a few strategies and techniques that you can employ to help.
Below are 10 easily actionable self soothing techniques that will help get your anxiety under control.
How to Self Soothe Anxiety
Anxiety is defined as an emotion characterized by unpleasant and varying degrees of inner turmoil, often accompanied by nervous behavior. These behaviors can be anything from pacing back and forth to easy irritability. When it comes to anxiety, the key to controlling it is having tools. Something that many people suffer from in silence, anxiety can be overcome with a little patience and perseverance.
Apply the techniques below to improve your anxiety and mental health, and wellness.
Admit you’re anxious
One of the hardest things for someone to admit is when they feel weak or not up to standard. The concept of denial is prevalent and often used as a defense mechanism. Although anxiety can be scary, allowing yourself to live your emotions is a great way to overcome them. Sometimes you just need to take a look in the mirror and admit that you’re feeling anxious and scared. Once you open up and admit your inner feelings out loud, you will be surprised as to how much better and lighter you feel.
Labeling and giving your feelings a name allows you to better understand what is happening internally. This also avoids panic attacks by allowing you to live in the present moment.
Write down your feelings
If you’re not someone who verbalizes, a great alternative is to write down your feelings. Although you can use a computer, a journal is recommended for this exercise. Because it is easy to surf the internet and get distracted if you do choose to use a computer, disconnect it from the internet.
Once you have a comfortable spot, feel free to let your emotions fly. Do not worry about grammar or spelling. Journaling is simply an exercise in letting your emotions out in a healthy and effective manner. Writing is a great tool because it helps and encourages people to actively think. Through active thinking, you’re able to get negative emotions out of your head.
Get some fresh air
If you’re someone who spends hours in front of your computer or in one place, it’s time for a change of scenery. There are studies showing that temperature and also the area of a room can trigger feelings of anxiety. For example, if you’re in a cubicle all day, the constant presence of four walls can cause you to feel like you’re trapped.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, get up from your seat and go for a walk around the neighborhood. These walks only have to last a few minutes but result in the release of endorphins. Even in just a few minutes, the fresh air you receive can make a major difference in mood and thought process.
Take a warm bath
There are few things more relaxing than hopping into a warm bath. Baths are a great way to sit down and relax. If you’re feeling slightly anxious or overwhelmed, let the bathwater run, and after a few minutes get inside. To make your experience much more enjoyable use bath bombs, scented candles, and even incorporate music to create the perfect ambiance. As you bathe and muscle groups relax, take time to breathe in and out. Focus on each breath and witness the tension dissipate.
Release your anger or anxiety
It’s always better to get your emotions out than keep them in. Finding a productive and safe outlet for your emotions of anxiety is key to helping overcome it. Many experts suggest performing some kind of physical activity to get your emotions out. For those who always wanted to learn a new sport, it is the perfect time to get on the court or in the ring to channel your thoughts into something productive.
Releasing anger should be an activity that does not cause harm to another person and does not promote violence.
Listen to music
It is hard to find a person who doesn’t like music. When you’re feeling anxious, why not use your love for music to help you relax. Just like reading a book, a song can take a person back to a different time in their life, allowing them to enter a different headspace. The songs you choose to listen to are purely based on your preference. Don’t feel like you need to listen to classical music in order to relax. If you feel like rap music helps you relax, find a station on Spotify or Pandora and listen away. For added relaxation, close your eyes and put the phone away.
Challenge your own thoughts
When a person suffers from anxiety, their thoughts get murky and sometimes irrational. During moments of anxiety, it is easy to take a fatalistic approach and only see the worst-case scenario. As you begin experiencing those thoughts, take a minute and ask yourself if the thoughts you’re having are rational. The questions you ask yourself can vary but should always end with “is this outcome likely to happen”?
After you’ve taken some time to reflect, reconsider your current position, and reframe the outcome. Negative thoughts are easily able to be overcome through constant self-care and mindfulness exercises.
Work on visualization
If you can see it, you can be it. This concept works for many scenarios and when it comes to anxiety, visualization is a powerful tool. Begin by taking a few deep breaths and then close your eyes. While your eyes are closed, picture what it would feel like to be fully relaxed and stress-free. Even if you haven’t felt stress-free in a while, there are things in life that make everyone happy. Focus on those emotions and use them to create a mental picture. Keep that mental picture in the forefront of your mind and refer to it whenever you feel anxious.
Shift your focus
It’s very easy to get caught up in work or everyday tasks. While we all have responsibilities, there comes a time when those tasks can become overwhelming. Although the urge to “stick it through” is common, if you feel overwhelmed or anxious about a situation, remove yourself. Even if it’s walking to another room, physically removing yourself from a situation is a great way to rewire the brain and gain a fresh perspective. Sometimes all you need is a short break to catch your breath.
The number 1 most effective way to reduce stress is breathing. Because our bodies enter fight-or-flight response in stressful situations, we tend to take shallow breaths. In order to negate the effects of fight or flight, take long breaths. Deep breathing helps to lower blood pressure, improving stress response. There are several breathing exercises out there that you can incorporate into your daily routine. A popular technique for anxiety is diaphragmatic breathing. Laying down, place one hand on your stomach and the other on your chest. With diaphragmatic breathing, you want to focus your attention on the inhale and exhale. As you breathe in, make sure your chest stays still while your stomach rises. A rising chest indicates that the breath is not traveling down far enough into the diaphragm.
Don’t Let Anxiety Overtake You
Feeling anxious is incredibly normal. If you feel that your anxiety makes it impossible to function, it is time to take action and find solutions. By incorporating small exercises and techniques, you can witness a major change during a difficult time. Take the time to invest in self-soothing and reap the rewards of stress relief and improved daily life.